A one and half year old child begins to develop independence, and is developing a sense of competence and confidence. Your young toddler is exploring through all his or her senses, and is highly interested and motivated to learn new skills, gather knew knowledge, and practice new skills. At this age, a child begins to develop more socially and emotionally.
You may notice that your child begins to have their own ideas, wants to do certain things in their own way, and sometimes, even say "no" or shake their head to refuse requests made by you. These are all part of a small child's social and emotional development. By this time, many small children begin to have strong feelings and start to express their feelings and emotions much more clearly. Your relationship with your child also develop and evolve as your child learn to do things for themselves, and you may find that sometimes your child resents your help with certain things that they want to do on their own.
For us parents, it's important to always keep in mind that a 1.5 year old toddler is still just beginning to develop and understand their own feelings and emotions, and they have not yet learned to appreciate or be considerate for the feelings of others. Take time to explain to your toddler that their actions affect others; talk about and name the emotions and feelings that your child is feeling; and explain how someone else might feel. This all takes time and patience, and will require a lot of guidance on your part.
Naming the feelings for your child will help them know and understand what they are feeling. For example, if you're child is upset because he or she broke her toy, explain to your child that they are feeling upset because the toy is broken. You can also explain to your toddler what you are feeling. For example, your child accomplishes a simple task (let's say stacking up several blocks), you can tell your child that you are feeling happy for their new achievement. Naming and explaining these feelings helps the child better understand them.
1.5 Year Old Social Development
Toddlers at this age will enjoy being around other similar aged children; however, at this stage, he or she will probably not play with the other children. For example, when our family friends bring over their 1.5 year old toddler (same age as our son), they simply play in the same area, but each of them will do their own thing, play with their own toy, but does not really play with the other child. However, a 18 months old child will play with a sibling.
By this age, children begin to play make believe, and some of their learning comes from this type of play. They may pretend to comfort a stuffed animal; pretend to feed imaginary milk or food to a doll; or try to get two different stuffed toys to hold hands. Help your child use their imagination with pretend play. Encourage your toddler to use their imagination by trying out different roles and doing different activities; have different toys around such as stuffed animals, kitchen sets, toy construction sets, cash registers, doll houses, etc...
You can also engage your child in imitative play. For example one child copies the actions of another child, or copies your actions and activities. Doing things such as clapping your hands, jumping up and about, making funny sounds, pretending to do various house chores, and have your toddler copy your actions. These imitative play times can help improve your child's observation skills.