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5 games to play with a toddler aged 12-18 months

Our list of games parents can play with babies and toddlers aged 12 to 18 monthsAre you at a bit of a loss knowing which games or activities will keep your toddler entertained?

It isn’t easy – especially when they are very young. Honestly, a few months ago they were happy to watch a toy move in circles above their head. Now they need games!?! Already … ! Geez …

So what ‘games’ are appropriate at what age, what activities will help stimulate and develop your child at an age-appropriate rate.

We asked Playgroup Australia to help us to come up with a list of low-cost activities for this stage of your child’s development.

5 games and activities for toddlers aged 12-18 months

Action songs

Repeat action songs with your baby often so they can learn words and actions. Make up songs about the things you or your baby are doing throughout your day – ‘I am walking, You are bouncing’.

Sand Play

You don’t need a big expensive sandpit for sand play. You can buy small plastic sandpits or sand/water tables. You could even just fill up a large plastic container. Or go to the beach! Your baby can explore the feeling of sand between their fingers and toes, and experience the different temperatures and textures of wet and dry sand. Give your baby small containers such as butter containers with holes pierced in the bottom to make a sieve, or cut open milk bottles to dig the sand with.

What’s that smell?

Put some cotton wool in small containers (if you can dig up those old 35mm film canisters they’d be perfect), and drop a small amount of different smelly substances into each container. You could use: perfume, mint leaves, vanilla essence, spices such as cloves, cinnamon or ginger, or vinegar. Attach the lids securely and poke a small hole in the lid so they can be smelled. Sit your child on your lap and let them smell each one, while talking about how they use their nose to smell, and simple terms to describe the smell. If you don’t have small containers you can just allow your child to smell the real thing – just supervise closely and don’t allow them to eat or touch anything that they shouldn’t.

Stacking and nesting

Use plastic cups from the kitchen or different sized boxes to make towers, or nest them inside each other.


Provide your child with paper and crayons for some scribbling fun. You may have some masterpieces that can be framed for your walls (or one of these other ways to store your child’s artwork). Much better than having them draw directly onto the wall.

Our list of games parents can play with babies and toddlers aged 12 to 18 months

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