Your Toddler's Physical Development 1-2 years (Toddlerhood)
Your child at a glance
Your child will start practicing the skill of walking, and enjoys drawing and playing with a ball. During this stage you are likely to see your child:
- Getting up to standing by using his hands
- Learning to walk alone, keeping balance by walking with feet wide apart and arms held out to the side
- Picking up toys from a standing position
- Seating self in a child size chair
- Walking up and down stairs with aid
- Moving to music
- Starting painting and drawing
- Stacking blocks
- Getting better at drinking from a cup and feeding herself using utensils
- Taking hold of and throwing a smaller ball
Your child’s story
Your baby is entering ‘toddlerhood’, and will start walking during this year. Remember that your child will develop at her own pace, and the most important thing you can do is to provide opportunities within a safe environment, and support and encourage the path that is right for her. Once she starts walking alone, it's full speed forward, and she will over time gain enough confidence to experiment with walking backwards and starting to run a bit. To help her balance, she will be walking with feet wide apart and arms out to the side. She will still have many falls, but her balance and control will improve as she gets closer to her second birthday.
Your toddler will get to standing position by using his hands, and is likely to use this method until around 2 years. During this year he will learn to pick up toys from a standing position, and you’ll see him enjoying dancing sessions with you. He will probably want to walk up and down stairs, and can do this with your help. Remember that children learn through repetition, so you may be walking up and down stairs a countless number of times.
Your child may also start practicing sitting down in a child-sized chair, finding various ways to do this without your help. With the increasing ability to move around unaided, she will enjoy playing with toys she can push or even pull behind her as her confidence in her walking improves.
Your toddler will also enjoy changes in fine motor skills this year, with improving balance and more precise eye-hand coordination. He will be able to scribble with crayon, and you may notice that he often shifts the crayon (or paint brush or other tools) between hands during the activity. Also, he will tend to draw or paint by moving the whole arm.
Your child will start showing more interest and patience for stacking blocks rather than just tearing down the tower you just finished building for her. Page-turning will get more precise which adds to the joy of reading books. At mealtimes you will notice that she is getting skilled at drinking from a cup (provided she has had the opportunity to practice this), and showing interest in using different utensils.
What you can do to support and encourage your baby’s development
Your toddler loves playing with you and a small ball can provide lots of fun. He can learn to roll the ball to you and may start throwing the ball too. He will also enjoy playing with stacking toys and building with you.
You may notice that your little one loves pushing buttons and turning knobs, and it could be a good idea to get hold of toys that have these features so she can practice on those rather than on your phone, TV remote control and hob.
Provide safe crayons and drawing paper, as your toddler will start scribbling and doodling now, and she will also enjoy watching you draw familiar things. It will be fun for her to start doing puzzles as well, again with your help and encouragement. Make sure you start with puzzles that have larger and fewer pieces to avoid frustration and increase her chances of succeeding. Puzzles are also great for your child to play by herself at times, learning to entertain herself. Of course, you’re nearby so she can ask for help if she needs it.
Dance and sing, your toddler will join in more and more. Look at picture books together, and let your toddler turn the pages and point at familiar objects. He will also learn to say the words or sounds of familiar objects. You’ll see lots of pretend play, so play along in dressing up, ‘baking’ and anything else in your child’s imaginative play.