What a year! Full of discoveries, physical progress, and so much fun for you and your baby. The confidence you’ve inspired will help your one-year-old be ready for the second year’s exciting milestones … eager to learn even more through play!
He understands much of what you say to him
She mimics others' actions, like talking on the phone
He will move a toy out of the way to get to another
She likes other children but doesn't play with them
He can anticipate your action: when he sees you holding his jacket, he'll hold out his arms
She only makes sounds in the language she knows
He'll show affection with hugs, kisses, smiles and pats
In control. As her balance, mobility and coordination increase, your 1-year-old will have better control of the action. Moving around to investigate different features will exercise large motor skills.
I get it! At this age, your child will quickly grasp how to make the action happen. Make a game of activating lights or sounds—he takes a turn, then it's your turn. Label actions with words. "You pressed the button and made the lights go on!" "You opened the door and it made a sound!"
Build excitement and cognitive skills—with a clue that something is about to happen. “Here we go! What do you think we’ll see?”
You can do it! Let your child play with the toy independently. Be there to help him if he needs you, and offer your encouragement: "You can do it … go ahead."
Play a game with your child to make up a song—make a sound with the toy and ask your child to mimic you. Or just follow what your child does.
Attach words to your child's movement with the toy, and also to the toy's features. Say “back and forth” or “side to side” as your child moves the toy.
Clap or sing along to encourage your child; you may even want to accompany him on another instrument. These "I can" play activities get filed away in your child's memory bank and boost self-confidence.
A little help. At first, you may need to put your child on the ride-on. Eventually, she'll be able to get on and off by herself, but it will be reassuring to have you nearby for her first experiences.
Clear a path behind the ride-on toy: children push backward before they move forward.
Prepare a “route” for your 1-year-old to follow. Stand a few feet in front of her and say encouragingly, "Come this way, come over here." Then move a few feet further, encourage her to reach another guidepost, and so on.
Stop and go. Help his understanding of directions by using simple words to describe actions: stop, go, get on, get off, go forward.
Moo! Baa! Activate the animal sounds in your playset, or make your own for each animal. Help him practice the animal sounds he hears to reinforce recognition skills.
Be the bird. Your child will love imitating you as you walk like an elephant or flap your arms like a bird. Ask your 1-year-old for ideas: "What do you think a bear looks like when it walks?”
Who lives here? Show your child where each animal lives in the playset. Play a simple matching game. “Let's put the polar bear in his home.” As your child gets a little older, exercise her memory skills by pointing to different parts of the playset and asking, “Which animal lives here?”.
Research has shown that the first few years of a child's life provide the foundation for future learning.
There are many toys that will capture the interest of both of your children, but they may play with the toys differently based on their individual level of development. Take the Laugh & Learn Learning Home, for example.
Even before you give birth, clothing and accessories for your baby are likely to start coming through the door.