How to Encourage Social and Emotional Development: 18-24 Months

Playdates, games and explaining to your child about his emotions are essential to the social and emotional development of your toddler. Jamie Loehr M.D. and Jen Meyers, authors of "Raising Your Child," provide more activities to enhance your toddler's social and emotional development.

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Make playdates and be part of a playgroup. Give your child lots of chances to learn cooperative play. Remember, though, that it's a learning process that takes time.

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Interact With All Ages

Arrange to play with children of a wide range of ages (which is one of the many benefits of a playgroup). Offer your child opportunities to interact with adults of various ages as well. The idea is to teach her to feel comfortable around people of any age.

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Play Games

Play games such as kicking or rolling a ball back and forth. Games help your child learn about taking turns.

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Name You Child's Emotions

Help your child recognize her emotions by naming them. She can easily be overwhelmed by anger, fear, or sadness. Giving her names for her feelings makes them less scary.

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Encourage Your Toddler's Imagination

Give your toddler dolls, stuffed animals, toy telephones, and make-believe play materials such as scarves and hats, old clothes and shoes for fashioning costumes and props, and blankets for building forts. Make homemade puppets out of paper bags decorated with buttons, yarn, and thread. Have the puppets hold a conversation with each other or with you or her. Put on a puppet show.

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Give Her an Alone Spot

Create an alone spot for your child, where she can hide when she wants to, such as a large cardboard box or a closet with pillows on the floor. (This is not a time-out spot).

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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 18-24 Month Toddlers

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

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