Solutions For Parents

Milestones of Development

Milestones of Development 16-18 Months

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This is how you as a parent can make your child smarter.

Area of Development Skill Level Play Activity
Hands Will retrieve hidden toy - all trials Hide partially disclosed toy under 1 screen, child finds – scarves, washcloth, inverted box, wax paper, ball, doll
Hands Will retrieve hidden toy - all trials Place shown object under 3 screens
Hands Slight casting motion forward throw Throw stones in puddles
Hands Pinches and uses cortical opposition in both hands  
Hands Holds 2 small toys in one hand Use box with interesting objects that change frequently – box with wide top, spools, blocks, rattles, cups, cars, “little” people and animals, plastic links
Hands Gets 5-6 objects out of 10 in a box Put objects in a feel box and ask to pull out and name
Hands Takes pants, shoes, socks off with no help Practice on large dolls
Hands Can insert and remove   objects from container “Feel” box with attractive objects – keys, latches, etc.
Hands Points to body parts  
Hands Threads and strings objects Progress from large stack of rings to small, string, yarn,
plastic lids with holes cut in center
Hands Turns several pages of book at a time Use cloth books, thick pages, flip photo albums, greeting
cards tied together with string
Hands Strokes crayons in air  
Hands Eats and spills with spoon  
Hands Builds 5 cube tower Practice stacking: model for child; work up in number,
down in size – rings, pillows, large foam pieces, sponges,
diaper boxes, small grocery bag blocks (stuff bags with
newspaper and tape shut, empty cereal, cracker, milk, or shirt boxes
Hands Uses cup; puts down when finished Blow bubbles up and down
Hands Begins to dress self; fusses with zippers, buttons Use zipper board with felt picture inside, practice putting buttons through slot in Pringles can top
Hands Builds tower of 6-7 blocks with no help Practice stacking; encourage; work down in size up in number – pillows, foam pieces, large plastic containers, cereal boxes, milk cartons
Hands Holds cylinder with 2 hands Play pass the cup; take turns putting in button then passing
Hands Holds spoon right side up; spills Model using water, Cheerios showing right side up and upside down
Hands Aligns 2 cubes in row for train Model making a train of 2 cubes; push along with train noises – blocks: wood, foam, cube, plastic, sponges, cars, boats, egg cartons, “play people”
Hands Imitates vertical and circular stroke Attach toy to rope over curtain rod, child raises and lowers – rope, curtain rod; various toys
Hands Reads picture books; does not sit Use large realistic picture books (no print) – books, greeting cards tied together with string
Hands Empties and pours objects in and out of container Use conversational talk with water play – water basin, dishes, pots, cups, sifter, funnel and sponges
Hands Builds tower of 6-7 blocks with no help Practice stacking; encourage; work down in size, up in number – paper bag blocks  (fill big with crumpled newspaper and tape shut)
Hands Climbs, moves furniture Arrange stools or low chairs to climb onto – small, low chairs, large cushions, balance beam, sturdy box
Locomotion Walks up steps 1 hand held Hold one hand and walk up stairs letting child concentrate
Locomotion No longer creeps or crawls Encourage to get up and walk for things
Locomotion Rarely falls when walking Walk outside of home to build up confidence
Locomotion Runs stiff legged  
Locomotion Climbs into adult chair Put toys on adult chair and encourage toddler to climb – overstuffed chair, favorite toy
Locomotion Can stoop, pick up, and stand again Encourage toddler to pick up toys from floor
Locomotion Pushes toy, says “vroom-vroom” Use objects that move or have wheels, small vehicles for child to push while on hands and knees, small furniture to push- walker, wagon, large box, toddler taxi, push riding toys, push grocery boxes around
Locomotion Runs, stops, turns around, stoops down Use audio cassette and records with reverse motion
Locomotion Throws from elbow, retrieves, throws again Play catch with Nerf balls, large balls, yarn balls, bean bags
Locomotion Kicks ball on request Play give and take game with kicking ball
Locomotion Walks backwards; runs Walk on tape on floor- backwards and forwards
Locomotion Takes a step backwards; runs Encourage child to run for a hug
Locomotion Walks up and down stairs alone Use stairs to practice downwards steps
