With this crazy pandemic that we are going through, kids cannot go and play outside as much as we would normally let them. However, entertaining your kids at home can be hard. Either you don’t have that much energy to chase after them all the time while working, cleaning and doing house chores or you don’t have that many ideas.
Many of us would turn the TV on more than we should. And we know it is not good for them, but what other choice do we have?
I was and still am, too. I tried as much as I could to set up games and toys for my son, but I still let him watch TV way too much. In fact, my husband and I made a huge mistake letting our son watch TV so much that he did not speak a single word until he was 2 years old.
I don’t want you to be in the same shoes as I was. So here are some easy and simple indoor activities for 18 month old toddlers that you can try at home.
Talk out loud
The most important thing for kids to learn to speak and discover their world is through interaction.
Unfortunately, sometimes parents are way too quiet. We play music and we sing along to our favorite song, but we don’t talk that much when we entertain our toddlers.
Of course, it is natural to talk less when you don’t hear or receive any response in return. Besides, there is no one there to remind us to keep on talking and talking alone, we tend to actively engage with our toddlers at the beginning of the playing time, then we reduce our engagement significantly.
Infants love to smile, look and laugh. Toddlers love peekaboo games, or talking and cuddling with their loved ones. Make sure you talk while playing with your toddler to enhance his language skill.
To remind yourself, create a habit of talking out loud about everything you think. What you are going to do, where you are going, what you are cooking, etc. All of these seem-to-be-useless-talkings do a great help in boosting your children’s language skills. This is one of the most important indoor activities for 18 month old babies you must do at home.
Read books or tell stories
Several times a day or during bed time, make sure you read some books or tell some stories to your little one. He might not be able to focus and listen through a long story, so pick a short one.
Ideally, as an indoor activity for 18 month old babies, the reading time should not last longer than 4 to 5 minutes.
I have a list of some great books that you can take a look here.
Listening to stories from parents will help your kiddo to sleep better, as well as improving his language and logical thinking skill.
For some strange reasons, kiddos are very much similar to cats at this point. They all love to tear papers. Maybe this comes from the noise when tearing the papers or feeling pleased when seeing the papers turn to different shapes and sizes.
You should encourage this game and offer your kid with some colored papers, with different shapes, size and materials. Make sure the papers are not sharp.
This is one of the most simple indoor activities for 18 month old babies that you can try.
Play with different objects
For 18 month old babies, toys are everything around the house. You can give them stuffed animals, balloons, wood toys, cardboard boxes, bottles, etc. instead of some complicated toys.
They will learn how to play with these objects themselves with their imagination.
I often give my son the empty toothpaste box, toilet paper chutes or wood shapes.
Let your kid feed the doll or feed you, take care of the wounded teddy bear, pretend to eat and drink, etc.
Role playing helps to increase creativity and imagination.
Babies from 12 months old are able to follow some simple instructions. Teach your kiddo to write colors to the papers. Colors will help to stimulate his senses.
However, there are a few notes here.
When giving colors to your kids, you can choose from water colors or crayons. Water colors are great in allowing your kids to feel the color with their fingers, but you must stay by their sides to make sure he doesn’t put the colors to their mouths (even though you give him non-toxic colors).
If you choose non-toxic crayons, give him egg crayons as they are big and perfect for tiny hands. Those egg crayons reduce the worries of your kiddos stabbing their eyes like the regular crayons. However, stay by their sides to avoid the crayons breaking, which can become choking hazards. You can consider using the plastic food wrap to wrap around the egg, leaving only the tip unwrapped. This helps keep the broken crayon pieces in one place. However, it only allows a small part of the egg crayon to be used.
Music is great for baby development. Turn on his favorite song and dance while holding him in your arms.
Catch the ball
Stay 2 feet away from your kid and gently throw the ball to him. Show him how to throw the ball back to you.
This game helps to improve his motor skill as well as coordination.
This is one of the most useful indoor activities for 18 month old babies that can help him with math concepts. Stacking toys help toddlers understand spatial relationships or how things fit together in a certain position.
Let’s be honest. Everybody likes slides, even adults. I literally take my son to playgrounds just to play with slides.
There are many types of baby slides with different integrated toys, such as basketball courts or seesaws, making it one of the most loved indoor activities for 18 month old babies.
If you have some room in your house, owning a baby slide will help to entertain your kids for a long time.
Notes when doing indoor activities for 18 month old babies
Kids have different development phases, and when they play too hard, they can forget to give signs to let you know that they are tired.
Pay attention to their signs, when seeing them acting out, crying or complaining, it’s time to rest.
Make sure you create a safe play area for your baby with a soft mattress in case he falls and hurts himself.
Set up a playing time frame and encourage him to clean up the toys after playing.
Use non-toxic toys with less details, pay attention to the sharp corner to avoid bad circumstances, ie., swallowing the toys, getting stabbed with the corners,
Never ever leave the batteries within your baby’s reach. Read my guide on dangerous hazards for babies at home here.
Make sure you baby-proof the tables, chairs or any corners, lock the drawers, keep sharp objects at bay.
Playing is a part of childhood for your babies. However, with the current pandemic, it is hard to go out there and play at the playground like you always did. And it is hard to keep them entertained at home.
There are plenty of games and activities you can try with your kiddos. This article is just a suggestion for some simple and easy indoor activities for 18 month old babies that you can do with your babies any time.