Quick and Simple Play Ideas for 12-18 month olds

Tags: baby play, simple play ideas

Section: Playdough, Sensory, Exploratory Objects

Pom Poms and Jars

Providing young toddlers with some brightly coloured pom poms and jars can build on their interest in posting items and develop their fine manipulative skills.

Recently, Olivia has been really interested in repeatedly putting objects in and out of things and lids on and off. She was really interested in this activity and concentrated on it for a considerable amount of time.

What you need:

  • Large coloured pom poms
  • Jars with lids
  • List item

This activity can help develop:

  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Fine manipulative skills

Play dough and Coloured sticks

Play dough is very versatile and its malleable properties make it brilliant for young children to discover and explore. Adding small craft matchsticks or lollipop sticks to push into the dough help children experiment what they can do with the dough.

What you need:

  • Coloured craft sticks or lollipop sticks
  • Play dough (using a basic play dough recipe)

This activity is good for:

  • Fine manipulative skills
  • Developing strength in hand muscles
  • Investigating the properties of play dough
  • Coordination

Playing with pots and pans

Exploring with saucepans and utensils from the kitchen is great fun due to the loud noises they make and encourages the beginnings of imaginative play.

What you need:

  • A variety of pots and pans
  • Spoons
  • Baking trays

This activity can help develop:

  • Imitation of adult's actions/ start of role play
  • Exploring with making sounds
  • Coordination

Box Play

Playing with boxes encourages babies natural curiosity to explore as they lift the lids to discover what treasure hides inside!

What you need:

  • Shoe boxes
  • Lots of the same objects to fill the boxes - spoons, fir cones, cardboard tubes etc..

This activity is good for:

  • Developing an understanding of quantity and language used to describe quantity - 'lots' 'more'
  • Playing independently with the objects in a way they choose
  • Categorising objects - matching the same objects together
  • Developing language
  • Object permanence
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