Activities to Encourage Social & Emotional Development:12-18 Months

Jamie Loehr, M.D. and Jen Meyers, authors of "Raising Your Child," say doing these simple activities with your toddler will improve both social and emotional development.

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Snuggle With Your Child

Touch your child. Give him kisses, hugs, and snuggles.

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Make Time for Games

Play games with your child such as rolling a ball back and forth. Games help your child learn to take turns.

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Name Your Toddler's Emotions

Help your child identify his emotions by naming them. He might be overwhelmed by anger, fear, or sadness. Giving him names for his feelings makes them less scary.

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Take Him Out on the Town

Go out! Take your child to restaurants, museums, stores. Run errands. Do everyday life stuff that involves interacting with people to model how to do it, and give your child opportunities to practice it himself if he wants to. He will start to interact with people of all ages when he's ready.

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Give Him Positive Reinforcement

Celebrate your child for being good. If he wants attention and gets more of it when he is mischievous than when he is behaving well, he will tend toward being more mischievous in the future.

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Act Silly

Feel free to act silly with your child. Make funny faces, do a crazy dance, and wear pants on your head. Doing silly things is liberating and it makes your child laugh. It's great for everyone!

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Raising Your Child

Raising Your Child: The Complete Illustrated Guide is an information-packed guide that leads parents through the ever changing maze of new behaviors, developments, and challenges present in a child's first six years. It is filled with essential information, expert advice, practical solutions, and key choices to ensure a child's healthy development for their first six years -- and set them up for success in later developmental stages. In addition to understanding their child's stage of development, readers are given parenting techniques and activities they can use with their child to maximize physical, emotional, intellectual, and behavioral development at every age and stage.

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Get the Look & Buy the Toys

Love the adorable products and toys we used for this photo shoot? Use the buying guide below to find the products for your toddler.

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More Activities for 12-18 Month Toddlers

Get more ideas from Raising Your Child: The Complete Illustrated Guide to help with your toddler's development.

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