Our editors will add it to our gallery of our other tiny viewers who celebrated their first milestone year with NBCChicago.
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Tips For Parents Of 1-Year-Olds provided by the Early Childhood Division of The Chicago Children's Museum
So you have a one-year-old? Congratulations, and get on your running shoes!
If your one-year-old hasn't found the wonders of walking yet, it won't be long, and once that wonderful feeling of mobility has been discovered, the world opens up beyond his or her wildest dreams. Everything is new and enticing and ...over there!
There are many wonderful ways to encourage the exploratory spirit of your one-year-old, including:
Read regularly -- read books with pictures of familiar objects, animals and places. Introduce nursery rhymes and fingerplays.
Talk, talk, talk -- talk about the things that your child sees and what you are doing. Your child needs to hear the rhythms and flow of language.
Encourage your children to verbalize their needs -- clarify, if needed. (For example: Your child is trying to tell you he wants to read a book and says: "Buh, buh". Rephrase what he is saying: "You want me to read a book? Let's get the book.")
Encourage building -- one- and two-year-olds love to build and knock down their constructions. Plastic cups and boxes, as well as blocks, make wonderful, safe building materials.
Let's pretend -- provide dress up clothes, dolls and play tools so your children can imitate what they see others do each day. Participate in pretend with your children so that they can hear the talk and vocabulary that accompanies grown-up activities.
Object exploration -- nesting cups, containers with lids, buckets -- all help your child relate parts to each other and provide tools for exploration. Do not be quick to jump in and correct your children's exploration. They are constructing their own meanings of the world through trial and error.
Fill your child's senses -- let your child experience smooth, rough, furry, soft, hard, wet, cool, etc. and reinforce what your child's senses are telling him by emphasizing words that describe his experiences. Use daily experience such as meal time and bath time to focus on sensory experiences.
On the move -- your child is learning to move his/her body in an upright position, gaining balance and coordination. Provide flat running surfaces and obstacle-free places where you child can move forward, backward and sideways. Moving to music is enjoyable to young children.
Expose your child to positive social interactions -- hugging, smiling, giving, asking and thanking.
The toddler years are an important time to 'child-proof' your home. Those lovely knick-knacks need to be placed on a high shelf or stored away for awhile. Check bathroom and kitchen undersink cupboards and remove medicines, cleaning materials, and beauty aids. Even small children can amaze you with how well they can open containers, and in their limited experience may think all liquids are for drinking. Needless to say, any weapon should be secured in a locked cabinet. Close off stairs. Keep your child in sight at all times; it takes only a second for a stable toddler to take off.
And, don't forget -- you and your child will enjoy the benefits of rest as you both actively enjoy the world through your toddler's eyes.