Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Play Activities for Toddlers

Cleaning off my desk the other day, I found a paper titled, "Play Activities for Toddlers".  I have no idea where it came from or who to give credit to, but it's a great list for those, "What can we do now?" moments.  What better time to share these ideas than here at the New Year when many of us may feel like we should make it more of a priority to spend quality time with our children.  Figuring out good ways to play with toddlers isn't as easy as with a talkative preschooler, so here's the list with age-appropriate interests and play ideas for toddlers.  Leave a comment and tell us how your baby likes to play!

At This Age:                                                 Toddlers Like to:

12-15 months                                              crumple and toss paper
                                                                      fill containers and dump the contents
                                                                      roll objects down hills and inclines
                                                                      turn light switches on and off
                                                                      play with flashlights
                                                                      poke objects into play dough
                                                                      play and sing action songs and rhymes

12-18 months                                              paint with edible finger paints
                                                                              (i.e. pudding, Cool Whip)
                                                                      play in sand and water
                                                                      push and pull toys (such as trains and cars)
                                                                      scribble with crayons
                                                                      look at and talk about books,
                                                                               family photos, catalogs
                                                                      put objects into holes
                                                                      roll a ball
                                                                      nest objects (stack them one inside the other)
                                                                      put large hand-held objects (like blocks) into holes

15-18 months                                              play hide-and-seek
                                                                      play with finger puppets
                                                                      find and identify source of sounds
                                                                            (like an alarm clock)
                                                                      match plastic bottles and lids
                                                                      play musical instruments
                                                                      blow bubbles, candles, feathers, paper, harmonica

18-20 months                                              play with a toy hammer
                                                                      stack objects on a spindle
                                                                      stack large blocks or boxes
                                                                      put small objects (such as pegs) into holes

18-24 months                                              put together three to six piece puzzles
                                                                      play on riding toys and rocking horses
                                                                      play with small wooden blocks
                                                                      throw and kick a ball
                                                                      participate in kitchen by peeling eggs,
                                                                            mashing potatoes, smelling spices,
                                                                            and adding premeasured ingredients
                                                                      turn pages of a book
                                                                      hold pictures right-side up
                                                                      match pictures to real objects
                                                                      want to do things for themselves
                                                                      kick a ball
                                                                      unwrap an object

22 months                                                   come when called
                                                                      put things away
                                                                      screw and unscrew lids
                                                                      show an interest in insects
                                                                      match animals and sounds
                                                                      model adult behavior

23 months                                                   use three-word sentences
                                                                      talk to themselves
                                                                      enjoy rhymes
                                                                      sing easy repetitive songs
                                                                      brush their teeth with help (mostly imitation)
                                                                      say "please" and "thank you"
                                                                      wash and dry their hands
                                                                      remove and put on clothes
                                                                      help with household chores
                                                                      recognized places and landmarks
                                                                      show imagination
                                                                      throw a ball
                                                                      enjoy working with their fingers

24 months                                                   show an interest in smells
                                                                      enjoy carrying satchels (such as a purse)
                                                                      walk up stairs without help
                                                                      turn a door knob
                                                                      stack 6 or more blocks
                                                                      jump down from a low object
                                                                      jump in place
                                                                      listen to short stories
                                                                      open and close zippers
                                                                      follow simple directions
                                                                               (Get the ball. Touch your nose.)
                                                                      Ask questions that require one-word answers     
                                                                               (Who's that?)

As always, you can ask your child's teachers or in the office for creative play and learning ideas.  We're here to help you and your child however we can!