Ages 18-24 Months

Following are information, activities and resource links for the five main areas of development for children ages 18-24 months old.

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5 Areas of Development


Communication Skills

  • Directs your attention to an object/action
  • Chooses familiar objects upon request
  • Understands new words rapidly
  • Uses single words frequently; may begin combining
    two words (mama go)
  • Uses babbling that sounds like adult speech
  • Names familiar objects, may imitate small

Fine Motor Skills

  • Can draw an up and down line pretty well
  • Likes to use hands for messy art activities
  • May start to show hand preference, but may
    switch hand when holding pencil or spoon

Gross Motor Skills

  • Can run without falling too often
  • Climbing continues to be a favorite activity,
    provide safe places to explore
  • Can stand on one foot while holding on to something
  • Can kick a large ball well

Personal Social Skills

  • Likes to be around other children, but may still
    prefer to play alone
  • Wants to be more independent, doing things without
    adult help
  • Wants to keep toys for self, even hiding so others
    can’t play with them
  • May start to let you know diaper is wet or dirty

Problem Solving Skills

  • Play is important, it’s how your child learns
  • Follows a 1-step command without any gestures
  • May start imagining and creating through pretend


Communication Activities

  • Play naming games with your child
  • Give your child simple directions to follow (“Get the
    big ball.”)
  • Play matching games with socks, blocks, stuffed
    animals; talk about how they are the same/different
  • Look at pictures of different animals; act out how
    they walk/sounds they make

Fine Motor Activities

  • Use an easel or tape paper on a wall to allow child to
    draw while standing
  • Play-Doh is a great way to build muscles in hands
  • Use short golf pencils or broken crayons for greater
    control while drawing
  • A Magnadoodle is a great way to encourage drawing,
    especially during time spent in the car
  • Use a cookie sheet for finger painting activities, using
    pudding or mashed potatoes is fun

Gross Motor Activities

  • Put masking tape on the floor to practice jumping
    over with both feet
  • Move to music, give scarves, streamers, noise makers
    to use during the dancing
  • Offer riding toys that allow child to push with feet on
    the ground

Personal Social and Problem Solving Activities

  • Plan outings with your child to stores, playgrounds,
  • Sing songs with actions, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Where is
    Thumbkin, Wheels on the Bus
  • Give old clothes to button, zip, and snap
  • Use cereal boxes to make a 3-4 piece puzzle
  • Add simple props to pretend play—purse, shoes, hats,
    empty food boxes
  • Use pairs of objects around the house to find big and
    little—spoons, socks, books
  • Turn objects upside down to see if your child notices
    they are the wrong way, they like playing silly games
    at this age