By 12 months, your baby is not so much a baby, but a toddler. She's very active and is always on the go. Her world is more exciting than ever before and your baby being on two feet takes playtime to a whole new level for both of you. She will be exploring her environment, going on excursions around the house, and becoming more independent but she's still sneaking in cuddles during play.
Further Reading: Best Toys For Six Month Olds - A Guide From Hello Charlie
Most toddlers are courageous and driven to experiment and explore. Through constant activity, they begin strengthening large muscles and improving fine motor coordination. Although your baby looks stable on her feet, she will need help with climbing, and getting on and off mobile toys, and especially up and down steps. Explain to what is happening as you go, “We are going up the steps", “You're pushing the cart”, “You're going fast!”.
Cause and Effect Skills
Your baby loves working on her cause and effect skills - seeing what happens when she pushes this or empties that. Your baby will do things over and over again until her memory is developed enough to remember what happens next. Providing toys like blocks and nesting containers will help her develop problem solving and fine motor skills by sorting, stacking and spilling with these toys. Larger building blocks are great for building tall towers and then your baby can knock them over.
Your baby might be saying a few words and stringing together ideas. Her communication is developing everyday and reading is such a great way to improve speech and language development. Story time can include big picture books and you can point out objects and ask your baby to name them with questions like, “What’s the name of that animal?”, “What sound does a cow make?” while pointing to the picture. Babies are fascinated with animals, and sometimes can only make the sound of an animal before being able to say the name. Introduce puzzles with fun pictures and knobs so your baby can easily pick up the pieces. Ask your baby if she can find where the missing piece belongs looking at the overall picture. She might be able to spot the missing cow piece that goes to the farm puzzle.
Further Reading: Best Toys For 18 Month Olds - A Guide From Hello Charlie
There is no such as thing as too much singing and dancing with your baby at this age. She might stand back and observe you for a little, but soon enough she will start moving right along with you when she gets the hang of it. Incorporate musical toys to your play so your baby can use her coordination and fine motor skills to beat the drum or the xylophone.
Your baby is a copycat
Your baby wants to be just like you so don’t be surprised if she is imitating your every move. If she sees you talking on the phone, your baby wants to do that too. Provide your baby with items that allow her to use her imagination such as toy phones, tools, tea sets, and articles of dress up clothing which allow your baby to pretend to be just like you. You might also invite your baby to help clean up after meals and put away her own toys. This will raise your baby’s confidence that you trust her to complete tasks along with your family.
Further Reading: What Is Open Ended Play? And Why It's So Good For Toddlers
Where to buy toys for 12 month olds?
If you're looking for age appropriate educational toys, have a look at Hello Charlie's range of toys for 12 month olds. Australia wide shipping, same day despatch when you order before 10am.