12-16 month activities

At this age, they are VERY opinionated and are super active. It can be challenging to find a variety of activities to occupy them! Below are a few ideas for this age and what area of development it helps!

  1. Stacking Blocks- This works on fine motor skills by how they pick up the blocks and also bilateral coordination (using both sides of the body together). It also addresses visual motor skills by having to look and motor plan where the block is an be able to accurately place it on top of the other block.

  2. Patty Cake: Playing Patty Cake is a fun interactive game where your baby starts to imitate you. At first, you will put your hands over their hands to show them the different movements and then sit across from them so they can watch how you do it. After a little while, they will start to imitate the movements on their own. This also helps with working on clapping which is an important developmental skill!

  3. Obstacle Course: There is never a better time to start obstacle courses with your little one! At this age, the obstacle course can consist of tunnels, different squishy blocks, boxes, really anything (safe) that they can climb on, in, under or around. This will surly occupy them for quite some time AND the obstacle course can always be changed! This helps with motor planning, gross motor skills and most importantly problem solving!

  4. Push Pull Toys: These can be toys with a string that they can pull along or a baby walker or wagon that they have to pull or push. These are good for a few reasons! Holding the string works on fine motor precision, pulling or pushing a walker helps with standing/walking and also graded strength. Graded strength is the amount of strength we know we need to hold something without breaking it or pushing something without pushing it too far. At this age, they will figure out how much force they need to push or pull something.

Sensory Activities:

  • Tactile: Using different textures to let them explore: tissue paper, wrapping paper, sand, playdoh, cotton balls/pom poms

  • Visual: Use a flashlight or colored lights in a dark room to work on visual tracking. Another fun idea is glow sticks in the bathtub!

  • Vestibular/Visual: Do you remember playing airplane as a child? Where your parents would put you on their knees or feet and "fly" you through the air? That is essentially what you would be doing here! While laying down, place your baby on your knees tummy side down. Hold on to their arms and ensure they are secure. You then can lift up and move your legs side to side or back and forth to simulate "flying". This helps develop their vestibular system (inner ear system that is responsible for equilibrium and balance).

Check out LovEvery! They have developmental kits by age that are perfect for development! The Babbler Playkit is for months 13-16!


Things to look for:

  • limited to no eye contact

  • cannot maintain supported sitting or independent sitting

  • unable to crawl

  • cannot tolerate weight bearing on arms and knees (crawling position)

  • poor visual tracking

  • floppy or squishy arms and legs (low muscle tone)

  • not using both hands when playing

  • not able to use both hands to play at midline (middle of their body)

  • will not weight bear through their feet

As always, please reach out to me or book one of my consultations if you are ever concerned about your child's development.


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