Development (1 - 2 Years)

Ways to Encourage Development (1 - 2 years)

Muscle Skills

  • Have safe play area outdoors and indoors for using large muscles (running, climbing, throwing and jumping).
  • Supervise coloring and painting.
  • Provide good toys and games such as: blocks, toys to climb on, dress‑up clothes, items to play house with, and colorful picture books.Can begin toilet training if child shows signs of readiness, such as:
    • Complains of wet pants.
    • Shows interest in toileting activities of others.
    • Stays dry for several hours at a time during the day.

NOTE: Be aware that bladder and bowel control do not necessarily occur at the same time.

Language Skills

  • Play sound games (a cow goes “moo”); play naming games (show me your “nose”).
  • Sing and tell short rhymes.
  • Encourage talking

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Let children begin to play with each other – expect mostly individual play, but they do enjoy being near one another.
  • Don’t punish child if refusing to share.
  • Whenever possible, give child choices so that he/she has an opportunity to exert control over situations (set your limits clearly before giving a child the choice).

Thinking Skills

  • Provide picture books with large, bright pictures.
  • Encourage children to draw murals and large paintings and tell stories about them.

Developmental Tasks (1 - 2 years)

Muscle Skills

  • Skills getting better (walks, runs, climbs steadier and jumps).
  • Stacks more blocks.
  • Can copy a straight line.
  • Kicks and throws a ball.
  • May be able to pedal a tricycle.
  • Gains more control over bladder and bowel movements.

Language Skills

  • Begins to combine two words.
  • Can name some parts of body (ears, eyes, etc.) or point to them appropriately.
  • Can name pictures of common objects (cat, dog, man and house).
  • Can follow simple one‑step directions (Bring the book to me).
  • Likes singing and rhymes.

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Children play side by side not really interacting with each other – may do the same activity near others – no real concept of sharing.
  • Begins to dress self – puts on simple clothing.
  • Still likes to copy adults.
  • Continues to develop independence – begins to say “no” when asked to do things or asked questions.

Thinking Skills

  • Getting better at solving problems.
  • Begins to play make-believe/pretend.
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