1-year-old growth & development

Welcome to 1! An exciting year of change and discovery lies ahead. Explore expert insights and activities for each stage.

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19 – 21 Months
The Realist
Welcome to The Realist Play Kit for months 19-21
Watch Lovevery CEO Jessica Rolph introduce the Realist Play Kit for months 19 to 11 of your toddler's life.
Speech Development
Lovevery App
How many words should your toddler be able to say?
The average vocabulary at 18 months is about 50 words, but toddlers can say far more or fewer and still be on track.
Introducing the Wheel Around Town Bus—the newest addition to The Realist Play Kit
Built for the way toddlers play, the Wheel Around Town Bus in The Realist Play Kit taps into your toddler's emerging skills.
Potty Training
Lovevery App
Toddler potty training: setting the stage
Learn nine ways to help your toddler get comfortable with the toilet and noticing their body's signals.
Social Emotional
Executive Function
Pretend Play
Lovevery App
How to help your toddler develop impulse control
Your toddler isn't mature enough to resist their impulses yet, but there are things you can do now to help them develop this skill.
Social Emotional
Lovevery App
3 ways to boost your toddler’s friendship skills
Try these ideas to help your child understand what it means to be a good playmate. 
Choosing the right potty for your toddler: potty chair vs. potty seat
Your child can potty train using a floor potty or a seat that fits on a regular toilet. Learn the pros and cons of each style.
Teach your toddler to do more on their own in 4 steps
Allowing your toddler to practice each part of a self-care skill with you boosts their confidence and independence.
Subtle signs of your toddler’s developing focus
Some toddlers can pay attention to an activity for several minutes, while others may need more support to stay focused for even a minute.
Use your toddler’s fascination with touching things to teach language skills
Studies find that labeling an object as your child handles it can help them connect what they have in their hands to the words you say.
How can you encourage your toddler to be less clingy? 
By staying close and being a calm, steady presence, you’re actually helping your toddler learn to become more independent in the future. 
Combining words: a big step in language learning
Try these easy tips from language experts to encourage your toddler to say two-word phrases.
An expert strategy for helping your toddler climb, balance, and more
Specific verbal feedback can help your toddler tune into their body as they tackle a new physical challenge.
Teaching toddlers to persist: what the research says
Researchers analyzed how parents taught their 24-month-olds to complete a difficult activity and the children's persistence a year late. This is what they uncovered.
What to do when you don’t know what your toddler is asking for
Before the frustration gets to both of you, try this approach to make your toddler feel heard and build their vocabulary in the process.
Ways to embrace your toddler’s love of destructive play
Destructive play is a powerful learning opportunity for your toddler. Learn how to make it work for both of you.
Try this to help your toddler practice empathy
Acting out simple real-life situations during play gives your toddler a chance to learn about other people’s feelings without their own distress getting in the way.
Tips to avoid tantrum triggers
Tantrums are part of toddler life, but these ideas may help you nip some before they start.
Building a strong pencil grip: 3 fun art tools and activities for toddlers
These ideas help your toddler move from a fisted grip to one that uses the strength of their fingers and thumb.
Toddler head banging: why it happens and how to respond
Up to 15% of young children will intentionally bang their head on the wall or floor at some point. Here's what to do when it happens.
What to do when your toddler is scared of the bath 
Try these six expert tips to make bath time less stressful for your toddler—and you.
What to do when you lose it with your toddler 
Try these four steps to reconnect and teach your toddler how to handle moments that don't go the way we'd hoped.
When will your toddler learn their colors?
Learn the timeline of color understanding and 5 fun ways to help your toddler learn colors.
Why not to correct your toddler’s speech—and what to do instead
How you respond to mispronunciations can make a difference in your child's language development.
The benefits of skipping the stroller—and 3 ways to make it easier
Learn why and how to let your toddler walk instead of ride.
The science behind your child’s ‘language explosion’
Your toddler may say lots of new words around 18 to 24 months of age—here's why.
What’s the best type of puzzle for 1.5-year-olds?
Learn which puzzles offer just enough challenge for young toddlers.
Boost your toddler’s language skills by getting face-to-face
Try these 3 simple ways to get more valuable face-to-face time with your toddler.
