Content Map Terms

Physical Development of Toddlers From 12-18 months




Watching a baby transform into a toddler is a captivating process. Here's what you can expect in terms of physical development between 12 and 18 months.

Physical Milestones

At this age your toddler is likely to:

  • Walk alone. 
  • Crawl or walk upstairs one step at a time, holding on to a railing or your hand. 
  • Push and pull toys while walking. 
  • Squat to pick up a toy without falling. 
  • Climb onto things (chairs, sofas, tables) or climb out of things (cribs, high chairs, strollers). 
  • Give an object to another person if asked. 
  • Pick up and eat small pieces of food. 
  • Drink from a cup. 
  • Turn a container upside down to get something out.  
  • Turn pages of a book. 
  • Stack three or more blocks. 
  • Scribble with a big crayon. 

Play and Activity

Encourage your 12 to 18 month old to be physically active. Play with your little one and go for walks outside to explore the world together. Here are some great tips to help you support your toddler’s physical development:

  • Continue to breastfeed. 
  • Spend lots of time playing outdoors in safe places. Try running and kicking balls. 
  • Play favourite music or sing songs and encourage dancing. 
  • Build an obstacle course for your toddler to crawl through using boxes, chairs, big pillows, and other objects. 
  • Provide different sized balls to kick and play with. 
  • Let your toddler feed himself with small pieces of food at mealtimes. 
  • Offer plastic bowls for stacking and nesting. 
  • Provide big crayons and lots of paper. 
  • Provide pots with lids to encourage matching. 
  • Help your toddler solve simple, large piece jigsaw puzzles. 

Other Milestones

Between 12 and 18 months your toddler may also:

  • Walk down stairs holding a railing, placing both feet on the same step. 
  • Try to kick a ball. 
  • Ride toys. 
  • Run, but fall and run into things. 
  • Walk backwards. 
  • Eat independently with a spoon. 
  • Throw a ball forward. 
  • Begin to unlatch, unscrew, and open things and take them apart. 
  • Squeeze, poke, and pat playdough. 
  • Copy simple lines drawn on paper.

Resources & Links:
HealthLink BC: Growth and Development, Ages 12 to 24 Months

Last Updated: April 10, 2013