Locomotion Dances – joy in movement and motion Use records and tapes
Toileting Goes to an sits on potty Potty chair available to sit on whenever so it becomes comfortable
Language Relates words to gestures  
Language Associates words with objects; points Play game with feel box and small objects and conversation – box, tactile small objects i.e., block, stone, spoon, ball, cracker
Language Understands arrival and departure Say “bye” and “hi” with dolls and people – wall chart of daily routine with Velcro shapes, pictures drawn or cut from magazines
Language Says five words in addition to “ma”, “da”, “ba”, “uh-oh” Use tapes, records, and talk a lot; limit TV
Language Imitates; picks up jargon; plays telephone Converse and chat with child
Language Names pictures if asked Use homemade picture file
Language Indicates wants – not crying Use positive words to praise child, praise child for not crying
Language Says up to 25 words Clarify words for child; emphasize and pronounce clearly
Language Communicative speech improves Take turns talking and listening
Language Asks for things by a combination of words and gestures Encourage words not just gestures; ask questions; model with doll
Language Identifies familiar objects seen on TV Use play objects in a box
Language Pursues sounds repeatedly Introduce noisemakers to child – bells, drums, blocks, tambourine, shakers, rhythm sticks
Auditory Responds to music with animation and action Use toddler records, songs, fingerplays – “Baby Song”, “Baby Face”
Auditory Understands 10-25 words; 2 word  Any song
Auditory Understands 1 step directions Give silly directions: “Blow me a kiss”, “Rub your tummy”, etc.
Auditory Identifies sounds without seeing them Tape sounds; play hide and seek with objects that make sounds – tapes, tape player
Auditory Chews effortlessly Let child help make food – snack list, equipment to make snack, dishes, cups, etc.
Tactile Begins to take things apart – simple mechanical devices Give opportunity to manipulate toys that come apart – household goods, nuts and bolts, pop beads, q-tip box, waffle blocks, bristle blocks, links that easily come apart, etc.
Tactile Touches and labels objects without seeing them Feel box play – feel box, box, stuffed animal, spoon, cup, dish, block, etc.
Tactile Bends over and looks through legs Play peek-a-boo by looking through legs
Visual Has sense of vertical plane  
Visual Points to objects named  
Visual Awareness of shape Use 3 piece puzzles and cut-out boxes to feel and touch edges, shapes puzzle, large knobs, shape box
Visual Segregates parts, categorizes simple objects visually Sort objects in pile – blocks, rings, spoons, cups, balls, socks, shoes, books, etc.
Visual Can label household items by name Conversational use: “Let’s find a clock, etc.”, use various rooms and objects within i.e., kitchen - cups, clock, table, etc. books, etc.
Visual Asks for things; demands by pointing and talking Use play sets such as farm, garage, etc. – workbench, farm set, play broom, mop, etc.
Social Says no even when likes something Ignore “no”, say, “let’s go do…”
Social Repeats performances that are laughed at Give reinforcement to new tasks learned saying “Nice job”, etc.
Social Capable of fear, anger, jealously, anxiety, sympathy, suspicion, etc. Look at books and magazines showing facial emotion
Social Works hard at play; self-absorbed play Let child play without interruption when working hard
Social Concentrates on “parts” of objects Break activity into simple steps – putting small objects in and taking out of a container, turning pages of board book one at a time, putting magnets on and off the refrigerator one at a time, picture cards to turn over one at a time
Social Sees object as permanent and having a place, time, separate from self Show how blocks go in box, doll in crib, etc.
Social Imitations more refined; dresses up as “Mommy” and :Daddy” Role play with old clothes, shoes, jewelry, family situations, career related items – briefcase, pocket protector, backpack
Social Needs immediate reward; everything is now Use positive words often when child uses expected behavior
Social Worries about people, parts of body Name songs
Social Engages in parallel play Give opportunity to play alongside other children
Social Makes mental picture of objects and actions Use books, tapes, records
Social Beginning of symbolic thought Encourage pretend play with household objects – pots, pans, sponges, towels, dishes, cups, small broom, pillows, blankets
Ask Dr. Susan