Play with your toddler at important milestones: 12 to 24 months

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  September 28, 2020

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Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

After going through so much with your baby and all its milestones, filled with fun games to help them develop, your baby is now finally a toddler after 12 months.

But development is far from finished. Also in the second year of life there are plenty of developments that you will experience together, and you can do more and more together with your little toddler.

If you ask me, it only gets more fun from this age as they go from toddler to toddler, so let's also look at some fun games you can play together.

Play with your toddler at important milestones

Important milestones toddler from 13-18 months

These are the developments that you will experience during this period:

Motor milestones

Sensory milestones

Communication milestones

By 15 months:

By 18 months:

Nutritional milestones

Fun activities in week 53

Fun activities in week 54

Fun activities in week 55

Fun activities in week 56

Fun activities in week 57

Fun activities in week 59

Fun activities in week 60

Fun activities in week 61

  • Jam Session: Have the baby make music by tapping a wooden spoon and cardboard box. They will love to hear the sounds they make. Try to tap on a simple rhythm and let the baby copy you. Helps the baby learn to interact with others.
  • Odor: Keep your baby in the kitchen while you cook to let them experience new smells. Put a small amount of food, baby lotion or a flour in a small container and let the baby smell it (without inhaling). Helps the baby develop the sense of smell.
  • Are you inside or outside?: This is a great age to encourage the baby to practice the meanings of “in” and “out”. Ask the baby to put their toys in a bucket and take them out again. Helps the baby develop receptive communication skills.

Fun activities in week 62

  • Monkey sees monkey doing: Sit across from the baby and look at him. Say, "Do what I do!" Make a funny face, stick your tongue out. Clap when they copy you. Also use other parts of your body - hands, arms - and encourage them to do what you are doing. Helps show baby that communication between two people can go back and forth.
  • Cups in the bath: Use some household items to make bath time more fun. Put a cup in the bath and show the baby how to fill and pour it. Helps the baby develop motor skills and experience new textures.

Fun activities in week 63

  • Funny hats: Dress your baby with funny hats. Show them their reflection in the mirror. Practice dancing in the mirror while wearing the hat. Have your baby copied. Helps babies practice copying your movements.
  • Level 2 Peekaboo: Play peek-a-boo. Have the baby hide their face in a blanket and let them pull the blanket off of you for the big reveal. Helps the baby develop memory and communication.
  • Lone Rider: Have babies try toys that rock or rock back and forth when sitting on them. Helps the baby strengthen core and leg muscles and increase their independence.

Fun activities in week 64

  • follow the leader: let baby run the show! Try this anywhere: backyard, park, or playground. As you follow, talk to your baby about what's going on by asking questions: “Wow, you're running fast! Where are we going? Helps your baby build language skills by listening to you talk.
  • Magic chefSet out pots, pans, bowls, spoons, and cups and imagine the baby trying to mix and serve an imaginary meal. If the weather is good, cook outside. Grab a large bucket of water for pouring and scoop. Add lemon juice or food coloring to keep it interesting. Helps babies learn to use their imaginations.

Fun activities in week 65

  • Stop and shop: Have baby push and squat a mini plastic shopping cart or cardboard box to pick up toys on the floor while pretending to run errands. Helps the baby use the imagination and leg muscles needed for squatting and walking.
  • Balance tricks: Have the baby hold your shoulders with their hands while they are standing. Encourage them to put on their pants by picking up their foot and sticking it into the leg hole. Helps the baby improve balance.

Fun activities in week 66

  • Double dating: Play dates help to entertain the baby and give parents social time. At this age, 'play together' can ensure that baby and friend have their own items to play with while sitting next to each other. Helps the baby feel comfortable spending time with new children.
  • Sort and separate: Collect 2-3 items such as cups, socks and spoons. Show the baby how to put all of these similar items together. Then give the baby a turn. You can ask them to give you items by saying, "Can you give me the spoon?" Helps the baby see similarities and differences.

Fun activities in week 67

  • Sock fun: Have the baby push plastic eggs or balls through a sock with a hole in the toe. This is a simple activity that the baby will find very entertaining. Helps use baby's fingers to build fine motor skills.
  • Salon Ready: turn the bath into a salon. Wash their hair and style it. Try funky styles like a Mohawk! This can be great exercise before clipping the baby for the first time. If the baby doesn't like this, don't force it. Helps the baby develop sensory skills.

Fun activities in week 68

  • Hand painted: Cover the kitchen table with newspaper. Pour a bright color of paint onto a plate. Help the baby dip their hand in paint and press it onto a piece of paper. Talk to them while making hand prints to explain what you're doing and how it feels. * Make sure the baby does not put the paint in their mouth. Helps expose the baby to new sensory experiences.
  • Mama earthquake: Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest, making sure your shins are parallel to the floor. Place the baby's tummy on your shins and gently swing the baby back and forth or bounce up and down. Make sure to hold the baby for safety. Helps babies develop their sense of balance.
  • Whip It: Wrap a table in plastic and spray shaving cream on it. Encourage the baby to explore the shaving cream with hands, brushes, spatulas or plastic spoons. Helps the baby develop sensory skills.

