Between the ages of 12 and 18 months, babies are developing into toddlers. Most of them will progress from taking a few unsteady steps to walking confidently. They may start talking too, at least saying their first recognisable words.
Because of these developments, they will start to feel they have more control over their lives and their environment. The best toys for them at this age will give them challenges without being so difficult that they become frustrating.
Little ones of this age can express their emotions, likes and dislikes and won’t hesitate to do so with gestures, hugs, smiles and finally, words. Their individual personality will shine through clearly. They are more lovable than ever!
With the right baby toys 12 months to 18 months old toddlers can play alone happily for longer, as long as they feel secure and you are somewhere near. They may not interrupt you so often but you’ll need to keep track of what they are doing. Here are some of the things they might like to play with at this age.
Push Along Toys
They may be walking more confidently but toddlers will still love moving toys that they can push and pull. Any child-size imitation of things mummy and daddy use will be a big hit, including ride-on toys like cars or scooters, toy vacuum cleaners, shopping trolleys like the Melissa and Doug shopping cart, pushchairs for dolls or lawnmowers.
This type of toy helps children develop stronger muscles as well as better balance and co-ordination. These toys also encourage the beginning of imaginative play, as children pretend to go shopping, drive to the park and so on.
Educational toys for toddlers aged 12-18 months can focus on any of a wide range of skills, but most of them will include language development in some form. The toys that appeal most to your child will probably still have lights, bright colours and music but they may also talk back to the child and help them to learn more words. Toys that help them to learn the names of colours, numbers, animal names and even first alphabet books can be a lot of fun for them.
They are now at the age where you can involve them in choosing their own toys. Educational toys are good for starting to do this because most children will enjoy some types of early learning toys much more than others. Something that attracts them in the shop won’t necessarily keep them interested for very long, though, so it’s often better to get something they’ve actually played with and enjoyed for longer at playgroup or another child’s house.
As they approach 18 months old, children will start to appreciate more complex toys with a theme and a number of different parts. Examples of this type of themed playset are: wooden cars or toddler train sets, a farm, castle like this Princess Songs Palace, house, garage, shop, kitchen, etc.
It’s important for safety reasons that you still choose toys that are suitable for under-3s. Although a child of 18 months may seem mature in many ways they are still likely to put things in their mouths so choking can be a risk. Small moving parts and sharp edges can be dangerous too.
Playsets encourage toddlers to express their creativity with pretend play. At the same time it helps them to begin to prepare for life in the wider world by mimicking what their parents and older siblings do. Some child psychologists say that the main function of play is to rehearse and prepare for things that they’ll need to do in later life, so themed playsets can be just as educational as toys for early learning.
Next article: Baby Toys 9 Months – 12 Months
Published 27 May 2013