Parents often get too excited about their child turning 1. They expect their child to go from crawling and babbling to running and talking. While children do develop at a very fast rate in these first few years, it’s important to manage expectations and understand what kinds of activities are age-appropriate for a 1 year old.
Reading and writing
NOT READY: 1 year olds are definitely not ready to read or write. These advanced skills are usually learned at 4 or 5 years old.
READY: Alternatively, you can expose your child to the alphabet. They’ll begin to associate the visuals with the sounds, which is a step towards reading. They can also hold a marker and work on scribbling, which develops fine motor skills involved in writing.
NOT READY: 1 year olds are not ready to count. You might find that some 1 year olds can recite 1 to 5 but that’s not counting, that’s just memorizing! Counting requires an understanding of one-to-one correspondence which your child will learn in the coming year.
READY: While they may not be counting on their own, they can certainly count with your help. You can count everyday objects by pointing and saying the number out loud. This is great preparation for future learning.
NOT READY: Your 1 year old is not ready to identify and name colors just yet. It may be another half a year or so before they can do this independently. However, you can use this technique when you name colors for them to help them learn faster.
READY: Your child can definitely work on color matching before they learn to name the colors. Matching involves understanding similarities and differences between colors, which is a cognitive milestone.
NOT READY: Social skills like sharing and cooperation are still too advanced for your little one. They will only develop these skills in another year or so.
READY: While your child doesn’t know how to share just yet, they are ready to learn how to take turns. Try activities that involve taking turns, such as rolling a ball back and forth with them.
NOT READY: 1 year olds have a short attention span and a short temper. They may have trouble holding in an emotional outburst or paying attention to a storybook. This is something that children learn to master over the course of several years.
READY: Your child is ready to learn the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ or ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behavior. These concepts are easier to grasp, and you can reinforce them through appropriate ways of disciplining.