Skill-building Activities: 1 year old

Children of this age can appreciate a simple story, but also like looking at the pictures. Stick with board books that can better withstand a 1-year-olds not-so-gentle touch.

Emptying and filling
One-year-olds are fascinated by the prospect of emptying and filling containers. A milk jug holds a special allure for young explorers because the narrow neck stands in stark contrast to the spacious interior. Try putting small objects such as raisins, Goldfish crackers or Cheerios into the bottle and then let your toddler figure out how to pour them out.

Save your junk mail. It now serves a purpose. Your toddler will love the challenge of pulling the inserts out of the envelopes and then trying to put them back in again.

Building a tower and then knocking it down is not only fun, it's educational. Placing one piece atop the next teaches kids about balance. And, of course, the demolition reinforces the concept of cause-and-effect.

Your toddler doesn't have any concept of cubism, impressionism or even paint-by-numbers. But that doesn't mean he won't be thrilled by the prospect of putting pen to paper. Buy a large box of crayons, cover the floor in large sheets of paper and let your toddler experiment with various hand grips.

More skills and milestones:

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