Sometime around one year of age babies master walking, and playtime
takes on a whole new dimension. Toys they can push or pull
top the list of one-year favorites. Toddlers love to
climb on small slides or play structures. The kitchen
becomes a world of wonder for curious toddlers. Stacking
and nesting cups and containers will keep toddlers busy.
Language ability grows at an amazing pace during this
year. The toddler's ability to understand words and
phrases develops more quickly than their ability to talk.
Playing together can give baby a chance to practice
listening and responding to your interactive questions.
As toddlers' talking abilities increase, they become
easier to reason with. As you play together, you and
your budding conversationalist can point to and name
all there is to see around you. Toddlers also love to
make noise, so get used to things being a little louder
around the house. Riding toys is a new area for toddlers
both indoors and outdoors. Toward age two, toddlers grow
more assertive in their play. Toys that are just
like "grown-up" things, such as child-size
furniture, help toddlers feel they have a special place
of their own. The older toddler will also begin to plan
ahead and figure out puzzles and shape sorting games.
As imagination blossoms, they will begin to build towers
and other projects. Water play, whether in the tub or
outside with a bucket, also becomes a toddler favorite.
the first part of this year, baby will master the art
of walking. This will progress into running (and falling),
stepping up stairs, jumping, and eventually climbing
toy ladders and riding toys. Babies will also develop
throwing and catching skills. Here are some ways you
can promote these gross motor skills through interactive
play is an all-time toddler favorite. Start off with
sitting and rolling the ball back and forth. As baby's
walking improves, he will learn to bounce the ball
and eventually play throw and catch.
baby's balance improves, kicking the ball around with
mom or dad is lots of fun.
a daily dance party to your favorite music.
Clap and sing along with your toddler as she gains
rhythm and learns to dance.
instruments are perfect for the older toddler. Make
music together with rattles, drums, flutes, xylophones
toys, such as pretend lawn mowers, vacuums and shopping
carts are great ways for your toddler to improve balance and help you
around the house.
small indoor play slide will help your active toddler
learn climbing and balancing, with you close by for
any slips or tips.
love to walk around and gather toys into a bucket.
Add in a fun "clean up" song to get your
child used to cleaning up his toys.
hand skills allow toddlers to engage in more challenging
activities. Babies will begin to skillfully hold and
drink from a cup. This will progress into feeding themselves
using their fingers and eventually a spoon. Stacking
containers and blocks becomes a favorite skill to master.
Scribbling and coloring is another fun skill that will
begin this year. Here are some ways you can help promote
fine motor skills through interactive play:
and dumping container play is a hallmark of the toddler
years. Small colored balls, blocks, shapes and a bucket
are just the thing to keep baby busy for hours.
own kitchen drawer is a great way to keep your toddler
busy and close by. Sets of cups in graduated sizes that
stack or nest together and containers with tops should
fill the drawer.
will learn to match shapes and sizes. Help your baby
discover how to put different shapes through the various
holes in a simple shape matching toy.
cups and blocks will intrigue baby for hours. Sit
with your baby and watch the tower grow as his hand
play is a great way to enjoy some fun together. Either
outside or in the bath, a variety of cups, containers,
water wheels and strainers will allow a child to test
the properties of water. These toys also work great
in the sandbox.
becomes more fun for everyone as baby is better able
to feed herself and drink from a cup. Learning to
use a spoon with skill and balance is a good exercise
for little hands.
books provide numerous little flaps and hidden surprises
for curious fingers. Sit and read each
evening together. Keep baby's interest focused on
the book by prompting him to "turn the pages"
as you go.
your toddler to scribbling and coloring with crayons.
Sit with your child and join in the creative fun to
make sure she keeps it on the paper.
and cognitive development
this year toddler's social interactions and behaviors
will blossom. Babies become more involved in daily
life around the house. Their growing ability to think through
and solve problems will allow baby to work puzzles and
shape games. Growing toddlers will want to play more
one-on-one games with adults, such as hide-and-seek
and early pretend play. Here are some ways you can promote
your baby's social and cognitive skills through interactive
some excitement to those long car rides with a car
seat activity toy. Your imaginative toddler will enjoy
"driving" around with you.
toddlers show more interest in daily activities around
the house. Involve a favorite doll or stuffed animal
to help baby cooperate with tooth brushing, hand washing,
and other day to day skills.
toddler can now understand size relationships. Help
your child figure out how to stack cups or blocks
from biggest to smallest.
toddler will enjoy more interactive games with you,
such as hide and seek and pat-a-cake. Take time everyday
to "be a kid" with your child.
some favorite toys and go on a "treasure hunt"
older toddler will become a pro at simple puzzles.
Engage your baby frequently in this mind-and-finger-stimulating
activity. Foam shapes and puzzles are also great in
and language development
understand of various words and phrases will progress
dramatically. Their first words will grow into a larger
vocabulary throughout the year. Some kids will even
begin putting words together into simple sentences.
Here are some ways you can promote your baby's hearing
and language skills through interactive play:
activity can be a lesson in language. Verbalizing
objects and actions, such as "Where's the ball?"
and "Push the button", out loud to your
toddler as you play will help her word skills grow.
are proud when they learn to point to and name parts
of their face and body. Use a favorite doll or stuffed
animal to add more fun to this learning game. Mirrors
are also perfect for this activity.
animal sounds is easy for toddlers. Picture books,
stuffed animals, and finger puppets are great tools for
teaching. Echo baby's sounds to reinforce her creativity.
you go through your day together, point to and name
objects for your baby. This continued input will reinforce
to your toddler is an excellent way to stay connected
and help your baby's language skills grow. Play the
point and name game as you turn through the pages