1-2 Years

Awww…the second year of life!  These little pre-toddlers are such a joy–with their waddled walks and creative interpretations of words.  Seeing the transformation from baby to toddler is quite amazing!

Here are some posts specifically geared towards pre-toddlers, ages 1-2:


Please note:  These activities are simply suggestions for what the author believes is appropriate for this age.  Please use your best judgement and consult your pediatrician when you have questions or concerns.

A Lesson on Sharing
Animal Sounds
Apple Sensory Matching
Apple Theme Sensory Tub
Apple Toss
Bead Threading for Little Fingers

Bean Bag Toss (Toddler Time Activity)
Biggest and Smallest with Dinosaurs
Body Parts Song
Building Block Towers

Car Painting
Cloth Pull
Clothespin Drop
Cloud Dough
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” Sensory Play
Diffusing Toddler Temper Tantrums

Eating with a Spoon
Edible Playdough

First Fingerpainting
“Freeze!” Game
Fun with Mixing Bowls

Homemade Shaker
“I Spy” Activity Bottle
Jack-O-Lantern Shape Sorter
Laundry Basket Push
Leaf Bracelet
Little Helper
Making Rain
Matching Animals to Pictures
Painting at the Pool
Peek-A-Boo House
Pots and Pans “Puzzles”
SandDough (not recommended if your child still puts things in his mouth)
Sensory Tub with Shredded Paper
Simple Color Sorting
Snowballs (MAKE IT from yarn)
Sorting Cookie Cutters (Toddler Time Activity)
Stoplight Beanbag Toss
Tearing Paper
Throw a “Snowball”
Toddler Shoe Game
Vertical Writing with Window Markers (appropriate closer to 2 years)
Ziploc “My Body” Book

And here are some things to remember regarding the development of your curious toddler:

Gross Motor:  This year your child makes leaps and bounds in his gross motor abilities–literally.  From a few toddling steps at 1 year to running all over the place by his second birthday, you will be breathless trying to keep up.  Some things you can work on during the second year of his life are:  jumping, throwing a ball overhand and underhand, kicking, and climbing stairs.

Fine Motor:  Learning to use a spoon and fork are important milestones for this year.  You can also introduce your child to coloring with crayons.  Simple puzzles with large knobs are excellent for both fine motor development and spatial awareness.  Encourage your children to build towers with blocks as well.

Language:  Your child will most likely go from saying a few individual words at one year to communicating in short sentences by his second birthday!  He will gain new vocabulary from books, daily conversations, and new experiences.  Stimulate his language development by immersing him in a word-rich environment!  Point out the difference between the words and the pictures in a book and encourage him to finish off the sentences in familiar books.  Read rhyming books and sing songs.

Cognitive Development:  This is the dump-and-fill stage!  Pre-toddlers love to dump things out of containers and fill them up again.  As soon as your child is out of the oral stage (putting everything in his mouth), encourage this by creating a sensory tub using beans, rice, or sand.  Put measuring cups and spoons in there and let your little one go to town!

Social/Emotional:  Your child will enjoy being in the company of other children, but won’t actually “play” with them quite yet.  He will most likely engage in parallel play, where he plays beside another child without actually interacting in play together.  Sharing will be a difficult concept at this point in time, so don’t expect your child to come by this naturally.  Separation anxiety will be in full force (if it isn’t already) by the time he reaches 18 months and will most likely gradually taper off around his second birthday.

Self-Help/Adaptive:  By your child’s second birthday, he should be able to remove a few articles of clothing himself.  He should also be able to feed himself with a spoon and fork.

Spiritual & Moral:  Young children approaching their second birthday can start saying prayers, or at least portions of prayers.  They will also start to remember favorite Bible stories if this is a routine in your home.  Naturally, children are egocentric and will think of themselves only…this isn’t wrong, it is just a natural stage of development.  Our job as parents is to encourage our children to be thoughtful of others by modeling it ourselves.

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