Give Your Toddler a Boost: Tips for 12- to 18-Month-Olds

In addition to ensuring your toddler gets the daily nutrients he needs (like those found in Enfagrow® Toddler Next Step®), have him engage in the following activities to help encourage his cognitive, motor, communication, and social development.

Cognitive Development

  • Go on missions. Give one-step requests like “Bring me the ball” or “Point to the doggie”.
  • Make decisions. Offer several toys to choose from and ask your toddler to pick which will fit into a particular space.
  • Dump and sort. Let your toddler empty, sort, and return objects to their original containers.
  • Play pretend. Mimic common activities, like cooking in a toy kitchen or building with a plastic hammer.
  • Skip screens. Interacting with people and objects will enhance your child’s cognitive skills far more than playing computer games.

Motor Development

  • Cruise along. Push sturdy objects together, so your child can cruise from one to the next.
  • Remain calm. Don’t fuss when your toddler tumbles. Respond with reassurance, and chances are he’ll pick himself up and try again.
  • Read books. Letting your toddler turn the pages of a book is great way to help boost his motor skills.
  • Sing songs with motions. Try classics like “Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” “I’m a Little Teapot,” or “This Little Piggy”.

Communication Development

  • Talk, talk, talk! It’s one of the best things you can do to boost your child’s communication skills and intelligence.
  • Respond to gestures. When your child points at objects, be sure to support and encourage his communication efforts. His simple gestures are the stepping stones to later verbal communication.
  • Combine movement and words. Using actions broadens your child’s vocabulary, while speaking helps your toddler better understand what you’re saying. (For example, when you say “Come here,” also beckon with your hand.)

Social Development

  • Reflect together. While standing in front of a mirror, clap your hands with your toddler, so he can feel and see the action of his reflected image.
  • Say “yes” to “no.” Your child saying “no” is a healthy sign of his growing sense of self. Whenever appropriate, consider saying “yes”.
  • Don’t force sharing. When your toddler has a conflict with a playmate over a toy, it’s better to draw his attention to another toy, rather than insist he shares.