10 Fun and Easy Activities for 18 month Old at Home

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Written By Olivia Miller

Author at Montessori Expert.

Eighteen months – a whirlwind of discovery! Your little one is on the move, eager to explore and grasp the world around them.

This is a pivotal time to nurture their burgeoning independence and spark a love for learning.

Here, we’ll delve into engaging activities that cater to your child’s natural curiosity and developmental needs.

Your 18-month-old is a whirlwind of energy and curiosity! They’re constantly on the move, exploring their world and trying new things.

These 10 Montessori-inspired activities use everyday household items to keep your little one learning and having fun.

Activity 1: Pouring Play

pouring play activity
pouring play activity

Age Group: 18 months – 2 years old

Materials: Two pitchers or containers (different sizes), water

How to Perform: Fill one pitcher with water and show your toddler how to pour the water into the empty pitcher. Let them experiment with pouring slowly, quickly, or even spilling some water (it happens!). This simple activity strengthens hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Area of Development: Hand-eye coordination, Fine motor skills

Activity 2: Simple Sorting

silly sound sorting activity
silly sound sorting activity

Age Group: 1 year – 18 months old

Materials: Basket, household objects (plastic spoons, socks)

How to Perform: Find two different household objects, like plastic spoons and socks. Place them in a basket all mixed together. Show your child how to separate the objects into two piles, one for spoons and one for socks. Even if they don’t perfectly sort them yet, this activity introduces the concept of sorting and categorization.

Area of Development: Sorting skills, Categorization

Activity 3: Matching Fun

Age Group: 18 months – 2 years old

Materials: Cardboard boxes or containers (same size, different colors)

How to Perform: Decorate a set of cardboard boxes or containers in matching pairs using colorful construction paper or paint. Turn the boxes upside down and mix them up. Show your toddler how to find the matching boxes by color and fit them together. This activity strengthens memory skills and problem-solving abilities.

Area of Development: Memory skills, Problem-solving skills

Activity 4: Clothespin Grasp

cloths pin grasp activity
cloths pin grasp activity

Age Group: 18 months – 2 years old

Materials: Clothespins (large, colorful), sturdy basket/bowl

How to Perform: Provide your toddler with a basket or bowl filled with large, colorful clothespins. Encourage them to grasp the clothespins and clip them onto the rim of the basket. This activity strengthens finger muscles and hand-eye coordination, while the bright colors will hold their attention.

Area of Development: Fine motor skills, Hand-eye coordination 

Activity 5: Stepping Stones

Age Group: 18 months – 2 years old

Materials: Pillows, blankets, couch cushions (safe, sturdy objects)

How to Perform: Create a safe obstacle course using pillows, blankets, and couch cushions (be sure to remove anything sharp or breakable). Show your toddler how to step or climb over the objects. This activity strengthens gross motor skills and balance while encouraging them to navigate their surroundings.

Activity 6: Transferring with Spoons

Age Group: 1 year – 18 months old

Materials: Two bowls or containers, cereal (Cheerios or similar), spoon

How to Perform: Fill one bowl with cereal or similar dry, safe objects. Provide your child with two bowls and a spoon. Show them how to scoop up the cereal with the spoon and transfer it to the empty bowl. This activity strengthens hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, while also introducing them to the concept of transferring objects.

Area of Development: Hand-eye coordination, Fine motor skills

Activity 7: Cause and Effect Play (Lightswitch)

cause and effect play activity
cause and effect play activity

Age Group: 18 months – 2 years old

Materials: Light switch in a safe location (with adult supervision)

How to Perform: If you have a light switch in a safe and reachable location (with adult supervision, of course!), this can be a fun cause and effect activity. Show your toddler how to flip the switch on and off, explaining that it turns the light on and off. This simple play strengthens their understanding of cause and effect and introduces basic object control.

Area of Development: Cause and effect, Object control

Activity 8: Chunky Beading

Age Group: 18 months – 2 years old

Materials: Large, colorful beads (safe for mouthing), pipe cleaners

How to Perform: Find large, colorful beads that are too big for your child to swallow. Thread pipe cleaners through the beads to create chunky necklaces or bracelets. This activity strengthens hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, while the bright colors and textures will keep them entertained.

Area of Development: Hand-eye coordination, Fine motor skills

Activity 9: Open and Close

Age Group: 18 months – 2 years old

Materials: Containers with various lids (containers with screw tops, snap lids, pop-open tops)

How to Perform: Provide your toddler with a variety of containers with different lids, such as screw tops, snap lids, and pop-open tops. Show them how to open and close each container. This activity strengthens finger muscles and hand-eye coordination while introducing them to practical life skills.

Area of Development: Fine motor skills, Practical life skills

Activity 10: Treasure Hunt

counting treasure hunt activity
counting treasure hunt activity

Age Group: 18 months – 2 years old

Materials: Small toy, basket, blanket

How to Perform: Hide a small toy somewhere in the room and cover it with a blanket. Give your toddler clues to help them find the treasure, like “It’s near the window” or “It’s something you love to play with.” This activity is a fun way to introduce basic problem-solving skills and following directions.

Area of Development: Problem-solving skills, Following directions

18 month old activity image use for pinterest

Conclusion: A Launchpad for Lifelong Learning

By incorporating these activities into your daily routine, you’re not just keeping your 18-month-old entertained – you’re laying the foundation for a love of learning that will blossom throughout their lives.

These simple yet stimulating experiences foster independence, refine motor skills, and ignite a thirst for knowledge. Embrace this exciting chapter in your child’s development, and watch them flourish!

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25 Easy & Fun Montessori Activity Ideas for Your Child

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