According to studies published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, many children less than five years of age fail to meet the physical activity CDC guide of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day.
Some research indicates that two to five-year-olds should engage in two or more hours per day of physical activity.
Below is a list of activity ideas for children 13 – 18 months provided by Pathways.org.
13-18 Month Old Games
Motor Games and Activities
- Encourage baby to kick a ball on the ground. Gradually build up to rolling ball so baby can kick it while in motion.
- Put on some silly songs with lyrics that give listeners instructions like “The Hokey Pokey”. Dance with baby while following song directions.
- Let baby play with a musical instrument if you have access to one. For a drum, baby can use wooden spoon & cardboard box. Babies love hearing sounds they make by beating a drum or playing notes on a piano.
- Roll a large bouncy ball back and forth between you and your toddler
- Use mini-traffic cones to create a zigzag path to walk through with your toddler
- As your toddler gets older, introduce songs like “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” to help with coordination
Sensory Games and Activities
- Blow bubbles for baby. Let baby touch them, watch them soar through the sky and pop when they land.
- Wrap a table in plastic and spray shaving cream. Encourage baby to explore the shaving cream with hands, brushes, spatulas or plastic spoons.
- Fill up a bucket with blocks of different sizes, textures, and colors. Ensure that none are small enough to be swallowed if baby decides to explore them with their mouth. Allow baby to explore the blocks with all of their senses.
Communication Games and Activities
- Go through family photos with baby and encourage them to point out familiar family members.
- Use a play telephone to practice different ways to say hello or goodbye, such as bye, bye-bye, goodbye, etc.
- Sing nursery rhymes with actions like “Itsy-Bitsy-Spider” and “Patty Cake”.
- As you read to your toddler, encourage them to point out familiar objects in the illustrations.
- Go on a nature walk in a park or even in your backyard and point out all of the animals and interesting plants you see.
- This is a great age for encouraging baby to practice the meanings of “in” and “out”. Ask baby to put their toys in a bucket and take them out again.
Watch out world! Once baby starts walking on their own, you officially have a toddler! Pathways.org also offers the following information on where your toddler should be in this stage of life:
Push toys will be tons of fun for your tot at this age because it allows them to show off their new skill! Toys like these also help them build balance and strength. Baby may still fall occasionally, but it’s okay. Helping baby up and saying “you’re ok” will get them back walking in no time.
Now that baby is a little older you might be able to tell that they understand the words you are saying. Baby probably has several words that they use regularly and can even respond to simple questions you ask like, “Do you want a cookie?”
No… A Favorite Word
You may have noticed that baby is very curious and is constantly getting into things in their quest to discover new things. Because of this, you may be using the word “no” quite a bit and it may even be your tot’s favorite word. Saying “no” is your child’s first show of independence.
Michaela Madison Reporting
(Information courtesy of Pathways.org)
(Photo – Tung Vu from dablet.com)