Mummy Stuff: Playtime for an 18-month old (Miss M's routine at 18-months)

In October last year, I wrote about Miss M's playtime routine when she was 10-months old (click here to read). Now at 18-month's old, her routine looks a lot different! I thought it might be interesting (for me as well!) to document her routine now, and to perhaps give some ideas for play activities suitable for children at 18-months of age. Obviously all toddlers are very different, in both their abilities and interests, so some of these won't apply to everyone :)


As I am working 5 days a fortnight at the moment, Miss M's routine depends a lot on my routine!

Monday & Tuesday - home with me
Wednesday - day care
Thursday - at Ma Ma's house (my Mum) & she takes her to playgroup
Friday - at Ma Ma's house (my Mum)
Saturday & Sunday - home with me
Monday - day care
Tuesday - with Brendan's mum at our house
Wednesday - day care
Thursday - home with me & I take her to playgroup
Friday, Saturday & Sunday - home with me

In a fortnight, she is at day care 3 times, with my Mum twice, with Brendan's mum once and with me for 8 full days. It is a crazy, hectic schedule but at least we have a lot of days that we can be at home.

When I go on maternity leave in September and have the new baby, I may keep her in day care each Wednesday to allow me some one-on-one time with the new baby, as well as (hopefully!) a chance to clean the house, and mostly because she absolutely loves it and has really thrived doing all the activities she does at day care.

Miss M is really social and loves being around other kids. She has lots of opportunities too:
 - day care
 - playgroup once a week
 - we go to a home group on Wednesday nights where she gets to play with others
 - we go to church each Sunday where she is in crèche with other kids
 - at least once a week we visit some friends and have a play date
 - Brendan usually takes her to the park once a week where she plays with other kids

When we are at home, our days usually go like this:

7:30-8am: get up, and have breakfast (I am not an early riser! I get up at 7am on a school day, but otherwise, I try and sleep in! Miss M has been trained well lol!)

8:30-9:30am: I try and get some jobs done around the house while Miss M helps me or plays independently. She is very good at playing by herself, but I try and include her in helping me get the washing out of the machine for example. Jobs that I try and get done each morning include making the beds, tidying the kitchen, putting on a load of washing, and a general tidy up of all rooms of the house (putting things back where they belong).

9:30am: We usually watch Playschool or we might go downtown or to a friend's house in the morning.

10am: If we haven't gone out for the morning, I will usually try and do some activities together, for example: time outside, reading books, play dough, drawing, painting, magnets, make-believe play etc. More on that below! (During this time we might have a snack for morning tea)

11:30am: Miss M has lunch, which usually takes awhile (she likes to feed herself and take her time lol!)

12pm: Nap time for Miss M and time for me to catch up on cleaning, preparing dinner, blogging or relaxing!

2pm: Miss M usually sleeps for 2 hours. When she wakes I feed her lunch/afternoon tea.

2:30pm: We will either continue our activities or if we haven't been out in the morning, we might go visit a friend or go to the park for a play. We visit my Mum a fair bit in the afternoons, where she loves to play with the toys, or the cat, or go outside.

3:30pm: Brendan is a primary teacher now (as of this term!) and he will arrive home now, and they always have a banana smoothie together (and some afternoon tea)! It's very sweet. Once a week he'll take her to the park, or they'll spend time playing at home.

5-5:30pm: I will begin preparing dinner at 5, unless it's a quick dinner and then I may not start until 5:30pm.

6pm: Dinner time! We always sit at the table, with Miss M in her highchair with her dinner.

6:30pm: Dinner clean-up for me, and Brendan will bath Miss M.

7pm: TV and relaxing time for the adults, plus some more reading to Miss M.

8-8:30pm: Miss M will usually show signs of being tired around this time, and we'll put her to bed. It does seem late, but this works well for us, and she seems to sleep a lot better at night if we hold off until now!


Creative ideas:

 - play dough
 - sand (we don't have a sandpit yet, but she loves playing in the sand at playgroup!)
 - music, singing, dancing, playing instruments (she loves The Wiggles at the moment!)
 - painting (we've been using the colouring books where you just use water to paint - much less mess!)
 - drawing
 - using stickers
 - magnets (which can later be used to sort colours, numbers, letters etc.)
 - organised craft (like at playgroup and day care)
 - using a blackboard

Outside play:

 - playing outside with balls
 - playing in her car, on her slippery dip, trampoline or see saw
 - balancing and climbing
 - going for a walk
 - going to the park
 - sandpit
 - swing set
 - playing with a pet
 - water-play (we mostly do this just In the bath in winter)
 - pouring (using rice and containers)

Physical play:

 - puzzles
 - blocks (stacking)
 - sorting (magnets, colours, toys)
 - busy bag box

Pretend/Make-Believe play:

 - Dress-ups
 - Playing 'mum' to her dolls (feeding, putting to bed, taking for a walk in the pram)
 - Playing shops, cafes/dinner time/kitchens

Being social:

 - Play dates
 - Playgroup
 - Library
 - Park
 - Creche at church
 - Home groups
 - Day care

Language activities:

 - reading
 - audio books
 - DVD's or Playschool
 - nursery rhymes, singing songs

Games with rules:

 - hide and seek
 - peek-a-boo
 - matching activities
 - toddler board games

Hopefully that gives you some ideas for playing and learning for an 18-month old! Thanks to E. Whan for some of the ideas. More ideas can be found by clicking on this link!

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