Home > Comfort, Play & Teach > Intellectual Development
Comfort, Play & Teach
Intellectual Development: 12 to 18 months

Intellectual Development means being able to communicate, to think both creatively and abstractly, to pay attention, solve problems, and develop keen judgment and a lifelong readiness to learn.

Emerging Skills
  • Find an object by looking in one or two places - realize things exist when they are out of sight
  • Point to a specific object they want
  • Look and point to pictures in a book
  • Repeat enjoyable actions, such as clapping
  • Begin to recognize shapes
  • Begin to understand functions of certain objects (such as a spoon or a cup)
  • Begin to learn body parts, such as eye and nose
  • Participate in familiar games

  • Comfort

    Through the comfort and responsiveness of an adult, babies will learn how to handle their emotions and how to seek help when needed.

    Parents Can:
  • Spend time reading board books and looking at photos
  • Child Will:
  • Enjoy the close, one-on-one time spent with you listening to simple stories
  • Begin to turn pages and point out pictures
  • Remember and anticipate certain pictures and events

  • Parents Can:
  • Use his bath time routine to label body parts; use songs to demonstrate what body parts do
  • Child Will:
  • Learn to point to different body parts by name
  • Learn that his body parts are separate from your body parts

  • Parents Can:
  • Encourage their baby to feed herself by providing dry cereal, small crackers or other small food in a cup or small bowl
  • Child Will:
  • Practice small motor coordination and control
  • Practice independent and self-help skills if she wants to
  • Explore food using sight, touch, taste and smell

  • Play

    Through opportunities for play, babies will experience joyful, free, spontaneous moments of fun while learning about themselves and others.

    Parents Can:
  • Provide any series of containers that can be nested one inside the other
  • Child Will:
  • Learn about size relationships among objects
  • Practice solving problems through trial and error experimentation

  • Parents Can:
  • Play simple pretend games with dolls and teddy bears
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to reproduce nurturing actions that he has experienced
  • Begin to initiate simple play events

  • Parents Can:
  • When dressing, hold up her socks and say, "Socks go on your feet. Show me your foot." Repeat using other body parts for other clothing articles
  • Child Will:
  • Learn to point to her different body parts
  • Practice matching words for different parts of her body
  • Develop a positive sense of self and body image

  • Teach

    Through routines and emotionally and physically safe and secure environments, babies can learn how to think, solve problems and communicate.

    Parents Can:
  • Encourage their baby to match pots and lids
  • Child Will:
  • Enjoy banging pots and lids together and making noise
  • Begin to appreciate different sizes of round objects

  • Parents Can:
  • Cut a hole in a big box and encourage their baby to crawl through the "tunnel"
  • Child Will:
  • Learn how to move his body through space
  • Learn to match words such as "in" and "out" with how his body moves around objects
  • Enjoy hiding, and controlling peek-a-boo on his terms with you

  • Parents Can:
  • Point out familiar objects when reading books or looking through magazines. Find the same objects in your house and label them
  • Child Will:
  • Learn the names for familiar objects
  • Match real objects with those that are two dimensional

  • Social Development: 12 to 18 months
    Emotional Development: 12 to 18 months
    Intellectual Development - Language: 12 to 18 months
    Intellectual Development - Problem Solving: 12 to 18 months

    We built this site for you. How are we doing?
    tell us
    Join Us
    Helpful tips and parenting news delivered right to your inbox.
    sign me up
    Mini Poll
    I use the Web to network with other professionals in my field.

    Help Us Help Kids
    Support Invest in Kids by making a simple, secure online donation!