Lesson Plans for Infants 12-18 Months

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As an infant teacher, planning engaging and developmentally appropriate lessons for your little ones is key to their growth and learning.

For infants aged 12-18 months, it’s important to provide activities that stimulate their senses, promote exploration, and encourage early language and motor skills.

In this article, we will explore effective lesson plans for infants aged 12-18 months that will help to support their growth and development.

Key Tips For Planning Infant Development Lessons

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Key Tips For Planning Infant Development Lessons

Planning infant development lessons for babies between 12 to 18 months can seem daunting, especially if you’re not familiar with their developmental stages. However, investing quality time in developing lesson plans beforehand can make a huge difference in a baby’s growth.

Infant development is rapid and, as such, each lesson plan needs to be age-appropriate and adjusted for the individual needs of the baby.

Choosing Age-Appropriate Activities: How To Select Activities

Creating effective lesson plans for infants involves selecting activities that support their developmental needs. Here are some essential things to consider when choosing age-appropriate activities:

  • Focus on activities that aid motor skills development, such as stacking blocks, playing with balls and simple puzzles.
  • Activities that help develop coordination and balance, such as crawling, walking, and running, are also crucial.
  • Sensory activities involving touch and sensation, such as finger painting and water play, are great for growth and development.

Incorporating Multi-Sensory Experiences

Incorporating multi-sensory experiences is a great way to engage and stimulate infants. This helps to strengthen their cognitive and emotional development. Here are some tips for incorporating multi-sensory experiences:

  • Play music or sing songs with repetitive lyrics to help their language development.
  • Provide babies with a variety of objects with different textures to help their tactile development.
  • Make use of colorful objects in the environment to encourage color recognition and promote visual development.

Encouraging Exploration And Curiosity

Creating a stimulating environment that encourages infants to explore and discover is beneficial for their development. Here are some strategies to encourage exploration and curiosity:

  • Create a safe room with childproofed surroundings that is suitable for babies to explore independently.
  • Provide a range of age-appropriate toys, such as shape sorters and simple puzzles, to engage exploration and curiosity.
  • Rotate toys frequently to keep their interest and also encourage exploration in different ways.

Emphasizing Play And Interaction

Emphasizing play and interaction can help babies develop their communication, language, and social skills, which are essential for their growth. Here are some techniques to encourage play and interaction:

  • Engage in interactive play that involves babies such as peek-a-boo, hide-and-seek, and songs with actions.
  • Talk and read to babies to help develop their language skills.
  • Arrange play dates with other infants to help with socialization skills development.

Designing lesson plans for infants involves creativity and ensuring all activities are age-appropriate for the babies’ growth stage. Incorporating multi-sensory experiences, promoting curiosity and exploration, and emphasizing play and interaction with others, can help in infants’ development.

Sample Lesson Plans For Infants 12-18 Months

When it comes to infants as young as 12-18 months old, learning happens through play. Every interaction, every activity, every moment can be a learning opportunity.

As caregivers and educators, it is essential to provide infants with the guidance and support they need for their cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.

Sample Lesson Plans For Infants 12-18 Months

Sample Lesson Plan 1: Developing Fine Motor Skills Through Sensory Play With Textures.

Sensory play is an excellent way to encourage infants to explore the world, learn new things, and develop their fine motor skills. In this lesson plan, infants will learn about different textures and improve their fine motor skills through sensory play with the following activities:

  • Soft and hard objects: Choose a variety of objects with different textures, such as a soft blanket, a hard book, a smooth rock, and a bumpy ball. Let infants touch, feel, and explore the objects on their own.
  • Textured toys: Provide infants with toys that have different textures, such as a stuffed toy, a rubber ring, and a sensory ball. Encourage them to touch, squeeze, and play with the toys.
  • Edible sensory play: Introduce infants to edible sensory play by giving them foods with different textures, such as mashed potatoes, pudding, and sticky rice.

Sample Lesson Plan 2: Promoting Cognitive Development Through Object Permanence Games.

Object permanence is the concept that objects continue to exist even when they are out of sight. Infants can learn about object permanence through games that involve hiding and revealing objects. In this lesson plan, infants will promote their cognitive development by playing the following games:

  • Peek-a-boo: Cover your face with your hands or a blanket and then reveal yourself while saying “peek-a-boo”. This game will help infants understand that you still exist even when they cannot see you.
  • Hiding objects: Show infants a toy or an object, and then hide it under a blanket or behind a pillow. Encourage infants to find the object. This game will help infants understand that objects still exist even when they are out of sight.
  • Putting objects in and out of containers: Provide infants with containers and objects that fit inside them, such as blocks, balls, and cups. Encourage them to put the objects in and out of the containers. This game will help infants understand that objects have a place and can be retrieved from that place.

