38 answers

How to Teach an 18 Month Old

I recently went to a restaurant where a little girl (same age as my little girl, 18 to 19 months) was there with her parents. I started talking to the parents and of course my little girl was interested in the little girl. Turns out the little girl knew her abc's and could say them fairly clear. Could talk in fairly complete sentences and could even spell a few words. I was wondering from any of you moms out there, what method of teaching do you teach a child like that. I would love to do that at home with her but I haven't the first clue as to what to do or how to do it. Any suggestions would be great.

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From what I have experienced, they learn from repitition. My son is 13 months old and is trying to repeat the ABC's when I sing it to him. I try to sing it everyday a couple of times a day. When they hear it then it becomes routine and they memorize it. It is when they get to school that it becomes meaningful.

Sing, play and read A LOT. She will learn so much just from talking and playing with you. My girls LOVE music, which is so beneficial. Don't compare....each child is special in their own way! Have fun!

My son didnt do those things at that age but he is seven now and is the top of his class. All I did is read to him all the time. Hope this helps

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That child you met is not the norm for verbal function at 18 mos. I knew an 18 month old who could talk like that but was just learning to walk, and one who could carry on adult-like conversation (and walk!), but of all the (many) young kids I know, they are exceptions.

I know I'm echoing what most people have responded with so far, but hopefully it should drive the point home. Read every day, and talk to your child about what's going on in her world. Provide letters and numbers for her (posters, placemats, books, fridge magnets, foam bath letters, etc.), sing her the ABC song, but don't push her to learn things like letters and numbers if she doesn't seem particularly interested yet. She's only 18 months old after all, and she has plenty of time left before she needs to know that stuff.

Also, figure out what things do interest her and focus on those. For instance, my oldest (now 3 1/2) is only just now getting interested in letter recognition, but he knows far more than most kids his age about planets, is fantastic with a pair of scissors, and loves to do mazes--all things we've encouraged because they interested him. At this age IT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO TEACH A LOVE OF LEARNING NEW THINGS THAN TO DRILL ANY PARTICULAR FACTS INTO THEIR HEADS. :)

1 mom found this helpful

You are probably going to hear this a lot, but remember everyone develops at different levels. An 18 month old that can spell a few words? She is very advanced. And I think it's great she could say her ABC's, but again, that is not incredibly common for that age. However, if you want to have fun with your daughter and still teach her things at the same time, that would be my best advice. I agree with the other mom who recommended using music. That is one of the best tools for little ones this age. ABC's and other number and letter songs (you can buy a variety of CD's online). Flashcards worked great for me. I have a 27 month old, and he loves them. I also bought sponge letters, numbers and shapes for the bathtub, and my son could stay in there forever, so it's a good chance for us to learn while he's playing. My advise if your toddler starts acting bored or walks away from the "learning" games or flashcards, just let them go. Forcing them to learn or do an activity if they aren't ready will only frustrate them more. Just have fun and encourage her!

We did this with both our 4 yr old and 6 yr old. We just, ever since they were born, talked to them. Instead of baby talking or doing many rhymes with them... we would hold them and say "a b c" or "1 2 3".

We actually had no idea what to do in this respect. My father, a truck driver, started it. He talked to them non-stop. We picked up the habit... and they are both extremely intelligent and pick up stuff easily.. (if I do say so myself :) )

From what I have experienced, they learn from repitition. My son is 13 months old and is trying to repeat the ABC's when I sing it to him. I try to sing it everyday a couple of times a day. When they hear it then it becomes routine and they memorize it. It is when they get to school that it becomes meaningful.

Buy the Leap Frog video called The Letter Factory. It is great! It teaches the letters and the sounds they make. By the time she was 2, my daughter knew all the letters and the sounds they make. You could ask her what the Q says and she could tell you. There are a whole series of these videos that teach reading as wll (The Word Factory, Code Word Caper, and the Storybook factory). There is also a board game called the Letter Factory. It is based on the video. No reading required. There are 2 levels to play. They also have a math video called The Math Circus. It teaches counting to 20 and simple addition and subtraction.

my little girl is 21 months old and speaks in 2 or 3 word sentences, can count to 10 with help, and will repeat pretty much anything you ask her too. i chalk a lot of her vocabulary to the fact that i started reading to her the day we brought her home from the hospital and we always spoke plain english to her...no baby gibberish. she also watches educational tv shows...seseme street, dora, barney. kids that age learn from repetition so just practice with her. my girl also has lot of educational toys that do colors, numbers and letters...v-tech makes some outstanding toys for babies and toddlers. but all kids learn at there pace...jsut becasue she hasn't learned as much another doesn't mean she's behind, and just becasue the other child has learned a little more doesn't necessarily meaned she advanced. as lond as she can say some words and reponds to your voice and is able to communicate in some way, i'm sure she's fine.

First, I would say try not to compare your child with another. I know that's hard to do. Each child develops at his or her own rate. That said, if you want to work with her on her abc's I would say the key is repetition without pressure. Sing the abc song while you give her a bath or get her dressed - don't try to "teach" it to her. She'll pick it up. Also, reading books together - even the same ones over and over - is a great way to introduce a child to a new concept. Good Luck!

Sing, play and read A LOT. She will learn so much just from talking and playing with you. My girls LOVE music, which is so beneficial. Don't compare....each child is special in their own way! Have fun!

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