I can’t believe it! My boys are one and a half! 18 and a half months to be exact.
There have been so many visible changes in their development this past month, so I thought I would document it here. They have sprouted in height and started to look more like “kids” not “babies”, and their ability and enthusiasm toward learning has been much greater lately. I can really feel that they are little individuals. They decide what they want or don’t want to do (sometimes with attitude!), and they have more distinct interests and favorite things to do.
I am really enjoying this phase because I can understand them much easier and can communicate with them in simple sentences and some sign language. But of course there are challenges like bedtime shenanigans (sleep regression for nap time and bedtime.) Their bed time has been two hours later than usual this past month, with no signs of change. Their attitude toward trying dangerous things over and over has increased, along with sass when I ask them to stop. I am grateful that there are so many fun things to look forward to each day because their brains are like sponges, there are so many new skills they accomplish every single day!
I will list off some new skills I have notices the past month below:
- They can ride tricycles (not able to steer well yet) and scooter bikes
- They can run, climb, go down the slide without help, and wrestle with each other
- They can imitate the dances of the songs and they can dance with hands and feet moving the same way as I do or videos show
- Because of me singing songs all day long about any animal or insect, whenever they see an animal that has a song, they start dancing.
- They do the cutest Ninja pose (with hands together with pointer fingers up)
- They can sit on a dining chair without falling over
- They can do sign language for “please”, “more”, and “all done”, and can do hand signals of “Gochisosama” (palms together, finished eating) and bow when I say “Konnichiwa” (good day) (the cutest thing ever!!!)
- They like climbing and balancing on logs at beach
- They hate shoes just like daddy! They walk in bare feet everywhere.
Brain Development /Social sense
- They know a lot of animal names both in Japanese and English (unless it is a rare animal) if we ask them to point to them or pick an animal card
- On top of some simple animal words they were able to say from before, they can say more animal names like “turtle”, “sai (rhinoceros)”, bear”, “Tako (octopus)”, “nya-nya- (the sound cat makes in Japanese)” “Sa (Sakana for fish or Saru for monkey)”, “Panda”, “Pe (penguin)”, etc.
- They say “Ba” for banana, “App” for apple, “Momo” (peaches in Japanese), “Bro” for broccoli, “Pa” for bread (Pan is bread in Japanese), “Chee” for cheese or chicken, they especially love saying “momo” because we got a lot of peaches from our garden this year and they had lots of them.
- They know a lot of letters if we ask them which is which. They can only say “B”, “H”, “M”, “O”, “P” for now.
- They know some colours. They can say “Ao (blue)”, “Acha (Aaka for Red)”, and “Purple”
- I have started teaching them the Japanese ‘alphabet’ (50 sounds) and they definitely show some interest. They seem to remember ”め”(me) and “お”(o). I know these are tough though, so I will take it slow…
- They started to recognize their Japanese grandpa and grandma even though they rarely see them on a video chat. When I show them pictures of them, they can say “Jiji” for Ojiichan (Grandpa) and “Baba” for Obaachan (Grandma)
- For some reason, they call minions and penguins “non-non”
- They started saying “NO” when they don’t want to do something, but at least it is super cute how they say the word.
- When they pretend to be mad at us for taking a toy when they are not being nice to it or our cat, they started to walk to the corner of the room and peek at us. But whenever I call them, they come out giggling.
- They love “peek a boo”. They always loved it since they were like 3 months old but now they completely understand the concept and they do it themselves. They hide in a closet and step out saying “Baaaa! (short for Inai Inai Baa, which means Peek a boo)”.
- If they hurt each other by accident or if they see the other one crying or upset, they go pat their head, hug them, or share their toy.
- They started to interact with friends and actually play with them
- They love drawing. M especially loves drawing with crayons and sidewalk chalks. They call both crayons and chalk, “chalk”. They draw for at least one hour every single day because they ask me for crayons!
- They get excited with stickers but T discovered that he can peel them off again and again so the stickers end up being so dirty that they are not sticky any more haha
As a stay at home mom, I feel really responsible for their development especially in the learning segment. I can’t just throw toys in front of them and let them play all day long. I sometimes feel challenged in thinking of activities to do with them. Luckily my mom sent a lot of learning toys and books from Japan so I have animal cards that say Japanese and English names and cards to teach them the Japanese alphabet. My friends’ kids who are in daycare learn letters and numbers really early, so that encourages me to try to teach them. I need to find a sample curriculum for a stay at home parent to teach their toddlers these things!! I keep thinking that I should make a weekly plan but I haven’t done it yet.
If you have any ideas for activities to do at home with 18-24 months olds, please share your thoughts in the comments.
Thank you so much for reading.