Ideas for Preschoolers:

Activities for 18 Months - 2 1/2 Year Olds

At age 18 months children start to learn so quickly.  Their language is developing so they can usually understand you and can communicate back many words of their own.

The first things I would recommend teaching children ages 18 months to 2 1/2 years is color, shapes and animals.  You can also start to introduce the alphabet and numbers. I have entire pages of ideas for these subjects on, but reading through those pages can be overwhelming. Here are a few of my favorite activities for this age group that my kids also love.

I made color flash cards by cutting 2 index size rectangles out of each color of construction paper, writing the name of the color on one side and lamenting the cards.

Here are a bunch of games you can play with these cards as found on my color page:

  • Have child find the matching colors.
  • Pick one color card out and have the child go and find things that are that color and come back and tell you what they found, or bring the object back to you.
  • Gather several objects of different colors and have the child place each object on the corresponding colored card.
  • Hide one set of cards around the room. Give the child one of the second set of cards and tell them to go find that colored card.
  • Have child match crayons to the cards.
  • Hold up each card and ask child what color it is.
  • Go outside and find things in nature that are the different colors. 

You can also put these cards under a clear cup, jar or tupperware and have your child put colored pom poms in the corresponding container. You can usually find these colored pom poms at the Dollar Store.

You could also use counting animals if you have them (there are SO many different things you can do with these guys. I love them.) These also come with the corresponding color cups which would be nice.

You can also use foam lacing beads. These are good for teaching shapes as well.

Don't give up if you child doesn't understand where they're supposed to put the colors right away.  It will take time and you'll probably have to sit down with them and walk them through each step for the first few times of doing these activities.  If you're patient, they will eventually figure it out and be able to start doing it on their own.

Another easy, cheap color game you can make involves jumbo craft sticks.  Color each color on two craft sticks.  Have the child find the two matching colors and put them together.

When I bought my first box of jumbo craft sticks I thought there was no way I would use them all. I am now on my second box. There are so many things you can do with them.

Here are a couple of cute floor games these young kids can figure out. Found at Child Care Land.

Children love felt board stories.  Here's one that teaches color. Also found at Child Care Land.

Here are a couple more.

Carl the clown:

Here are some ice cream cone rhymes:

Find a lot more color ideas here.

I got these shape flash cards and magnetic shapes at the Dollar Store. Have you child match them up by shape and color.

Match pasta shapes in the corresponding container.

Trace small items you find around the house on index cards and have the child match the item to the shape.

File folder shape games.

Cut up shapes out of heavy cardstock and trace the shape on cards. Have the child match the cutouts to the cards.

I love this shape monster felt board story. Lot s of fun.

 Find more shape ideas here.


Old McDonald Had a Farm

 5 Little Monkeys
Five little monkeys, walked along the shore
One went a' sailing, then there were four.
Four little monkeys climbed up a tree,
One feel down, then there were three. 
Three little monkeys found a pot of glue,
One got stuck in it, then there were two.
Two little monkeys found a currant bun,
One ran away with it, then there was one.
One little monkey cried all afternoon,
So they put him in an airplane and sent him to the moon.

5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Zoo Train
If you ride the choo choo choo to the zoo, zoo, zoo
You might see an elephant or a kangaroo
You might hear a lion or a tiger too
If you ride the choo choo choo to the zoo, zoo, zoo.

Find more felt board stories here.

Published on 2011-09-27 08:00:00


Welcome to Ideas for Preschoolers, your best resource for preschool ideas on the web! This website was designed to help you teach your preschoolers what they need to know before they enter Kindergarten by gathering free ideas and resources from the web and organizing them so they are easy to find.

Help support us and keep our site free by purchasing your preschool products from Amazon through us. You'll find great products on pages throughout the site. Enjoy!

Other Resources

Grandma Bubbles Books
for Young Readers!

Fun, colorful eBooks kids
love to read!

Grab an Ideas for Preschoolers button!

Tons of Ideas for Preschoolers