5 ways to tell if your toddler’s show is worth the screen time
Many shows and apps targeted at babies and toddlers are marketed as “educational,” but that doesn’t always mean much.
Why to stop saying ‘Be careful!’—and what to say instead
Learn the best phrases to guide your child toward safer choices.
How to help your toddler get the most from parallel play
Learn four strategies to help your toddler enjoy—and learn from—parallel play.
Heavy work: an expert strategy to calm your active toddler
Learn six easy ways to add heavy work to your toddler's day.
Do’s and don’ts of early play dates
When hosting a toddler play date, a little planning can go a long way toward minimizing conflict and maximizing opportunities to connect.
DIY: mosaic texture art 
Help your toddler explore what it feels and looks like to paint on different surfaces as they build fine motor and language skills.
5 ways to get your toddler talking as you read together 
Research shows that reading can be a powerful way to boost your toddler’s expressive language skills. Try these simple strategies.
5 fun indoor activities for your active toddler
Try these ideas to get the wiggles out inside.
Adopt this habit when talking with your toddler, experts say
Pausing a few seconds can foster your toddler’s communication skills and encourage them to join the conversation.
9 favorite fine motor activities for 22 months
Help your toddler get better at coordinating the small muscles of their hands and fingers with these activities from a pediatric OT.
8 playground activities that build your toddler’s balance and coordination
As they spin, roll, swing, and slide, your toddler gets feedback from two important sensory systems that are crucial for their developing gross motor skills.
5 tips to help your toddler cope with loud noises
From advance warning to giving your toddler some power over loud noises, discover the best ways to help your child startle less.
3 potty training skills to work on now
A study of 270 toddlers found three key factors that predicted toileting success.
10 tips and activities for better video chats with toddlers
Find tips for planning a successful video chat as well as five activities for better video chats with toddlers.
11 ways to build your toddler’s frustration tolerance 
Help your toddler work through feelings of disappointment, sadness, and frustration when their skills don't quite match their ambitions.
The best potty books for toddlers 
Even before your toddler is ready to start using the potty, reading books about the experience can help them understand what the process is all about.
Real—even breakable—materials can teach your toddler valuable skills
Using real materials is a common Montessori practice. It can teach toddlers how to handle things with care, building independence and confidence.
The orientation schema: why your toddler loves a new view
When your toddler looks through their legs or climbs up or down stairs, they're exploring the "orientation" schema. Offer these activities to support their curiosity.
The enclosing schema: 4 simple activities for toddlers
When your toddler crawls into a cardboard box or places a cup inside a bigger container, they’re exploring the “enclosing” schema.
The trajectory schema: how your child learns by throwing, dropping, and flinging
Children learn so much about the physical world by throwing, dropping, rolling, and flinging things—including their own body.
The connection schema: putting things together and taking them apart
Toddlers love discovering how objects fit together and come apart. Discover 5 ways to support this type of play.
The rotation schema: why your toddler loves things that spin
Discover 4 ways to support your toddler’s developing rotation schema, a form of play that involves twirling their body, rolling cars, and more.
The enveloping schema: what’s behind your toddler’s fascination in hiding things
Does your toddler love hiding under a blanket or stuffing little toys between the couch cushions? Covering up and hiding objects is a type of schema play known as “enveloping.”
5 pre-literacy skills to encourage in your toddler
Instilling a love and understanding of language, reading, and writing in toddlers has little to do with memorizing the ABCs. Learn the skills to reinforce instead.
What to do when your 1-year-old takes another child’s toy
Grabbing at this toddler stage isn’t malicious and doesn’t need a consequence or any form of discipline. Learn what to do instead.
5 things every parent should know about potty training  
Discover lesser-known tips and facts about teaching your child to use the toilet from Lovevery's senior child development expert.
When is the best time to start potty learning?
Learn the signs your child may be ready to potty train and expert tips for introducing the concept.
How to create a sleep-inducing bedtime routine for your toddler
Learn how to create an effective toddler bedtime routine from our certified sleep consultant, Lauren Lappen.
Skip the night light: 4 tips to help your toddler sleep longer
Studies show that a child’s sleep environment can strongly impact their sleep quality. Try these research-backed strategies tonight.
4 types of pretend play—and why they matter
They way your child plays make-believe changes as they grow. At each stage, pretend play offers cognitive and social-emotional benefits.
