October 27, 2008,
K.M. asks from San Diego, CA on October 22, 2008
Activities for an 18 Month Old
Me and my husband both stays at home and I felt like my son is not getting enough socializing since we don't go anywhere very often. I tried enrolling him at JW Tumbles but it doesn't help much because I can't really go there during the times that they are open for kids to just play round. I felt like he doesnt know how to behave and front of other kids of at least try to get along with them. Once a month I would take him to my friend's day care and try to get him to play with other kids. It is rather very frustrating because all he does is bite, kicks and grab other kids in the face! I don't understand why he behaves this way. Is there any program around town that would entertain him and possibly he would learn to stop hitting other kids?
R.S. answers from San Diego on October 27, 2008
North County Soccer Park in Poway has non-competitive soccer classes once a week for kids 18 months and up. Its great because the classes are age appropriate, small in size and parents participate with their kids. The toddlers look like they are having a wonderful time! My little one will be in the next session and my 3 1/2 year old loves it. The instructors are wonderful and many kids start young and continue through until they can play competitively!
S.O. answers from San Diego on October 23, 2008
Sounds like your son needs more interactive activities. Playgroups are great. Try meetup.com to find one in your area.
And if your son is anything like my son, you will need to do more one on one activities to engage his brain and body. My son always liked to have books read to him or make up games with whatever toys we have on hand. He is now 3.5 and his current made up game is skeeball (like at Chuck E Cheese). I roll a ball on the floor and it hits him on the leg. He then falls down on the ground and makes the skeeball game sounds. He totally made that game up on his own :).
But at your sons age, I just made sure to take him to do some sort of activity where he could run and burn off energy at least once a day.
Thankfully we live in Poway, where there are a lot of indoor and outdoor kid activities to do. We go to the park a lot, walks around the block where I actually let him walk or ride his bike, the indoor play areas (My Kids Clubhouse or the Mall).
But also at 18 months I started my son in preschool 2 mornings a week. That really helped because they kept both his body and BRAIN active for 3 hours each morning. He goes to Incarnation Lutheran Preschool in Poway. It's a smaller school, but he loves it! He now goes there 3 mornings a week. And next summer my 18 month old daughter will start there at 2 mornings a week.
Other activities we did with my son at 18 months was parent and me soccer at the North County Soccer Park for one session. Then after that we did a class at the Little Gym for two sessions. Both of those let him burn energy, learn to play with other kids, and learn to listen to instruction from other adults besides his parents.
Now we do preschool 3 mornings a week and a bible study once a week and Sunday school at church. So he is engaged in something 5 mornings a week. Then on off days I make sure to take the kids out to the park, to meet with friends, or to one of the indoor play areas.
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D.M. answers from San Diego on October 23, 2008
Join a playgroup. They are the best thing you can do. Google Parent Connection San Diego (if you're from San Diego) and they have tons of different playgroups. Then from there, you learn of all kinds of fun free things to do. When he hits, etc. other kids, discipline him and he will eventually learn that it's not OK. You can even give him a timeout at the playgroup - lots of moms do that at playgroups.
M.L. answers from San Diego on October 24, 2008
That sounds like typical 18 month old behavior to me. Just keep exposing him to other children and redirecting when he does hit. Great places to go are Playtown in El Cajon, My Kids Clubhouse in Poway or even just let him run around at any local park or McDonald's play area. Any exposure is good and it doesn't have to cost money. We would go to the mall and let our son run around in the play areas. We did that at least once a week, sometimes more when it was too hot outside to go to a playground. Find a playgroup, they're invaluable for adult conversation and a way to expose him and you to different kids, moms and parenting styles. YOu never know, you could find you or your sons best friend at one. I know I have.
L.L. answers from San Diego on October 23, 2008
The playgroup idea's are great!! We are part of one and it has saved me in so many ways. I'm not sure where you live, but in San Marcos there is a park called Lake Park. Every thursday at 10:30 there's Musicpalooza. It's free and soooooooooooo much fun. Elenah, the music lady, brings all sorts of different instruments for the kids to play with, bubbles, and sheet music so we can all sing along. And your child does not have to stay there the whole time either. There's a playground right behind us. Half the time my son is over there :) Then at 11 the fountain turns on and all the kids can play in there. It's a very child friendly area.
I hope this helps.