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Toddlers' Physical Development from 18-24 months

Mom playing outside with two toddlers



Between 18 and 24 months, your toddler is taking huge strides (literally and figuratively!), and becoming very independent. Here's what else you can expect in this six-month period.

Physical Milestones

Between 18-24 months, your toddler is likely to:

  • Kick a ball. 
  • Squat while playing. 
  • Walk backwards or sideways while pulling a toy. 
  • Back into a chair to sit down. 
  • Ride a small-wheeled toy
  • Carry a large toy while walking
  • Remove lids from containers. 
  • Nest cups and boxes inside each other. 
  • Take off shoes, hat, and socks. 
  • String large beads with two hands. 
  • Raise and drink from a cup, then put it back on the table. 

Play and Activity

Your toddler loves to play. Spend lots of time outdoors in safe places, like a toddler playground. Try running and kicking balls and playing with toys that allow your toddler to push and pedal.

Here are some other ways to encourage your toddler's physical development:

  • Continue to breastfeed. 
  • Look for child sized versions of adult things, such as furniture, a soccer ball, a plastic baseball and bat, or garden tools. 
  • Play with your toddler by pretending to be an animal: "hop like a frog, fly like a bird, and jump like a rabbit."
  • Describe your toddler’s movements and actions as he does them. If your toddler climbs the stairs, say, "You’re climbing the stairs." 
  • Play different kinds of music for your toddler to dance to, such as marches, rock 'n' roll, and waltzes. 
  • Encourage your toddler to dress and undress on her own. 
  • Only help when needed. 
  • Provide lots of containers during bath time. 
  • Offer activities that require sorting of shapes. 
  • Offer items like finger paints, paints and easels, ride on toys, and push pull toys.

Other Physical Milestones

Between 18 and 24 months your toddler may also:

  • Walk on tiptoes. 
  • Throw and retrieve objects. 
  • Jump in place with both feet. 
  • Catch a large ball. 
  • Open doors by turning knobs. 
  • Copy straight or circular strokes with a crayon. 
  • Snip with child sized scissors. 
  • Fold paper in half.

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

Last Updated: April 10, 2013