The first year of a baby’s life is full of milestones. Babies develop incredibly quickly in those first twelve months, learning new ways of thinking, communicating, and moving. In just a short time they’ve gone from a newborn to a busy little explorer with their own personality!
Here at Wicked Uncle HQ, we know how important play is for children’s development, including:
- Motor Skills
- Communication & Language
We have some of the best learning toys for 1 year olds that will engage their curiosity and support those exciting milestones:
- Monster Growth Chart
- Duck Roll-Along
- Frolicking Frog Pull-Along
- Pull-Along Ducks
- Sunny Valley Play Blocks
- Pepe Sound Stacker
- Balancing Cal Stacking Toy
- Pull Back Town Vehicles
- Ramp Tower – Flipping and Chiming Cars
- “What Should I Wear? Soft Activity Book
- Farm Touch & Feel Puzzle
The first twelve months of a baby’s life are one rapid growth spurt. By their first birthday, babies have grown by 50%, their weight has tripled, and their brain is already about 60% of its adult size! Toddlers continue to grow at a slow but steady rate, becoming stronger and more capable.
A fun way to keep track of all these physical changes is with a growth chart, such as this clever glow-in-the-dark Monster Growth Chart, which can document a child’s progress from tot to tall over the coming years.
Most 1 year olds can belly crawl, scoot, or move about on their hands and knees – nothing will stop them from exploring! And over the next few months, a baby will learn to stand up and eventually take their first tentative steps.
In the beginning, those steps will be unbalanced and unsteady. But as the child gains confidence and strength, they’ll soon be bounding around the house!
Push-along toys, like the sturdy Duck Roll-Along, are perfect for helping little ones build confidence as they develop from sitting to crawling to walking.
At twelve months, a child will become better at doing things by themselves. As such, they’re eager to test out their fine motor skills by picking up objects between their thumb and forefinger (known as the “pincer grasp”), helping with buttons and zips as they’re dressed, and turning the pages of a book during storytime.
Their eagerness may outpace their skills, but they keep learning from these everyday actions. Give 1 year olds lots of opportunities to let their fingers do the exploring!
Small children will enjoy touching and manipulating various objects – the more buttons to push, blocks to stack, or noises they make, the better!
Brilliant toys for this are sturdy and colourful block sets, such as the Sunny Valley Play Blocks, which encourage imaginative play.
And nothing encourages hand-eye coordination quite like toy cars! Racing these Pull-Back Town Vehicles will entertain little ones for hours, and the Ramp Tower Flipping and Chiming Cars set will keep any baby on the right developmental track.
Communication & Language
At year one, a baby’s vocabulary is expanding quickly. Babies learn language by imitating the speech they hear around them, and they’re eager to engage in two-way conversations – although their contributions might be a bit limited!
Small children are mimics, and you can help grow a child’s vocabulary by talking to them and identifying things they can see. The more a baby hears a word, the faster they will remember it. A great way to do this is by pointing out things in the world around them, or reading a picture book and asking them to point to or name familiar objects.
The “What Should I Wear” Soft Activity Book is the perfect way to boost a child’s knowledge of everyday words and introduce the concept of choices at storytime.
And tactile puzzles such as the Farm Touch & Feel Puzzle can enable hands-on learning about the names of colours, textures, and animals.
All babies are unique, and not every little one develops at the same pace. The most important thing is to ensure that all children are supported at every stage of their development, giving them lots of opportunity to play, grow, and explore.