Spotting patterns prepares your toddler’s brain for math
Patterns are an important element of math. Learn the stages to learning patterns and 4 ways to help your toddler recognize patterns.
Your toddler’s creativity develops through play
Help your toddler learn to take others’ perspectives and solve complex problems with these expert tips to encourage creative and divergent thinking. 
6 tips for trimming your toddler’s nails 
Having their nails cut is a little bit scary for your child. Here are some adjustments that might make the process a little easier for both of you.
Is your 1-year-old ready for logical consequences?
Logical consequences are about helping your toddler regulate their emotions and their body. They're meant as a reset—not punishment.
3 steps to setting toddler limits with empathy
Read our three steps to setting toddler limits with empathy and understand what empathetic boundaries teach children.
Mother and toddler playing with Lovevery toys
6 ways to build your toddler’s attention span
Giving your child opportunities to focus on a task uninterrupted and get into a “zone of concentration'' is an important part of the Montessori approach.
don't take it personally if your toddler pushes you away when they're upset
Why your toddler may need space instead of a hug
Some toddlers are less soothed by close physical contact than they were as babies. Learn what to do when a hug won't work.
How to help your toddler with transitions
When it’s time to leave and your toddler won’t go
When children are enjoying an activity, they just want to keep doing it. Read our 6 steps to help your toddler transition.
Toddler looking out a window
How to ease your separation anxiety 
Separation anxiety doesn't happen only to children—it affects parents, too. Read 4 tips to help you deal with your separation anxiety.
Tip: Tantrums aren't teachable moments for young toddlers
Toddler tantrums: why they happen and how to handle them
All toddlers have temper tantrums. Learn the dos and don'ts to help you and your child through public and private meltdowns.
Child playing with the Felt Baskets by Lovevery
Making the most of your toddler’s fascination with cause and effect 
Toddlers understand that they can make things happen with simple actions. Here are 4 ways to deepen their understanding of cause and effect.
Father holding an upset baby
5 co-regulation tips to help your toddler manage their feelings
Co-regulation is the process of showing your toddler how to manage emotions by doing it together. Try these expert tips the next time your child gets upset.
Toddler crawling through the Play Tunnel by Lovevery
5 easy play tunnel games for toddlers
Learn why crawling is so important for toddlers and how to encourage it with simple play tunnel games.
Father playing with child
Wish your toddler would focus? Try playing together first
Are you eager for your toddler to play longer with a toy? Learn what you can do to help them get the most out of their playthings.
Toddler upset while their mom tries to play
Why it’s important to allow your toddler’s big emotions 
Big feelings are a sign of your toddler's healthy social-emotional development. Learn three ways to help you and your child manage them.
Baby sucking their thumb while holding a Cotton Doll by Lovevery
When (and how) to transition your toddler from 2 naps to 1
Knowing when your toddler is ready to drop their morning nap can be tricky. Understand the signs to look for and the best ways to drop to one nap.
Toddler playing with the Community Garden Puzzle by Lovevery
Secrets to building your toddler’s self-esteem 
As your toddler becomes more independent, you have an opportunity to help them cultivate healthy self-esteem. Here are 4 ways to help your toddler develop it.
Mother holding a baby that just got out of the bath
Why does my toddler hate certain clothes?
If your toddler dislikes certain clothes, it may be a sensory issue. Learn five simple adjustments from a pediatric occupational therapist.
Man supporting a child who is pointing out the front door
4 signs toddlers understand language even if they aren’t talking much yet
Your toddler likely understands more than they can say. Here are 4 ways your toddler is communicating without words.
What should my toddler’s art look like right now?
More than anything, toddler art is a sensory exploration involving fine and gross motor movement. Here are the stages of toddler drawing development.
Father giving a teddy bear to their child
The magical teaching powers of words like ‘humongous’
Learn how to build your child's language skills and comprehension with plenty of rich vocabulary, back-and-forth conversations, narration, and repetition.
Young child outside looking at a crack in the cement
We asked 4 professionals what they wished toddler parents would do more of
We asked some of our favorite early childhood, Montessori, and resilience experts to share some advice with us. Here are their top 10 tips.
Toddler with their mom
8 ways toddlers start to talk between 18 and 24 months
Here are 8 ways your toddler is learning language right now, even if they're not saying much yet.
