Magic of Everyday Moments - Chart on everyday ways to learn (15-24 months)

Based on content from ZERO TO THREE®: National Center for Infants, Toddler and Families.

For every age range, there are important developmental milestones. Learn "What to expect" and "What you can do" to enrich your baby's learning through everyday routines and interactions.

What to expect between 15 to 18 months

Let the Music Play

What To Expect:
Your toddler will love music, dancing, singing, clapping, and other rhythm games. Sharing music is a great way to bond with and teach your child new words, ideas, and movements.

What You Can Do:

  • Make music a part of your day in ways you and your child enjoy. You can even dance on the way to the bath or sing in the car as you do your errands. Don't worry about your voice-children don't judge!
  • Dance and introduce simple music games like freeze and the hokey-pokey.

Monkey-see, Monkey-do

What To Expect:
Your toddler learns by imitating you and others she sees, especially other children.

What You Can Do:

  • Be aware of your own actions and words. Let him see you helping others, being kind, or staying calm when faced with a challenge.
  • Provide opportunities for him to see other kids practicing good habits like buckling up and eating healthy foods.

I can solve that!

What To Expect:
Your toddler is getting better at problem-solving. She may try several times to figure out how to work a toy or puzzle.

What You Can Do:

  • Provide toys that challenge her but that she can master. If they're too easy she'll get bored, and her learning will be limited.
  • Coach your child - but don't do it all for her. Provide just enough help to allow her to solve the problem.

I feel your pain.

What To Expect:
Your child is beginning to understand that others have feelings, too. He may pat your back, or even comfort another child.

What You Can Do:

  • Show that you appreciate his compassion: "That hug sure makes me feel better."
  • Label your own feelings: "I'm sad because I bumped and hurt my toe."

What to expect between 18 to 24 months

I'm sure hand-y!

What To Expect:
Your toddler's hands and fingers are able to do much more. This opens up new ways to play.

What You Can Do:

  • Provide opportunities to color, turn pages while reading, and operate more complicated toys.
  • Have fun in the kitchen: finger paint with colored pudding on a baking sheet or mold cookie dough into fun shapes to bake.


What To Expect:
For toddlers, emotions still win over self-control. This can make sharing very hard. Your child may understand "no" but her mind still says "yes" as she grabs a toy from another child.

What You Can Do:

  • Play back and forth games to help her understand and practice turn-taking.
  • Make sure your child has lots of opportunities to play with other children. Be their guide in learning to share. Developing this skill takes time and practice.


What To Expect:
Your toddler may be experiencing a "vocabulary explosion." He's learning new words every day and may combine two or more in a phrase. He may want to practice talking.a lot!

What You Can Do:

  • Expand his words and phrases into a sentence: "Me down" becomes "You want to get down."
  • Play games with words. Try replacing a word in a familiar song: "Row, row, row your car."

Let off some steam.

What To Expect:
Your toddler may have more tantrums. He may get frustrated when he can't do something he wants by himself.

What You Can Do:

  • Continue to label his emotions to help him feel in control and to let him know you understand.
  • Help him slow down or take a break when you see signs that he is getting frustrated or overwhelmed.