Fun activities in week 69

  • Baby-proof explorations: Baby is on the way at this stage. Make sure they are safe when moving, by looking out for obstacles at their level and keeping dangerous things out of reach. Helps provide babies with a safe place to explore so they can develop and practice new skills.
  • Drum time: Place a toy box (or an upside-down ice cream container) for you and your baby. Use your hands or wooden spoons as drumsticks to show the baby different sounds they can make. Helps baby develop fine motor skills, listening skills and understanding of cause and effect and rhythm.
  • Feeding friends: Encourage the baby to feed stuffed toys with baby supplies while playing. Helps the baby develop fine motor skills.

Fun activities in week 70

  • Words and rhythm: listen to children's music with simple rhythms and rhyming words. Baby will love the beat and tone of the music and learn new words and phrases. Also try this during car journeys. Helps build baby's vocabulary.
  • Felt books: Try reading baby feel books with different colors and textures. Let them touch the different textures. Tell them words related to what they feel, eg "Rough, bumpy, soft", etc. Helps the baby learn how different textures feel on their skin.
  • Flower in the water: Put water in a wide, shallow container. Let some flowers float in the water (without stem). Point to each of the flowers and say what color it is. Then tell the baby to point to a flower and ask him or her to pick it up. Helps the baby develop language to learn about different colors and promotes sensory play.

Fun activities in week 71

  • Use Velcro: Velcro can be a fun experience for your child. Have your toddler use only two fingers to pull the Velcro apart to reinforce his fingers. Helps develop fine motor and sensory skills.
  • Sandbox: take your toddler to the beach or the sandbox and let them play in the sand. Bring a small shovel and bucket for your toddler to play with. Helps baby develop sense of touch, motor coordination and strength when baby uses kicks.

Fun activities in week 72

  • Clown Time: Baby will probably find it funny if you act crazy like a clown, pretend to fall, walk crazy and jump around. Try to get the baby to imitate your silly moves. Helps the baby play, imagine and copy.
  • Read and respond: Read to every baby you have. Baby is now old enough to point out things in a story that interests them. Name the objects in pictures as you read about them and ask the baby to point them out. Helps babies develop language skills.

Fun activities in week 73

  • Box Car: Find a large cardboard box for the baby to play in. Place the baby in the playpen and pretend they are in a racing car. Make engine noises and pretend to turn the 'steering wheel'. The more sounds you make and what actions you take, the better. Helps babies develop their imaginations.
  • Break the bubbles: Blow bubbles to fall in front of the baby while standing. Encourage them to pop bubbles by clapping hands or poking their finger. Helps the baby develop hand-eye coordination and balance.
  • Plastic eggs: Filling plastic eggs with different foods can be a lot of fun for kids this age. Fill the eggs with bite-sized snacks that toddlers can eat. They will love opening the eggs and eating tasty snacks at the same time. Helps build babies' fine motor skills by using their fingers to open and close small objects.
  • Russian nesting dolls: Use the famous stacking dolls as a fun new activity. Have them open, take out, and reassemble each doll. Then they can line them up from large to small! Helps baby develop memory skills while using fine motor skills and using both hands together.

Fun activities in week 74

  • Carriages: Grab a toy that your toddler can sit on while you bring them around your house or on the sidewalk. Your toddler should stay seated by holding a handle and using his legs. Helps babies use their eyes and hands together and builds gross motor skills.
  • Foot paint: Did you know that children can also paint with their feet? Have them step into brightly colored paint and use their feet to create a masterpiece. This is best done outside, but if it's a rainy day you can put some plastic on the floor for easy cleaning. Helps in the sensory development of babies.

Fun activities in week 75

  • Obstacle course: You can set up a mini obstacle course in your living room. Make pillow stacks to crawl over or put a blanket over a table for your toddler to crawl under. Helps baby develop gross motor skills and build strength.
  • Early art: Make sure the baby is somewhere they can make a mess. Give them colored pencils or finger paint. Tape off the paper and let your little artist design a masterpiece. Talk to the baby while they work: “Wow! You used a lot of yellow. It looks like sunshine! Helps baby develop fine motor skills while being creative.

Fun activities in week 76

  • Identify body parts: Play with your toddler by naming and pointing to different body parts. You can name the body part first and have your toddler point to it or you can point to a body part and give him or her a name. Helps your toddler develop his sense of body awareness and communication skills.
  • Playground fun: take your toddler to the playground. Let them discover, go on a swing or a slide (a few of these we review here can also be safely entered) to slide. They also get to interact with other children and play outside. Aids in sensory development and builds your little one's motor skills and strength.