Sample Lesson Plan 3: Encouraging Social And Emotional Development Through Interactive Play.

Social and emotional development is crucial for infants to establish healthy relationships and manage their emotions. In this lesson plan, infants will learn how to interact with others and manage their emotions through interactive play with the following activities:

  • Face recognition: Show infants pictures with different facial expressions and name the emotions (such as happy, sad, and angry). Encourage infants to mimic the facial expressions.
  • Singing and dancing: Dance and sing along with infants to children’s songs. This activity will help infants develop their coordination, rhythm, and social skills.
  • Playing with others: Encourage infants to play with other infants or caregivers in a safe and supervised environment. This activity will help infants learn how to share, take turns, and communicate with others.

By using these simple, yet effective, lesson plans, caregivers and educators can help infants develop essential skills and behaviors that will lay the foundation for their future learning and growth.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Creating Infant Development Lessons

Creating development lesson plans for infants is not an easy task. The goal is to create a fun and engaging experience that helps infants learn and develop new skills. However, there are some common mistakes that caregivers and educators make when designing lesson plans for infants.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Creating Infant Development Lessons

Here are some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Overstimulation: How To Design Development Activities That Do Not Overwhelm Infants

One of the most significant mistakes that caregivers make when designing lesson plans for infants is overstimulation. Infants at this age have a limited attention span and are easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation. Here’s how to avoid overstimulation when designing infant lesson plans:

  • Keep the activities simple and age-appropriate.
  • Lower the volume of any background music or noise.
  • Avoid sudden, loud noises that may startle an infant.
  • Limit the number of toys and activities presented at once.

Lack Of Structure: The Importance Of Having Clear Objectives

Another mistake that people make when creating infant lesson plans is a lack of structure. It’s essential to have clear objectives and routines incorporated within the activities to make the lesson plan more effective. Here’s how to incorporate structure into infant lesson plans:

  • Create a routine that includes specific times for learning, eating, napping, and playing.
  • Set clear objectives for each developmental activity or toy.
  • Follow a predictable sequence of events each day to establish a routine.
  • Clearly communicate the objectives and routine with parents or caregivers.

Ignoring Individual Needs: The Significance Of Observing Infants

Every infant is unique and has their own set of developmental needs. Ignoring these individual needs can result in a lesson plan that isn’t effective. Here are some tips for designing individualistic infant lesson plans:

  • Observe the infant to determine their interests, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Personalize the lesson plan based on the infant’s needs and abilities.
  • Incorporate the infant’s favorite toys, activities and people into the lesson plan.
  • Work with parents or caregivers to establish and implement individualized lesson plans.

Designing effective development lesson plans for infants requires careful consideration of the infant’s unique needs and abilities. Avoiding common mistakes such as overstimulation, lack of structure, and ignoring individual needs can help make the lesson plan more effective in supporting the infant’s development.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Some Fun Activities For Infants Aged 12-18 Months?

At this stage, infants enjoy playing with toys that make noise and move around, as well as books with pictures and textures they can touch. Sensory activities such as water play, exploration through poking holes in objects, and playing with different materials, such as sand or clay, are also great options.

How Can I Incorporate Language Development Into My Lesson Plan?

Reading simple board books together with your infant is one of the best ways to promote language development. Using simple, repetitive phrases as well as pointing and naming pictures in the books also helps to improve speech and vocabulary skills.

What Are Some Movement And Physical Activities For Infants?

Tummy time, crawling, and reaching for objects are important physical activities for infants as they develop their motor skills. Playing with soft balls/rolling them, making tunnels with pillows, and safely exploring the environment are other excellent ways to promote movement and activity.

What Materials Should I Use In My Lesson Plan?

Simple items found in the home can be used to create fun activities for infants. Soft blocks, cloth books, stacking cups, and balls of different sizes are all great materials for infants to explore. You can also use scarves, ribbons, paper, and other textured materials.

How Can I personalize my lesson plan to help my infant’s Development?

You can personalize your lesson plan for your infant by observing their interests and abilities and tailoring activities to them. Each infant is unique and will develop differently. As parents or caregivers, you can create activities that challenge your infant while they learn and have fun at the same time.


As we wrap up this post, it’s clear that infants between 12-18 months can benefit greatly from structured lesson plans. These plans provide an opportunity for infants to learn and grow in a way that’s natural and exciting for them. Remember, while it’s important to have a plan in place, it’s equally important to be flexible and adaptable to an infant’s unique needs and strengths. By utilizing resources such as sensory toys, books, and music, you can keep your lesson plans fresh and engaging.

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