Home > Comfort, Play & Teach > Intellectual Development
Comfort, Play & Teach
Intellectual Development - Problem Solving: 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
  • Attempt to complete simple shape board puzzles
  • Learn by trial and error
  • Begin to solve simple problems
  • Pull a string to get a toy closer
  • Begin to understand functions of certain objects (such as a spoon or a cup)

  • 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:
  • Look for favourite toys together
  • Child Will:
  • Enjoy spending time with you
  • Begin to understand that even if things are out of sight, they still exist
  • Share the pleasure in searching for a toy or object with you

  • Parents Can:
  • Provide comfort to their baby when she appears frustrated
  • Child Will:
  • Feel safe and secure knowing you are there to help
  • Learn to soothe herself when distressed
  • Be confident in your willingness and desire to solve the problem or eliminate the frustration for her

  • Play

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

    Parents Can:
  • Provide toys with wheels that can be pulled by a string. Encourage their baby to see what happens when the string is pulled
  • Child Will:
  • Enjoy his ability to pull toys where he wants to go
  • Begin to understand cause and effect – when the string is pulled the toy moves
  • Begin to think about how his actions can be used to make changes with objects

  • Parents Can:
  • Play hide-and-seek with objects by first placing a ball under one container and shuffling the other containers around
  • Hide objects that have a sound, such as a ticking alarm clock or small tape recorder
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to develop a sense of object permanence
  • Practice searching for hidden objects by remembering which was the first hiding place
  • Learn to find things by listening for the sound

  • Parents Can:
  • Provide any series of containers that can be nested one inside the other
  • Child Will:
  • Learn about the size and relationships among objects
  • Practice solving problems through trial and error experimentation
  • Begin to think about how her actions can influence what happens to objects

  • Teach

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

    Parents Can:
  • Together with their baby, sit down and attempt a simple puzzle with one or two large pieces
  • Child Will:
  • Enjoy playing with you
  • Begin to experiment with different shapes and sizes
  • Have the chance to use trial and error to solve a simple problem

  • Parents Can:
  • Cut a square hole in a shoebox cover or a circle in the lid of a yogurt container, and give their baby a square block or a small ball of yarn to insert in the "puzzle board"
  • Child Will:
  • Start to notice the differences between shapes
  • Start to match one or two shapes
  • Practice object permanence in another variation, as the block disappears into a container under a lid

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