Toddler sitting on a woman's lap looking at her hand
The toddler game of who, what, where, why, how?
Introducing who, what, where, why, and how in little lessons empowers your toddler to begin explaining what interests them the most.
A baby and an upset young child wearing matching red shirts
Kicking, biting, and hitting: understanding and responding to your toddler’s tantrums
Kicking, biting, and hitting are common all with toddlers, and knowing what to do can be hard—especially if you’re in public. Here's what you should know.
Young child sitting on a rug looking through a book of animals
Picture book project! 🌈 Preserving your toddler’s first words
This DIY project captures your child's first words and builds their vocabulary as their language develops.
Toddler sitting on a man's lap looking at a plate of raspberries and blueberries
The earlier, the better: math is already developing in your toddler’s brain
Neuroscientist Gillian Starkey shares tips for introducing your toddler to math and why it's beneficial to start now.
Jessica Rolph, Co-founder and CEO of Lovevery, showing animal figurines
Introducing the Montessori Animal Match game to your toddler
Lovevery CEO Jessica Rolph and Montessori Expert Jody Malterre demonstrate how the Montessori Animal Match game helps toddlers link 2D images with 3D figurines.
Toddler putting pom poms in an empty cardboard container
5 ways to play the pom pom way
Pom poms are a fun way for your toddler to develop their fine motor skills. Try these ideas for at home or on the go.
Toddler scooping dried beans from one bowl to another using a spoon
The Montessori activity you already have in your house
Develop your toddler's fine-motor skills and concentration in a fun new way with items you probably already have at home.
Young child holding a rag and cleaning a window
Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere
Giving your toddler opportunities to help with household tasks makes them feel independent and valuable. Try these ways to encourage your child to participate.
Toddler playing with the Threadable Bead Kit by Lovevery
The best Montessori and learning toys for 1 year olds
At 12 months old, your toddler is more mobile and curious than ever. The best toys support mobility, fine motor skills, language, and independence. See our best Montessori toys for 1-year-olds.
Playing with the Babbler Play Kit
Updated Lovevery Play Kits featuring larger, more complex developmental Playthings
After play studies, weeks of in-home testing, and thousands of customer surveys, we are excited to announce our updated Play Kits for one-year-olds.
Toddler playing a DIY activity
Pipe cleaners and Wiffle Balls
"Posting” is a term used to describe fitting objects into an opening of corresponding size. In this activity, colorful, bendable pipe cleaners fit into Wiffle balls for all kinds of posting fun.
Why wooden toys make the best playthings
Wooden toys are a staple of Montessori learning. They're durable, beautiful, and inspire wonder for a child's budding imagination.
Toddler playing outside and washing an animal figurine that was in dirt
Dirty vs clean: a quick lesson in contrast
Your toddler’s brain loves to grapple with opposites. A great way to involve your toddler in learning about opposites is by exploring the idea of dirty vs clean
Child setting the table
What kind of chores are right for my child?
Children as young as 18 months can start taking on regular household responsibilities. These will be simple and straightforward, like wiping up spills or helping set the table, and will require modeling and patience from you.
Young child painting a sidewalk with water
Mess-Free water painting
This water painting activity boosts gross and fine motor skills and is incredibly simple. All you need are paint brushes and a bucket of water.
Toddler screwing on a pouch top attached to cardboard
Cap twist-off board
Twisting caps to loosen and tighten them takes concentration and coordination, and can be done over and over again. This activity reuses disposable baby food pouches to allow your child to practice.
Toddler putting a popsicle stick into a container
Velcro dot craft sticks
This DIY craft activity has can be taken on car trips and stored easily for future use—and it supports multiple developmental skills as well.
Toddler playing with a DIY activity
Pop-up paper tunnels
In this activity, your child will push toy cars, trains, planes, and other small vehicles through DIY tunnels, creating a world of pretend play to get lost in.
Green balloon on a blue paper plate with a wooden stick attached
DIY Balloon Tennis
This simple DIY is a great source of entertainment and helps develop gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. All it takes is a paper plate, popsicle sticks, and a balloon.
Toilet paper rolls with colorful yarn
Toilet Paper Roll Crafts
Some of the best craft materials can be found in the recycling bin. Here are 3 crafts you can do with your toddler using toilet paper rolls.