On rainy days, it can feel harder to stop your child from becoming bored of being cooped up inside. Never fear! We have compiled a list of 10 simple activities to do with your child between the ages of 18 months and 2 years that will keep them occupied and also help their development at this crucial stage.
Between 1 ½ and 2 years old your toddler will develop a lot. At this stage he or she may have started to experiment with make believe play, use pencils and crayons and walk more independently. These activities are designed to help advance their development.
It is believed that at this age children can understand 10 times more than they are able to put into words. Therefore, constantly talking and reading to your child will help keep them engaged and teach them better language skills. More interactive books, for example activity books where there are words to repeat or flaps for them to open, will help teach them more words such as body parts and animals.
Although the development of children varies differently, it is likely that your child will now be able to hold a pencil in their whole hand or between the thumb and first two fingers. Get them colouring and drawing with crayons and coloured pencils or even let them use big paint brushes with non-toxic paint. This will help them to get used to holding pencils and develop their motor function further whilst helping their creativity.
You may like to let your little one help you to cook or bake. This will be very messy and his or her creation will most likely be inedible! However, your child will love the process and you can let him mix the mixture if you feel up for the clean up afterwards!
Listening to music around the house can become an activity in itself. You could encourage your child to sing-along and dance around to the songs. Listening to songs with actions such as Simon Says is also a good way to entertain your child whilst educating them!
- Make believe
At this age your child may have started to play pretend. Usually this will be one pretend act at a time however by 24 months, he or she may act out a whole process such as getting their baby ready for bed. Encourage this development of their imagination by playing with their teddies or toy babies with them.
Playing with simple jigsaw puzzles at this age can help your child develop basic problem solving skills as well as hand-eye coordination.
- Helping mum
Your baby may just be happy to follow their mum around the house doing her jobs! They will love ‘helping’ you tidy toys away or sorting the washing. You could try and turn it into a game as much as possible, for example by trying to find matching socks. Make sure to give loads of praise and encouragement.
- Bath-time fun
Bath-time can be made even more fun! From shaving cream paint to bathtub markers, bath-time can be made a creative as well as a sensory experience.
- Build a den
Why not make a den out of sheets and pillows! You could even have a picnic lunch in there with your little one with some of your toddler’s favourite finger food! Sit down with him and encourage him to pretend that you’re both somewhere else entirely like in a forest or up a mountain to help to encourage his imagination to develop.
- Build a tower
Play with bricks with your child and encourage them to build a tower. You could also try and teach your little one counting the bricks at the same times. When your child is around 2 years old, he or she may learn to count up to 10 by rote, though they won't really understand the concept of counting. Don't worry about any mistakes! Playing with the bricks in this way will teach your child to point to objects and label them with numbers even if they're not the correct ones! The understanding of counting comes later.