Communication development: By 18 months

Communication development: By 18 months

Spend time looking at picture books and photos and talking about what you see. Sing and do the actions for action songs/waiata. Talk about what you see when you are out and about.

Here is some information about how children's communication skills usually develop by the age of 18 months. We have included some suggestions of activities to encourage communication at each age (tips). Use the language that you are most familiar and comfortable with.

By 18 months, most children ...

  • understand simple phrases, such as "where's your drink?", "shoes on"
  • will give a toy to an adult on request
  • repeat actions to make someone laugh
  • are starting to use more than 20 common words, such as "milk", "daddy", "more"
  • are starting to turn pages in books and to point at pictures

Tips

  • spend time looking at picture books and photos and talking about what you see
  • sing and do the actions for action songs/waiata
  • talk about what you see when you are out and about; for example, shopping, in the car, on the marae

The content on this page has been produced in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and adapted from Much more than words | Manuka takoto, kawea ake (2014) (PDF, 565KB)

This page last reviewed 19 February 2018.
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