16 - 18 Months

The enclosing schema: 4 simple activities for toddlers

When your toddler crawls into a cardboard box or places a cup inside a bigger container, they’re exploring the “enclosing” schema. This can involve enclosing their own body in a small space, surrounding small toys with other objects, or nesting containers inside slightly larger ones. The enclosing schema is related to your toddler’s emerging sense of order: They’re starting to learn how to organize objects and spaces.

4 ideas for enclosing play

  1. Give your toddler cups, bowls, baskets, and other items that can nest together. For example, the Nesting Stacking Dripdrop Cups and the Lovevery Nesting Felt Baskets allow your child to explore how one thing can enclose another. 
  2. Play games in a play tunnel. Sit on the opposite end from your toddler and encourage them to crawl to you. Or, place a toy in the middle of the tunnel and “race” your toddler to see who can get it first. You can also try positioning the tunnel vertically over your toddler as they stand or gently rolling your toddler back and forth as they lie inside.
  3. Build a fort using a large cardboard box or couch cushions and blankets. You could also put the cover on The Play Gym and invite your toddler to sit inside. Many toddlers love the feeling of being in a cozy space.
  4. Use blocks to create enclosures for small toys. A ring of blocks could be a pen for animal figurines or a parking lot for cars.


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Posted in: 16 - 18 Months, 19 - 21 Months, 22 - 24 Months, Brain Development, Cognitive Skills, Play to Learn, Cognitive Development, Indoor Play, Lovevery App, Schema Play, Child Development

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