Go on a Treasure Hunt
Nothing's more tempting to a curious kid than a search for a hidden prize. Even if the "treasure" is actually a familiar stuffed dog, the mystery of the hunt is irresistible. Hide a toy or even a little treat someplace simple -- like behind a piece of furniture -- then give your child clear directions for how to find it. (For example, "Look under the red chair!")
How It Helps Although your kid is motivated by the game to take your instructions, he's still learning to follow directions and strengthening his memory muscle as he completes the search. You'll probably notice a big difference between how your child plays at 1 year and how he plays at 24 months, so as he grows older, build up your older toddler's focus and recall with more complicated two-step instructions ("Go into the playroom and find the blue ball") or even three steps.