18 Month Old Daily Schedule for SAHMs [Part I]: Activities, Meal Ideas & More
Your 18 month old is no longer a baby he or she once was.
The little wiggly 6 month old became the teetering 12 month old, who has now become the full-of-personality running 18 month old.
The 18 month old phase has been so fun…challenging, but fun.
It’s been such a joy being a Stay at Home Mom and watching my own son’s personality blossom and grow. And though staying at home with a toddler is no easy feat, it helps to have a schedule to fall back on.
Of course it must be said that every day is a little different (and full of plenty of mood swings), so we aren’t incredibly strict about a schedule (other than bed times!).
Here’s the current schedule we’ve been following and it’s been working well in our household for a while now. (Side note: this schedule isn’t exclusively for SAHMs!)
Here are some more highlights from the list above and inspiration for your own 18 month old.
(Indoor) Activities for 18 month olds
If there’s anything that’s a constant with toddlers, it’s that nothing is constant. No where else is that more true than with play and fun for an 18 month old.
Activities change all the time, but here’s a good selection of our current go-to’s for our toddler:
- Busy Toddler’s Playing Preschool Program (Roman’s way too young for this, but I dumb it down and it’s been fun for both learning and inspiration for amazing activities!) and other Busy Toddler inspired activities
- Coloring or drawing
- Kinetic sand
- Reading (more on that later)
- Vacuuming (oh yes, it’s a pure obsession over here)
- Non-Pandemic Activity: we loved going to a local indoor gym so Roman could get time with other kids and new toys!
Independent play for 18 month olds
These days, I use independent play for getting some work tasks done, getting ready for the day, cooking, working out, or doing a chore.
We keep several pack ‘n plays around the house, so when I really need to focus on getting something done, Roman goes in. We also have several play areas set up – one in my home office and one in the living room. That way, Rome can play for 15 – 30 minutes while I’m busy alongside him.
Here are a few ideas we use for independent play for our toddler:
- Blocks or STEM pegs
- “Computer” time
- Reading (more on that later)
- Playing with kitchenware (bowls, cups, spoons, etc.)
- Stacking cups
Meals for 18 month olds
There are tons of different kinds of toddlers when it comes to eating – from the very particular to the “try anything and everything” type.
Rome is somewhere in between; he has some go-to foods that he will almost always eat (currently bread and fruit). He has plenty of moments where these are the only things he will eat; and others where he is willing to be more experimental and try new foods.
What if your toddler isn’t interested in vegetables?
A quick side note if your toddler isn’t into vegetables like ours: Roman won’t always eat his veggies and, in the past, I’ve hidden them by baking them into things or making a quesadilla with them. However, I recently read the advice to start with veggies (like an appetizer) and your kiddo will be more likely to eat it. This has worked wonders in our house and I even took it a step further: I wait to serve fruit until the end of a meal (like a dessert). Like many little ones, Roman will always save room for fruit!
Here are a few of our current favorite meals for our toddler:
Breakfast (we usually do a mix of 2-3 of the following)
- Scrambled eggs with vegetables (carrots, spinach, peppers, zucchini, and any other leftover vegetables)
- Bagel and cream cheese or peanut butter (Roman likes to bite into large chunks of bagel)
- Toast with avocado spread
- Homemade pancakes (here’s a great recipe)
- Fresh fruit (berries, oranges, watermelon, etc.)
- Chickpea pasta with vegetables and cucumber
- Peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread with banana
- Leftovers from dinner (see below)
- Black beans, avocado, sweet potato on whole grain toast
- Meatballs (our current fave!) with red sauce, sautéed vegetables (Rome’s current favorite is carrots or sweet potato), and noodles (I love chickpea pasta for Rome because he’s notoriously challenging about protein!)
- Mini pizzas on whole grain English muffin (just add marinara sauce, cheese, veggies, and bake!)
- Quesadilla (a protein – like salmon, shrimp, or chicken – with mixed vegetables and cheese)
- A dumbed down version of the dinner I make for us (I rinse any veggies or protein that has too many spices)
- O-shaped cereal with fruit
- Smoothie (yogurt, fruit, and spinach)
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What are your favorite go-to’s for your 18 month old? Tell me all about them in the comments below!