How your 12 to 18-month-old might play now

    • Your child may be walking—and very proud of it!
    • She's better at entertaining herself and more deliberate in her exploration
    • He can string together ideas to form a basic plan
    • She shows affection with hugs, kisses, smiles and pats
    • He can put objects in and out of a box
    • She starts to treat objects in an appropriate manner—for example, cuddling a teddy bear
    • He likes to imitate familiar household routines
Toys for new walkers
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    Brilliant Basics™ Lil’ Snoopy

    Balance & Coordination Gross Motor Imagination & Creativity
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    Laugh & Learn® Stride-to-Ride® Puppy

    Balance & Coordination Curiosity & Discovery Gross Motor
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    Musical Lion Walker

    Balance & Coordination Fine Motor Gross Motor Sensory

Help your baby learn more:

    • Boost confidence. Help your new walker practice balancing and walking by encouraging her to bring a toy along on little excursions through the house. It will boost her confidence until she's more secure with her balance.
    • What’s different? For a lesson in action/reaction, point out how the sound and speed of the toy can change: “Push it along slowly…now faster! You’re making the music play!”
Battery-powered ride-on toys
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    Power Wheels® Lil' Kawasaki

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    Power Wheels® Thomas & Friends™ Thomas with Track

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    Power Wheels® Disney Minnie Mouse Lil’ Quad

Help your baby learn more:

    • On and off. Until she develops confidence in her balance and coordination, your child may need help getting on and off. She's likely to spend a lot of time mastering that skill, so be sure to clear a path all around the vehicle.
    • Cause and effect. When your child is ready to ride, reinforce his understanding of cause and effect by saying the words “go” and “stop” as the vehicle responds to his actions.
    • Use words to describe “on and off” and “stop and go” and you'll be building her understanding of the concept that words are associated with things and actions.
Toys to encourage early learning
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    Laugh & Learn™ Love to Play Puppy™

    Academics Fine Motor Sensory
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    Laugh & Learn™ Puppy & Friends Learning Table

    Academics Fine Motor Gross Motor
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    Laugh & Learn® Crawl Around™ Car

    Academics Curiosity & Discovery Gross Motor

Help your baby learn more:

    • Begin with basics. Toys like these expose your child to the basic building blocks of learning simple concepts like letters, numbers, shapes and colors. Talk about these when you play with your child, extending them to other parts of the day.
    • Counting time. As you walk up steps, count them as you go. “1, 2, 3, 4, 5—wow, you climbed 5 steps!” You’re extending learning, but you don’t need to be concerned about teaching actual numbers at this age.
Themed playsets
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    Little People® Disney Princess Klip Klop Stable

    Curiosity & Discovery Fine Motor Imagination & Creativity
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    Little People® Fun Sounds Farm

    Curiosity & Discovery Fine Motor Imagination & Creativity
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    Little People® Happy Sounds Home

    Curiosity & Discovery Fine Motor Imagination & Creativity

Help your baby learn more:

    • Read picture books to your child about the playset’s theme—like farm life, animals and crops. Talk about what a farmer does and how farms provide us with food.
    • On the grow. If you have a garden, call on your "little farmer" to help with planting, weeding, or harvesting. Even if she's just sitting next to you digging, she'll feel important and this experience will help her understand what farmers do.
    • Sound practice. Reinforce your child's recognition skills by helping him practice sounds he hears—if you start, it's likely that your child will soon join in. Then challenge his memory and thinking skills by showing him an animal or a car and asking him to make that sound.
    • Field trip. It helps your child make connections when you can relate a learning concept to things within her own range of experience. Make an effort to show your child the real thing: visit a zoo or a farm. When you're in the car together, point out different vehicles.
    • Chore time. Prompt problem-solving and thinking skills by giving your child little chores to do. “Let's put the animals in their stalls for the night. Are they all in the right places?”

Box-in-a-Box

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Part Jack-in-the-Box, part Guess-What’s-Inside, this game will keep baby guessing—and giggling. Be sure you have something special at the end of the game to make the wait worthwhile!

Materials

  • Variety of boxes in different sizes, nesting one inside another
  • Toy or treat

Instructions

  • Collect a variety of boxes that will nest one inside another. Try to get very large boxes and very small boxes, as well as everything in between.
  • Place a special toy or treat in the smallest box for your baby to discover at the end of the game. Close the small box and place it in the next larger box; close the outside box.
  • Continue until you’ve nested all the boxes inside each other, ending with the giant box.
  • Bring your baby into the room and show her the box.
  • Ask her, “What’s inside?” and help her open the box.
  • When your baby sees the next box, say, “Another box!” Lift that box out of the bigger box and ask your baby to open it.
  • Continue until you get to the smallest box, then let your baby open up the surprise!

Safety

Make the boxes easy to open so your baby can do the task herself without getting too frustrated.
Your child can learn

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