11 Important Skills You Need To Teach Your 18-Month Old Toddler
Toddlerhood is fun. I know most people say it’s one of the toughest phases and while that’s true, it’s also the stage where you’re starting to see your little one’s personality.
And that I think, is what makes it beautiful and challenging. When considering what to teach 18-month old child, there are many things you can do.
By this time, they have already acquired various skills and reached plenty of developmental milestones. The thing is, you don’t have to worry if you’re teaching them too much or just enough.
The following includes some of the basic and most important stuff you have to cover:
1. Burn Off Energy
Toddlers always seem like they have enough energy to run around for days. Instead of always following them around or prohibiting from doing things out of curiosity, why not help them burn it off instead?
Teach them to channel their energy by doing fun physical activities. If the weather’s good, you can go outside and let them run around and play.
If it’s snowing or raining, you can put on some good music and dance away – they make up the most insane dance moves, by the way!
Sometimes, I also like to put cushions or rearrange the sofa in the living room so I wouldn’t have to worry if he’s still moving around.
2. Potty Training Basics
While it may still be a bit too early to start with potty training, you can start teaching them the basics, so they don’t get overwhelmed with the information. You can buy a potty then make them sit on it even if they’re fully clothed.
It will make them excited to learn and try something new. They should not be stressed out.
Instead, they should look forward to it. You can also teach them the concept of toilets like showing them how to flush and the need to wash hands after each use.
So when the time comes that they’re ready, it will be more fun and less stressful because they already practised.
The value of sharing is another important thing to teach them. It’s not a concept that’s easy to understand so like most things; they have to learn by example.
What I like to do is give my little boy extra pieces of fruits or any food then ask him if he could give some to his daddy.
It worked for us because each time he starts to eat, and he notices others in the room don’t have any (like his grandparents or me), he would share it with us.
I also taught him the phrase, “One for me and one for you” which he likes to repeat each time he gives something to someone.
Now is also a good time for them to understand discipline. At this age, my boy would bite or hit my husband and me if his screen time is over.
It is a toddler’s show of rebellion because of their newfound autonomy. After telling him not to do that because it hurts me, I show him the bite mark.
Still, there’s always that possibility that they will repeat the act. If you get frustrated at their rebelliousness, distract them.
Like when time’s up at the playhouse, and he still doesn’t want to leave, I distract him by pointing at the ice cream stall in the food court.
5. Swimming Skills
If you’re hesitant about your ability to teach your toddler how to swim, you might be interested in enrolling them in swim school for some lessons. This is in connection with number 1.
Aside from the fact that this is a great exercise and something that can benefit them in the long run, it’s also an excellent way to burn energy. At 18 months, they can already start learning how to swim for short distances without help.
To prepare for this, you can first assist them to get used to the water, but this is no problem if they find bathing fun.
6. Educational Playthings
To further improve their physical, mental and social development, you can purchase best toys which are both fun and educational. There are numerous age-appropriate toys to choose from and with varying degrees of difficulty too which can be challenging for them.
Whether it’s a building set or board books, just make sure you don’t pick something that’s way too easy or advanced for them. Otherwise, it will leave them feeling bored or frustrated.
Keep in mind, though; you can help them but not all the time. There are times when you need to let them figure out things on their own since it can help with their problem-solving skills.
You should visit this article to help you choose the best toys for 18-month old toddler, right now.
7. Learning Colours
It’s also high time to introduce them to colours. Although there are toddlers who learn about them earlier, don’t worry if they still don’t know how to identify red from blue.
You’re still introducing this to them and like in everything else, do not rush it and as much as you can, make the whole learning process fun and enjoyable. You can find charts or flash cards for them.
Or there are wooden toys which are interactive such as those which they need to pair the ball to the corresponding hole or socket (yellow for yellow or blue for blue).
Right now, you should also visit this article about other milestone in the development of children as when do kids learn letters
8. Counting From 1 To 10
Before they turn two years old, they should also know how to count. And yes, you need to help them.
You can pique their interest in the principles of counting by putting ten bright objects in front of them - like balls or blocks. Then teach them the sequence by slowly saying the numbers 1 to 10.
I’ve always said my stand on letting kids watch TV or videos. In this particular case, screen time is okay and may even be beneficial.
Even if I taught my boy how to count, what reinforced it was the helpful, educational videos which we found on YouTube.
9. Socialisation And Communication
One important skill you also need to teach your toddler is socialisation. It will allow them to connect with other people and make friends.
Your role here is crucial considering you’re their first ‘friend’ and ‘playmate.’ You can enrol them in daycare or let them spend an hour in a playhouse and see how they communicate with kids their age.
One thing’s for sure here, do not overwhelm them. The best method which I found efficient is scheduling a playdate with a kid that’s close to their age – it could be at your home or theirs. This way they slowly learn how to socialise.
10. Language Development
Help them develop their language. The first rule is to talk to them like how you normally do to adults.
Avoid baby talk because it doesn’t benefit them especially in the long run. Also, don’t forget to read to them – choose books which have beautiful drawings or illustrations and rhymes.
Dr Seuss’ stories are ideal for this. It doesn’t just have to be at bedtime.
When they’ve been playing for hours, you can go for a downtime and read beside them. Also, don’t be afraid to communicate with them.
Ask them questions like “How was your day?” or “What did we eat for lunch?”
11. Blowing A Runny Nose
Knowing how to blow their nose is essential for toddlers, the earlier you teach them, the better.
I know there are nasal aspirators, but it doesn’t always do the job because it doesn’t feel comfortable for them, ergo, they won’t let it anywhere near their nose, and you don’t want to force it. They could get a runny nose now and then so this skill is important.
First, you can demonstrate.
Second, you can ask them to mimic blowing candles but with the mouth closed.
Once they feel the relief after getting the mucus out, it will be easier for them.
I hope you learned something from this list. I’d like to emphasise, however, to take your time.
Just because it’s written here doesn’t necessarily mean your toddler HAS to do it. Again, don’t rush them.
They will eventually learn on their own. The important thing is to avoid losing your patience (you’re going to need plenty of them!) and make it a positive experience for them.
Do you have anything to add to the list? Share it with me.