Second Year Development
By 18 months, children are truly on the go. A greater sense of independence begins to develop as your child starts to walk, run and climb with greater skill. And you'll notice that at this age your child needs the freedom and encouragement to explore and make choices as well as clear limits and boundaries to follow.
Things To Do
- Encourage play in front of safe mirrors. Talk and make funny faces together.
- Have a variety of simple picture books. Get your child to point to things as you name them and share her delight.
- Use diaper time to point to and name her nose, ears, arms, toes.......
- Talk frequently to increase language skills and encourage cooperation.
- Encourage bouncing, swaying and wiggling by dancing to music.
- Enjoy some "floor time" each day. Crawl around together or roll a ball back and forth.
- Review baby proofing. Increasing growth and mobility mean that children can reach unsafe heights. Get down on your knees and look at things from a child's point of view. Put toxic items such as paint, detergent, medicine and vitamins in high cupboards.
- Make a junkbox of items that are fun to feel and squeeze. Include an old sock, margarine tubs, tissue paper to crumple, measuring cups, an egg carton and paper cups. (Items smaller than a half-dollar can cause choking.)
- After 18 months, language development seems to explode. Children will be learning new words at a very rapid rate, so talk to your child about everything. Read simple books together every day. Choose books that are made of cardboard or have cloth pages. Stories that have familiar objects in them are best. Encourage your child to turn the pages.
- Make a scrapbook out of a small sturdy photo album that has pictures of objects and people your child knows.
- Expand your child's language by adding to what he says. If he says "kitty", you can say "yes, the kitty is little and soft."
- Play a simple game of recognition. Place three familiar toys in front of your child and say "give me the...... See if he tries to find it and give it to you.
- Dance with your child to music with different rhythms. Give her a simple instrument such as a rattle or an oatmeal box drum.
- Encourage dressing up by providing a full-length mirror on the wall and a box of "pretend" clothes--caps, scarves and old shoes.