Fun activities in week 77

  • Hide and seek: hide and seek while your toddler tries to find you. Play around the house or in your backyard to get your little one outside. Helps baby build thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Ballooning: Balloons are fun when they are inflated, but they are even more fun when you let them fly around the room. Instead of tying the end of the balloon up, let it go and watch it whiz across the room. Let your toddler go and get it! Helps the baby with motor skills, visual skills and sensory processing.

Fun activities in week 78

  • Float or sink: Grab a container and fill it with water. Have your toddler grab various items and drop them into the container of water to see which one floats and which one sinks. Helps build the child's vision and think and solve problems.

Important milestones toddler from 19-24 months

Communication milestones

By 21 months:

  • Uses at least 50 words
  • Consistently imitates new words
  • Names objects and pictures
  • Understands simple pronouns (me, you, my)
  • Identifies 3-5 body parts when listed
  • Quickly understands new words

After 24 months:

  • Starts using 2 phrases
  • Uses simple pronouns (me, you, my)
  • Understands action words
  • Uses gestures and words during fantasy play
  • Follow 2-step related instructions, eg “Get your jacket and bring it to me”
  • Likes to listen to stories

Fun activities in week 79

  • Treasure chest: give your toddler his own drawer or box with 'treasures'. This could be new dollar toys or household items they would find interesting. Let them choose a toy to play with. Helps babies use motor skills and different senses to touch, listen and pick up toys.
  • Ziploc painting: for a super easy cleanup, put some paint in a Ziploc bag - make sure it's sealed and taped, then give it to your toddler. As they squeeze and poke the bag, the paint will move in different and interesting ways. Helps the baby's vision and motor skills.

Fun activities in week 80

  • Dansen: Have a dance party with your toddler. Put on upbeat music and dance around the house or outside. Help babies coordination, balance and increases creativity.
  • Exploring 'guitar': Put a few rubber bands of different sizes around a thin box to make a guitar. Let your toddler strum his fingers on the rubber bands and make different sounds. It helps your toddler learn to use just one finger and play a specific band. Helps with fine motor skills, listening and visual skills.

Fun activities in week 81

  • Dining table tent: Create a new living space under a dining table. Add some pillows and their favorite toys to make it like their own home. Helps build baby play skills.
  • Contact paper: stick some contact paper (sticky side out) to your wall or window. Give your toddler a few different items, such as cotton balls, that they can use to throw or place on the contact paper and watch it stick. Helps baby's sensory development and fine motor skills.

Fun activities in week 82

  • Masking tape: Put masking tape or stickers on a table and let your toddler try to pull it off. Try to get them to use only the index finger and thumb to take the tape off the table and remove it. Help by removing a little border to get it started! Helps your toddler build fine motor, visual and tactile skills.
  • You have mail: Make a small slit in a box to make it your toddler's personal letterbox. Then post junk email you receive and have them break it open. Helps baby build fine motor skills by pinching fingers and grasping objects.

Fun activities in week 83

  • Discovery bottles: Grab a small water bottle and fill it with different items. Let your toddler shake it and discover glitter, stones and other objects as they spin. Make sure the bottle is tightly closed and filled with age appropriate items. Helps the baby develop visual skills and arm strength.
  • Food Prints: Food is not only for eating, you can also paint with it! Cut an apple in half and use it as a stamp. Your toddler can also use carrots to roll into the paint. Helps baby develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Fun activities in week 84

  • Pom Pom Push: Cut holes in a lid on a box and let your toddler push pom poms or cotton balls through the holes. Holes of different sizes can create new challenges. Some may be dropped, others will have to persist. * Supervise the baby during this activity. Helps develop fine motor and visual skills and sense of touch.
  • Slopes: Create a slope. Let your toddler roll down various objects to learn how gravity works. Helps baby develop the ability to use eyes to track objects and take turns (if with peers).

Fun activities in week 85

  • investigate: Grab brightly colored objects, such as inflatables, and place them in the living room. Don't make them too difficult to find, though. Have your toddler walk around and try to find them. Your toddler can count them when they find them. Helps the baby develop visual and language skills.
  • Oh no, fell over!: Your toddler may be used to toys that click into place as you build it. This time, use regular wooden blocks to build a tall tower and knock it over. Helps baby build visual and fine motor skills and is a good way to practice with two hands at the same time.

Fun activities in week 86

  • Pavement paint / Chalk: Sidewalk chalk is a fun reason to get outside and get a little messy without a major cleanup. Drawing scribbles on the sidewalk or driveway is an opportunity for your toddler to get creative and have fun. Helps baby build fine motor, visual and sensory (touch) skills.
  • Melting ice: Put water with dye drops in an ice container and freeze. Have your toddler put the ice cream in a container of water at room temperature. The ice melts and the color spreads. Helps babies fine motor and visual skills and sense of touch.

