Growth and Development, Ages 12 to 24 Months - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development
Sensory and motor skills
Promote your child's sensory and motor skills by:
- Providing safe opportunities for exploration. Play games that encourage walking and movement, and go
outside when possible. For example, help your child walk around the yard with
push toys, such as play lawn mowers or bubble poppers. Play chase and race in
areas that allow "soft landings."
- Helping him or her to climb stairs. Keep a secure hold on your
child as the two of you go up and down stairs together.
- Letting him
or her feel different textures. Find items that let your child safely explore
the concepts of soft, hard, fuzzy, wet, dry, cold, and warm.
Promote your child's language development by:
- Talking. Get face-to-face and eye-to-eye with
your child as much as possible when interacting. Talk in slow and regular
speech about the things your toddler can see, what you are doing together, or
those things that are an important part of his or her
- Responding to your child's words. Repeat and expand on what
he or she says.
- Asking your toddler to use words to express
meaning. Teach words like "happy," "sad," "angry," "want," "like," and "don't
like" so that the child can begin to associate words with feelings and
- Reading to him or her every day. Also use songs, stories,
games, and rhymes to engage your child in language. To help your child's brain develop, play or read together instead of letting your child watch TV, watch movies, or play games on a screen. For more information, see
Speech and Language Development.
Learning parenting skills
Because your child is
growing and developing so quickly, in many ways you have to "get to know" him
or her over and over again. Help create a strong, lasting, and loving
relationship with your child by thinking about what you like and don't like
about the relationship from time to time. It may help to think about:
- What do I like most about my
- What new skills has my child developed within the past 3
months? 2 months? 1 month?
- When am I happy about how I treat my
- What don't I like about some of our interactions? When do
these episodes tend to happen?
- What could be triggering my child's challenging behaviors? Are any of these new
- What things can I encourage my
child to do for himself or herself? How can I encourage him or her?
As a parent or caregiver of children, it is also
important for you to:
- Learn and use effective
parenting and discipline techniques and avoid the use
of corporal punishment. Parenting classes are offered in
most communities. Ask your doctor or call a local hospital for more
- Learn healthy techniques to resolve conflicts and
manage stress. For more information, see the topic
- Ask for help when you
need it. Call a family member or friend to give you a break if you feel
overwhelmed. Investigate community resources that are available to help you
with child care or other needed services. Call a doctor or local hospital for a
place to start. Some communities have respite care facilities for children,
which provide temporary child care during times when you need a break.