When Izzy was younger I created a baby essentials list for 5 months old and 6 months old. I loved sharing some of my favorite toys and activities with Heart of Deborah readers. I haven’t updated a list of her favorite activities recently so I thought I would create an activities for 20 month old post.
Puzzles: When Izzy was about 16 months old she started to get into puzzles. I think puzzles are a great way to teach spatial reasoning skills and matching skills. As a school psychologist I administered many achievement and intelligence tests. Many of them included some format of puzzles or visual matching tasks. Here are a few of Izzy’s favorite puzzles: Melissa & Doug Farm Sound Puzzle, Melissa & Doug Shapes Puzzle, and Melissa & Doug Wooden Safari Puzzle.
Chores: This may sound crazy, but I often let Izzy help with household chores. Yes it does prolong the process. On the other hand, she can be a great helper and she is proud of it, often clapping for herself when she is finished. A few months ago she wanted to help unload the dishwasher. I take away all the knives then I let her put the spoons and forks back in the utensil drawer. She loves doing this! She also helps me move the laundry from the washer to the dryer. Kids love to help! Give them small tasks they can handle. I’m hoping to continue these chores as Izzy gets older and I think it will instills some great values in her.
Alphabet Practice: As you may know I’m not the biggest fan of electronic games, but I occasionally make exceptions. Recently, Izzy has been extremely interested in the LeapFrog Letter Factory Phonics game. I am amazed how she mimics the sounds and the letters she hears. She loves putting the different letters in by herself and singing the ABCs. I don’t think she really understands what she is saying yet, but I think it’s great practice.
Coloring: When I need to get work done on the computer Izzy always seems to notice. She wants to be right up with me smashing on the keyboard and clicking the mouse. I decided to set up a little coloring station for her right next to me. This keeps her happy for about 15 minutes which is perfect. She loves using pens and crayons to craft her masterpieces. We also practice writing some of her favorite letters and shapes.
Songs: Izzy loves music. She enjoys clapping, singing and dancing. We learned some of our favorite songs from the library and we often sing them in the car or while cooking dinner. I created a list of kid songs with hand motions so our daughter could get involved in the songs. She loves doing all the motions for wheels on the bus. When it comes to early exposure to music and intelligence there are mixed studies. Some say it improves intelligences, others say there is no correlation. The way I see it, it can’t hurt! Additionally, there has been some research suggesting there is a correlation between early music instruction and spatial-temporal reasoning abilities.
Outside Activities: Our daughter loves to be outside. It does require strict supervision as we don’t have a private backyard for her to run around in. Some of her favorite activities outside include bubbles, chalk and bike rides. Have you ever tried the Gymboree Bubbles? They are seriously amazing! The flute is so easy to use and it creates so many bubbles at once. You don’t necessarily need to plan an outdoor activity, many toddlers are happy just walking around and exploring the great outdoors (great natural sensory play)!
Activities from some of my favorite kid’s bloggers:
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