Babies develop their cognition, skills and behavior at fast rates. Consider that a 12- or 13-month-old will chew on a spoon, while a 15-month-old will use the spoon to stir imaginary food, despite only being 2 or 3 months apart. At 15 months, babies begin to use symbols to convey meaning. By stirring invisible food, your baby communicates that she is hungry. Take advantage of your 15-month-old baby’s cognitive abilities with activities that indulge her playful side while enhancing her development.
When your baby reaches 15 months old, he already understands that different objects have different uses. At this age, he is beginning to connect actions with consequences and is learning to think ahead. Participating in role-playing games will stimulate his imagination and lead him to mirror real-life situations through pretend scenarios. Begin with familiar situations, such as meal time, to avoid confusion. At this age, he will understand simple commands. By giving him simple instructions and common kitchen items, like mixing bowls and wooden spoons, your 15-month-old will act out scenarios, like pretending he is a chef.
The typical 15-month-old enjoys games that provide the opportunity to interact with objects through pushing, pulling or squeezing. At the same time, she begins to perceive cause-and-effect relationships with great interest. Try playing games that associate causes with effects simply, like turning lights on and off. Over time, she will begin to comprehend that the position of the light switch controls the presence or absence of light. In addition, games that connect causes with effects will encourage your 15-month-old’s desire to touch, which will give her a sense of control over her surroundings while fostering sensory development.
At 15 months, a healthy baby can already say simple words. However, his ability to understand the words spoken to him develops with even greater skill. Play games that encourage verbal communication. Encourage him to repeat your words through an echo game. Try singing simple, monosyllabic messages and encourage your 15-month-old to repeat after you or sing along. Then switch places; have him sing to you and repeat after him. If he experiences difficulty, invite another family member to help you demonstrate the game.