Your one-year-old can learn many things by simple imitation games. You do something--cover your eyes and then uncover them, saying "Peek-a-Boo!"--and then encourage your child to do the same. Your child can also learn to hold a crayon, put away toys, and just about anything else with this game.
Imitation As A Teaching Tool
As your child grows, you can teach her useful things just by having her watch you: how to pet the dog gently, how to pour without spilling, how to eat with a spoon. You can set it up so her attempts to imitate you are successful. For example, have her perform pouring experiments in the bathtub, so there's no fear of making a mess. This fosters a sense of accomplishment, security, and confidence in your child; she may even try out her own ideas.
As your child watches you perform everyday activities, she selects specific things she'd like to try out rather than testing a wide range of activities. You talk on the telephone; your child talks on her toy telephone. You feed your child; your child feeds her doll. When you cut the lawn, she follows you with her little mower.
You can imitate your child, too. When you copy her movements, you show her what she looks like. This boost in her consciousness helps her develop physical, mental, and social skills.
When you turn imitation into a fun Simon Says game, your child learns the names for physical actions by hearing the words and imitating you. Then, by being Simon, she can confirm them in her own mind and see how they look as you follow her directions.