Fun activities in week 87

  • Read with sound effects: bring stories to life by creating sound effects. Someone stomping into the story? Hit the floor with your feet. Does a wolf howl? Give it your best howl. Helps babies develop language skills and keeps their attention.
  • Eye drop art: Put paint in an eye dropper and have your toddler squeeze the top together to let the paint come out and create a new kind of work of art. This may take some practice, so don't get discouraged if your little one can't do this right away. Helps the baby develop fine motor, sensory and visual skills.

Fun activities in week 88

  • Chasing your toddler: chase your toddler around the room and say “I'm going to get you!” Let the expectation of catching them build until you finally get them. Helps baby develop gross motor skillsdevelop balance and coordination.
  • Throw: Have your toddler throw balls in a laundry basket. Use different sized balls with different bounce levels to help them learn the right amount of power while throwing. Helps the baby develop visual motor and body awareness skills.

Fun activities in week 89

  • Collect all balls: Go outside and place balls of different sizes on the floor. Drop a hula hoop and let your toddler collect the balls and place them in the hoop. Helps babies use visual, gross motor and communication skills, use of touch and improve the ability to follow directions.
  • I am the Chef: Play chef and let your toddler fill measuring cups with cheerios. Then let them serve you the snack. They won't understand the different measurements, but shoveling and dumping will be fun. Helps the baby develop executive functions, fine motor skills and playing skills.

Fun activities in week 90

  • Bowling: Put on empty water bottles to make bowling pins. Show your toddler how to roll the ball to knock over the pins. Helps the baby build hand-eye coordination and exercise balance.
  • Puzzles: Get simple shape puzzles made of foam or wood for your toddler to complete. They will have fun putting the puzzle together and find a picture of their favorite characters at the end. Helps the baby develop visual and fine motor skills.

Fun activities in week 91

  • Play with Play Dough and Clay: Letting your toddler play with dough or clay to play with is a fun (and easy clean-up!) Activity. It can also be fun to push the play dough or clay into different sized containers and then take it out. Helps baby's fine motor skills and sense of touch.
  • Bubble wrap: Give your toddler bubble wrap and let them pop all the bubbles. Have them try to pop them only with their index finger and thumb. Helps baby develop fine motor, auditory and visual skills.

Fun activities in week 92

  • Say new imitate words: say some new words and let your toddler imitate you, trying to repeat what you said. Make it a game. Every time they say a word, clap, cheer and repeat the word. Helps with copying, expressive language, eye contact and play.
  • DIY book: Make a DIY book by gluing different textures on some pages. Add feathers, buttons or sandpaper to name a few so your toddler can feel the difference between rough and smooth and hard and soft. Helps the baby develop the sense of touch and playing skills.

Fun activities in week 93

  • Playing with shaving cream: Have your toddler put shaving cream on the window. Start with a small area and then let them spread it across the window, drawing squiggles in the cream with their fingers. Helps babies discover their sense of touch.
  • Noodle funBuy pasta with large holes in it and have your toddler string thread through the pasta to make a noodle chain. Your toddler can also paint the pasta to make it more colorful and fun. Helps the baby develop fine motor skills.

Fun activities in week 94

  • Shape sorting: Make circles, squares and triangles and place two on the ground. Let your toddler match the shapes. You can also drop pictures of animals and have your child match a toy version of the animal with the picture. Helps the baby build cognitive and visual skills.
  • Tube ball: Stick cardboard tubes (from a paper towel roll) to the wall so that they connect at different angles. Give your toddler a ball and let him drop the ball down the tube, waiting for it to come out of the bottom. Helps the baby develop visual motor and fine motor skills.

Fun activities in week 95

  • Baptize buttons: Cut holes in a lid on a box and let your toddler slide old buttons through the holes while you supervise. Making holes of different sizes can create different challenges for your toddler. Helps the baby develop fine motor skills.
  • Sorting laundry: let your toddler help you fold laundry. Ask your child to bring different items of clothing during the folding process. Say "Please bring me a sock?" Helps the baby learn to follow directions.

Fun activities in week 96

  • Kitchen Aid: let your child help you in the kitchen (or take a specific play kitchen). Give them spoons or spatulas to hold and let them help you mix and stir ingredients. They can make a bit of a mess so you may need to guide their hands a bit. Helps baby develop fine motor skills.
  • Costume change: Start a costume bin. Fill it with clothing from decades past, old Halloween costumes, and crazy finds from thrift stores. When your little one is looking for something fun to do, take off the costume bin and let them enter the character! Helps the baby develop playing skills and practice dressing and undressing.

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child, he came into contact with everything around games when his mother started the Tin Soldier in Ede. Since 2016, he and his team have been creating helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.
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