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Child Development Tracker

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Physical Health

Supporting Activities

Mister Rogers

Sing with your child about growing up! You're Growing

Barney and Friends

Try this movement song with your child. If You're Happy and You Know It

Books for Your Child

Reading to children every day helps them learn about their growing bodies. Try these read-aloud concept books for babies.

One-year-olds make dramatic physical progress, typically moving from crawling to running by about 20 months. They hold their hands out to the side or poke their bellies out for balance. Their gait is a bit awkward and clumsy, and falls are common. They use their new mobility to push and pull toys, dance and climb. One-year-olds also improve in hand and finger coordination, but skills at this age are still immature, so they fumble and drop objects frequently.

Motor Skill Development

  • Progresses from crawling to "cruising" (moves on feet from place to place while holding on to a support) to walking by 15 months, and runs by 20 months.

  • Kneels, creeps up stairs (walks up them by the end of the year), and pushes and pulls toys (e.g., toy lawnmower, train with pull-string).

  • Locomotor skills can be stimulated by providing an open area where balls, push and pull toys, wagons and other equipment encourage free movement. Also, by providing low climbing structures, ramps and steps.

  • Around the thirteenth month, can pull self up to a standing position. Learns to move hands and body off of the support and stand alone by the fourteenth month. Steadily improves balance through "cruising" (moves on feet from place to place while holding on to a support), then walking (by 15 months), and running (by 20 months). Gait is a bit awkward and clumsy, and falls are common.

  • By fifteenth month, can typically bend down from a standing position and pick up an object.

  • Can maintain balance while sitting and manipulating toy. Also, can stay balanced in a kneeling position while rotating head.

  • Can grasp and release a ball. By the end of the year, can kick a small ball forward.

  • Skills related to tracking a ball can be stimulated through watching a mobile as an infant, and as a toddler through activities that encourage the tracking of moving objects (e.g., following the path of bubbles blown in the air by parents).

  • Explores various ways to move body (e.g., climbing, dancing).

  • Many children this age have a keen interest in tiny particles, such as crumbs. They may use their "pincer" grasp (thumb and forefinger working together) to pick them up and bring them to mouth. (A few children can use their fingers in this way to pick up small objects when they are eight months old, but many aren't able to accomplish this until nearly 15 months.)

  • Makes progress in abilities to use hands and fingers effectively, but skills at this age are still immature, and children fumble and drop objects frequently.

  • Children use their hands to experiment with objects by turning them in all directions, banging them, and bringing them to the mouth. They enjoy feeling different textures (e.g., bricks, walls, tile, wood, twigs, rocks, water)

  • During this year, children are typically able to scribble with oversize crayons on a large sheet of paper taped down to a table. Often, children this age shift drawing and painting tools from hand to hand and draw strokes.

  • Can use a spoon and fork. Handles a cup well with minimal spilling. Feeds self crackers and other finger foods.

  • Is able to turn the pages of books and magazines, but may not turn them one at a time.

  • Claps hands.

  • Can build a block tower of six cubes.

  • Can put rings on a peg.

  • Early in the year, children start to push their feet into their shoes and their arms into their sleeves. Over time, they are more actively involved in dressing and undressing (e.g., removes pants with elastic waistband, takes off shoes).

Health Status and Practices

  • Depends on grown-ups for most aspects of care.

  • May be able to put on and/or take off one article of clothing. Pushes arm into sleeve and foot into shoe.

  • Tries to brush own teeth, but requires adult follow-up.

  • Resists nail trimming.

  • Around 20 months old, may stay dry for longer periods of time and begin to have bowel movements at predictable times each day. May also become curious about the bathroom habits of others. Can learn to wash and dry hands.

  • Driven to explore. Typically doesn't take into account hazardous circumstances.

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