How your 12-month-old might play now

    • 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
Foot-to-floor ride-on toys
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    Rockin’ Tunes Giraffe

    Balance & Coordination Curiosity & Discovery Gross Motor
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    Laugh & Learn® Stride-to-Ride® Puppy

    Balance & Coordination Curiosity & Discovery Gross Motor
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    Ford F-250 Super Duty

    Balance & Coordination Imagination & Creativity Self-Expression & Confidence Sharing & Cooperation

Help your baby learn more:

    • 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.
Toys to enhance physical development
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    Brilliant Basics™ Corn Popper®

    Balance & Coordination Gross Motor Sensory
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    Laugh & Learn® Crawl Around™ Car

    Academics Curiosity & Discovery Gross Motor
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    Musical Lion Walker

    Balance & Coordination Fine Motor Gross Motor Sensory

Help your baby learn more:

    • 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?”
Musical toys
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    Laugh & Learn™ Puppy's Piano

    Curiosity & Discovery Security & Happiness Sensory
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    Little People® Disney Princess Songs Palace

    Imagination & Creativity Security & Happiness Sensory
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    Laugh & Learn™ Jam & Learn Guitar

    Academics Curiosity & Discovery Fine Motor

Help your baby learn more:

    • 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.
Animal-themed playsets
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    Little People® Fun Sounds Farm

    Curiosity & Discovery Fine Motor Imagination & Creativity
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    Little People® Stable

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    Little People® Pond & Pig Pen

    Curiosity & Discovery Fine Motor

Help your baby learn more:

    • 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?”

Body Art

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As your baby grows, she gains increasing interest in her body and its many functions. Bath time is a great time to work on body image, as you introduce your baby to bathtub Body Art!


  • Children's nontoxic body paint, in a variety of colors
  • Bathtub


  • Run a warm bath for your baby; make it shallow enough for her to sit in.
  • Place your baby in the tub and let her get used to the water.
  • Open a tube of body paints and dot the color on your baby's arms.
  • Spread the color with your fingers, and encourage your baby to do the same.
  • Add other colors to other body parts—hands, legs, feet, neck, shoulders, chest, and back.
  • Let your baby spread the colors around, then wash them off and play again.


Be sure to use nontoxic children's body paints. Keep the body paint off your baby's face, and if she tends to wipe her face with her hands, don't put body paints on her hands.

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