Parenting tips: Activities for your 1- to 2-year-old

Parents on walk with child in centre

By Ashley Jones, Wood’s Homes Family Support Counsellor

Welcome back! The third installment of this blog series will cover developmental milestones and activities you can do to support development from 1 to 2 years of age.

Some of the important milestones your child will reach during this time are:

  • recognizing their own name and the names of others
  • moving around more and, therefore, becoming more confident in their walking and/or running
  • being able to recognize themselves in pictures or the mirror
  • learning to follow simple instructions, as well as being able to understand at least 50 words

Some activities you can do with your 1- to 2-year-old to assist them in their development are:

Allowing your toddler to help you with simple parts of a routine, such as getting their shoes on or bringing you their cup at meal time, is a good way to practice their understanding and learning of new words. As always, remember to give your toddler lots of praise and thank you’s for a job well done!

A great way to help promote language and the development of small body movements is to make and play with sock puppets. Using old clean socks, you and your toddler can draw faces or paint on the socks and talk to each other by putting the socks on your hands and moving them around.

Simple action rhymes such as, “This little piggy” or “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes” can help with coordination, large and small body movements, as well as learning to be able to label and point to named objects and copy actions.

As your toddler will now be eating on his or her own, a fun way to encourage this behaviour is to use ‘finger foods’ – food that can be cut into small pieces, such as cooked vegetables, soft fruit or toast. This not only encourages toddlers to eat on their own, but helps them to develop important small movements (e.g. the pincer grasp, which will be helpful for using crayons, painting and eventually holding a pencil).

Your toddler will most likely be walking at this time and, therefore, exploring more. A good way to develop their walking abilities is to practice going up and down stairs with them. At first they may sit down and slide down the stairs, but you can help them stand by holding their hands and helping them make each step with support.


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