Written By: Psychologist Natasha Tanic
Toys for one year old toddlers play an essential part in their development at this stage because kids at this age gain knowledge through play and exploration,
At the age of 12 months, your child is transitioning from an infant into a toddler.
A one year old’s brain brain develops rapidly and radically, creating millions of neural connections every minute. In other words, your 1 year old child is a fast-learner who learns through experiences and everyday interactions.
Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time in life, so first experiences provide the basis for your child’s brain’s functioning and development.
A one year old’s day-to-day experiences determine which brain connections will develop and last for a lifetime.
Play is an integral part of your child’s day now. One year old kids spend lots of time playing. They learn and discover how things in the world around them work through play.
Research shows that high-quality care and early education are the pillars of a future healthy and productive life.
So to support your toddler’s developmental milestones and learning, spend as much time as possible bonding and playing with them.
By their first birthday, most typically developing kids enjoy exploring objects and discovering the world with their senses. They learn about objects by shaking, banging, dropping, and “mouthing” them.
Your one year old toddler is starting to realize that things still exist even when they cannot see them. Your child will easily find the toy if you hide it from her.
To help your toddler master cognitive skills such as object permanence, you can use a toy or an object while playing together. Hide the toy or object from them and then reveal the toy or object to your child. Repeat this daily.
Kids at this age can put a small toy in a container and take it out. They love pulling toys with strings or pushing a walker around.
Also, your one year old toddler can copy gestures and follow simple directions like “put your plate on the table.”
They now show a great interest in other people and kids and love playing with a variety of toys.
Social and Emotional Development
Your 1 year old is showing more and more independence and starts developing affection for familiar people.
She enjoys playing pretend games and spending time with other children. Also, at this age your toddler is starting to develop a sense of self-awareness and she’s beginning to build impulse control and empathy.
She realizes that she is separate and independent from you and other people, and this realization helps her develop empathy.
Free play and age-appropriate toys will help your 1 year old toddler to develop the ability to recognize, express, and manage emotions.
Language and Speech Development
Around her first birthday, your child should be able to say a few words and understand simple spoken requests.
She should also be able to use simple gestures like waving “bye-bye” and make different sounds by changing the tone of her voice.
She will also most likely know how to say “mama” or “dada.”
Your one year old should have a vocabulary with a growing number of single words. She can now point to things she wants. Also, she will know to say “No” and shake her head at the same time.
In addition to books, toys like wooden blocks, dolls, kitchen sets, and pretend-play toys are great for boosting your child’s language and speech development.
Fine and Gross Motor Development
Your child has now mastered crawling. Some kids may start crawling backward at this age, which is completely normal.
When reaching for objects, they will do it with controlled and coordinated movements.
Your toddler may be able to pull to stand and stand on her own. She can get into a sitting position quickly and sit without support. At 12 months, your child might be taking her first independent steps.
She can also drink from a cup, eat with the spoon, take off her shoes, scribble with crayons, and help you undress her. Your 1 year old toddler can even walk up the stairs, run, and jump.
Toys that Promote A One Year Old Toddler’s Development
There is an excellent selection of age-appropriate toys that encourage your one year old toddler’s development.
Toys and play promote every aspect of your child’s development, from cognitive and language, to motor, and social and emotional.
Toys also provide endless hours of fun for your little one.
The best toys are age-appropriate, safe, and fitting to your child’s emerging skills and interests.
It’s never too early to instill a love for reading in your child.
Books are the best way to promote speech, language, and literacy development, so reading to your one year old is an excellent way to help her development.
Books with lots of colorful pictures and illustrations stimulate brain connections and promote your child’s emotional expression.
Your child can now find objects in pictures and illustrations when asked, so practice this skill when reading together.
These types of books encourage identification and imagination, boost your child’s self-awareness, and promote feelings of bonding, happiness, love, and trust.
Allowing your one year old to play with different kinds of sensory materials is a great way to boost their development.
Used under supervision, items such as Play Doh, pom-poms, pipe-cleaners, pasta, rice, sand, dry leaves, etc are a wonderful way to promote hand-eye coordination and cognitive development.
Help your child make shakers using empty bottles and sensory items like pasta or rice and allow them to use stickers and fun colored tapes to decorate them.
Sensory play is a great way to promote your child’s imagination and creativity, boost language development, encourage emotional expression, and develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Walkers and Push Toys
Walkers and push toys promote gross motor skills and coordination, encourage young kids to use their muscles and limbs, and help build muscle strength.
Themed Playsets and Pretend Play Props
These types of toys help language development, spark creativity and imagination, boost coordination, and more.
Pretend play is an excellent way to encourage your child’s emotional expression, promote emotional control, responsibility, and teach them cooperation, waiting, and turn-taking.
Dolls boost imagination and promote social and emotional development.
Playing with a doll can teach your 1 year old toddler about emotional expression, responsibility, and compassion.
Pretend-play with dolls also teaches little kids social rules and expectations, and boosts language development and communication skills.
At the age of one, your child develops rapidly and learns new things each day.
One year old toddlers gain knowledge through play and exploration, so toys play an essential part in their development at this stage.
When choosing toys for your child, always consider their safety and age-appropriateness, to help your child make the most out of her play time.