Oh my, the big 12! The one-year mark, the first of many. The first birthday is always the most exciting and, yet, the most shocking. How did they grow up so fast? They were just a newborn yesterday!
The one-year mark is big; it's the beginning of a whole other journey, so how can you ensure you're kicking it off right?
What should a 12-month-old learn?Let's start with the critical question: what should your child have learned by the big one-year mark?
Your child will be more into exploring now than ever. They'll be seeking more independence (apparently, yes, they start seeking it that early)
They'll also be:
- Practicing more confidence in exploring
- Willing to take more risks
- More willing (and trying to) communicate
- Getting more familiar with solid food
How can I help my 12-month-old learn?
You know you are your child's first exposure to anything in this world, so how can you help them learn best at this age?
While this age is the beginning of a lot of exploring, which can be a bit risky, that doesn't mean you need to coddle your child so they don't explore.
The answer is simple: you need to create the perfect balance between letting them explore and securing their surroundings so they can do so safely.
So we're talking cushioning, childproofing, and closely observing while you still give them their wings to fly.
How many toys should your 12-month-old have?As you set up your child's play area, you probably wonder how many toys your child should be exposed to.
Less is more, and when setting out toys for your new toddler, here's what you should ask.
- How do these toys influence them?
- Are they interested in the toy?
- Is this toy helping with their development and increasing their concentration?
How does your child benefit from playtime with you?Playtime is crucial for your child's development and growth, and your participation in it makes all the difference.
So, playtime with your child, how does it make a difference?
Cognitive developmentAs your child explores everything around them, they work their way toward building vital brain functions such as problem-solving, mathematical skills, memory, and decision-making: your child starts learning how to think and process everything around them.
Physical developmentPlay encourages your child to move and explore their body and what they can do with it.
They do better with their coordination, balance, and motor skills.
Emotional and social developmentThe more you interact with your child, the better they will develop their social skills and ability to express themselves. They start to copy you, imitate you, and learn from you.
They also start to mimic your expressions and find their way toward their expressions!
Sensory developmentAs children explore their toys, they understand better how their senses work and how everything feels, looks, smells, tastes, and sounds.
You can always help this become even more powerful by exposing them to different materials that can tease their senses!
Your child learns a lot from you by listening to you, talking to them, and communicating with them.
Children's communication skills are all built upon how you communicate with them at this age.
Should you buy specific toys for the big 12 months mark?
As mentioned above, you might wonder about that, but the truth is, this doesn't matter. What matters at the end of the day is what you do with these toys.
Some toys are better for this age, as mentioned later in this article, but playtime is all that matters at the end of the day.
The best educational toys for your 12-month-oldSo what are you adding to your following baby shopping list? We'll tell you!
Baby dollsBaby dolls help your child enhance their creativity and imagination. In addition to that, they also start fostering their nurturing skills and sense of responsibility.
Pop-up toysPop-up toys (no, we don't mean the scary ones) are great for your child's development. They help your child improve their hand-eye coordination, works on their motor skills, and help them understand the concepts of cause and effect.
Practicing oppositesOpposites cards help your child enhance their vocabulary while understanding the concept of opposites, how they can compare two different things, and how to use words to do so.
Pincer puzzleThe pincer puzzle helps your child understand how to hold a grip of something and prepares them for gripping writing tools once they start going to nursery or school. Moreover, they also improve your child's concentration.
Sliding boxThe sliding box helps your child understand the concept of object permanence, the idea that something can be there, then it isn't. Moreover, it also helps them understand cause and effect.
It's the big year, so plan that big birthday party and get ready: the best is yet to come.
Check out our package below for a list of do-not-miss toys for 12-month-olds.