Development of a One Year Old

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The following skills are to be used as guidelines that you and your child can work on attaining between his/her first and second birthday.

12-15 • 16-18 • 19-24 • Songs & Games

12 – 15 Months

  • Motor Skills
    • walks alone
    • creeps upstairs
    • bends over and looks through legs
    • puts objects in containers
    • turns pages of cardboard book, points to pictures
    • picks up small objects by pinching between
    • thumb and pointer finger
    • feeds self with fingers, beginning to use spoon
  • Cognitive Skills
    • hands toys back to adults
    • understands pointing
    • finds toy hidden under cup or cloth
    • looks at place where ball rolls out of sight
    • imitates your actions and sounds (comb hair, tongue clicks, kiss or feed the doll)
  • Language
    • uses about 10 words
    • uses words and gestures to indicate needs
    • says “no” meaningfully
    • responds to requests “come here”, “go get your ball”
    • uses these sounds frequently in babbling: b,m,p,d,t,n,g,k,w,h,f,v,th,s,z,l,r
    • shows clothing, body part, or toy when asked
    • babbles as if talking foreign language
  • Self-help
    • holds cup and drinks with some spilling
    • may be refusing morning nap
    • pulls off hat and socks

16 to 18 Months

  • Motor Skills
    • walks upstairs with one hand held
    • carries large toy while walking
    • pushes and pulls toys
    • stacks up to three blocks
    • uses both hands to play with toy – one holds, one manipulates
    • squats in play
    • runs stiffly
    • puts pegs in pegboards
  • Cognitive Skills
    • brings objects from other rooms when asked
    • identifies self in mirror
    • points to distant objects
    • puts round and square pieces in holes or puzzles
    • stands on chair or uses stick to get out of reach object
  • Language
    • uses 10 – 15 words
    • echoes important or last word spoken to him/her
    • points to three body parts on self or doll
    • names one object on request
    • follows familiar directions
  • Self-help
    • uses spoon to eat most of meal
    • places hat on head
    • gives up bottle
    • needs and expects routines

18 to 24 Months

  • Motor Skills
    • kicks ball forward
    • moves on riding toy without pedals
    • runs fairly well
    • picks up toy from floor without falling
    • walks upstairs holding rail/downstairs holding hand
    • jumps in place
    • copies lines and circular scribbles when shown
    • builds six cube tower
    • string one inch beads
  • Cognitive
    • uses paints, playdough, paste
    • recognizes and points to several farm animals
    • matches animals to their sounds
    • enjoys nursery rhymes and fingerplays
    • points to five to seven pictures of familiar people and objects
    • identifies six body parts
    • figures out how to work a simple mechanical toy
  • Language
    • imitates two to four word sentences
    • uses own name to refer to self
    • attempts to sing songs with words
    • imitates environmental sounds - cars, vacuum, dog
    • tell experiences using jargon and words
    • enjoys listening to simple stories
  • Self-help
    • defends possessions
    • shows variety of emotions – affection, jealousy, fear,
    • guilt, anxiety, joy, anger, embarrassment
    • desires control of others – orders, resists
    • plays along side peers
    • washes and dries hands
    • zips and unzips large zipper
    • opens doors by turning knobs
    • unwraps food
    • unbuttons large buttons
    • starts to undress with some help


The Eentsy Weentsy Spider
The eentsy, weentsy spider went up the water spout.
(Climb hands upward, alternating thumb and index finger)
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
(Slowly bring hands down, wiggling fingers.)
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
(Bring arms out to sides, bring them together up over head.)
And the eentsy, weentsy spider went up the spout again.
(Climb hands upward, alternating thumb and index finger)

Ring Around the Rosy
Ring around the rosy.
(Join hands and walk around in a circle.)
Pocket full of posies.
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
(Sit down on the ground.)

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, bakers man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
(Put hands together.)
Roll it and pat it and mark it with a “B”.
(Roll arms around each other.)
Put it in the oven for baby and me.
(Put hands together.)

This Little Piggy
This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy cried, “Wee, wee, wee!” all the way home.
(Wiggle one toe for each line of poem, starting with the big toe. After wiggling the last toe “run” your fingers from baby’s foot to chin.)

Row Your Boat
Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
(Sit facing your child, hold hands and rock back and forth throughout song.)
As little ones become familiar with these rhymes and games, they will anticipate your next move. They may also give you signals that they want to do it again.