Indoor activities to do with my 18 month old toddler

Families come in different shapes and sizes – yet regardless of the form, the benefits of shared play are powerful!

Playing shared games such role-play, imaginative games, or singing regularly has shown to make families happier, less stressed and healthier compared those who do not engage in as much shared play.

Research shows that play is associated with a range of benefits, not only for the child and you as the parent, but for the entire family.

So, with that here are some ideas for indoor games to do with your toddler

Play a game with a soft animal

  1. With your toddler and their favourite soft animal, start by talking to the stuffed animal as if it were a small child.
  2. You can encourage your toddler to do things such as brush its teeth, hair, fur and wipe its face.
  3. Get the stuffed animal dressed. You and your toddler can find a cute outfit for the stuffed toy. Baby clothes work well.
  4. Eat breakfast together. Together you can pretend to feed the stuffed animal breakfast making it feel special. For example; try taking a piece of paper to make a plate for the stuffed animal.

Play messy

  1. Set up an area for the messy play to occur in. This is a designated area where you are prepared for it to get messy and that you can clean up easily.
  2. Place down messy materials for you and your toddler to get your hands dirty. Toddlers learn through experimentation.
  3. Some suggestions are;
  • Dry pasta
  • Cold, cooked spaghetti
  • Jelly
  • Sand
  • Coloured rice
  • Oats and cereal

Messy play is a great way for toddler to explore their senses, getting their hands stuck into different textures

Free draw

  1. Give your toddler some crayons and paper and let him/her draw away.
  2. This will allow your toddler to unleash their creativity and enjoy independent, creativity and enjoy independent creative play.
  3. When your toddler has finished, talk to him or her about the different colours he or she has used.

Indoor obstacle course. These activities all help to develop physical skills

  1. Have a mattress to jump on or pillows
  2. Chairs to crawl through
  3. Boxes to climb in and out of and tables to crawl under

Building blocks

  1. Choose a low traffic area to sit down with your toddler.
  2. Place the blocks in front of you and begin stacking them on top of each other
  3. Encourage your toddler to build the blocks.
  4. You and your toddler can build and then knock the blocks down so you can start over. As your toddler grows more confident, they will initiate their own block towers block towers.

It is important to remember, having a loving, stable and responsive relationship is fundamental to your toddler’s development.

The more experiences your toddler has with you there to support them, the more your child grows and thrives.

When your child feels safe and attached to you, your child is more likely to have the confidence to explore their world. Playing with your toddler strengthens your relationship and encourages your toddler to explore, observe, experiment and solve problems.

If you have any concerns with your child’s development, you can find out more by accessing the Early Childhood Authority’s website at or contact the Child Health Line on 024194983. Operated by Mubadala Health (available 10:00 am -18:00 pm).


This initiative is a collaboration between the Early Childhood Authority, Mubadala and Mubadala Health

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