At 18 months your baby is really a toddler now! With that comes a whole new world of play equipment and toys – your child’s unlikely to be content to sit on a playmat anymore. You’ll want to encourage their growing sense of exploration, but also make sure they’re safe while they’re finding their feet. Follow our guide to play equipment for your toddler to make it all clear.
Push along toys
Now that your child is toddling around independently, a push along toy is a great choice to help encourage their co-ordination and to provide some extra support while they’re still learning how to balance consistently.
There are lots of choices of push along toys, from simple wooden animals on a stick, to more exciting options with lights, space for favourite toys to take a ride and music players. How extravagant you want to be is really up to you, but if you’re going for a musical option it’s worth looking for a volume control!
It’s also worth thinking about how much space you have at home – or whether you’d like your toddler to use it outdoors, as different options will have different intended uses.
Ride-on toys are a great tool for encouraging your toddler’s independence, as well as their co-ordination and balance. Again, there’s a wide variety of options out there – simple wooden tricycles or more fancy choices which play songs and have lights.
It’s worth choosing an option that your toddler will grow with if you’re making a bigger purchase, so think about whether there’s a parent handle or not, and if it can be removed at a later date. Also consider if you’ll want to use it indoors or outside, possibly even as an alternative to your buggy on short journeys. If you want to use it outdoors, you’re going to want to make sure it’s easy for you to push (or pick up and carry!) if need be.
Activity play tables
An activity play table is a small table with its surface covered in a range of activities for your toddler to engage in. Some have lights, sounds and music that are triggered by your toddler’s actions, others offer shape sorting or a pretend phone. This provides your toddler with the chance to learn and practice skills – depending on what activities the table boasts, it could help them experience cause and affect, learn about shapes or numbers, and develop motor skills. It also sees them balance while standing.
Some activity play tables are suitable from around 6 months age because the legs can be detached, and the table top used for floor play for babies unable to stand.