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    11 Physical Developmental Milestones for Toddlers (Ages 1-2) and Activities to Boost Them
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    13 October 2014

    11 Physical Developmental Milestones for Toddlers (Ages 1-2) and Activities to Boost Them

    8 mins read
    Physical Development
    for Toddlers
    14.7K engaged
    As a parent of a one-year-old, it is important to remember that your baby is evolving into a toddler, and is just beginning to discover the world. One-year-olds actively use their senses to explore and make things happen. Toddlers between 1-2 years become increasingly mobile and are able to walk on their own, climb and feed themselves. These are some important physical developmental milestones of a 12 month Old.


    In this article

    Physical Developmental Milestones
    Toddler Physical Developmental Activities
    Signs of Physical Developmental Delay in Toddlers

    Between the months of 12 to 24, there are plenty of physical milestones that your child will be achieving. Here is a checklist of the developmental milestones that you should be looking out for in your toddlers aged one to two years old.

    Physical Developmental Milestones

    1. Standing

      Around the 13th month, babies are able to pull themselves up to a standing position with support. After this, they will be able to move their hands and body away from the support and stand alone by around 14 months. By the 15th month, babies should be able to bend down from a standing position to pick up an object.

    2. Maintaining Balance

      Between the ages of 1-2, toddlers are able to maintain balance while sitting and playing with objects like toys.

    3. Walking and Running

      Between the ages of 1-2, children learn to walk, run, hop, and even jump. Children graduate from crawling to walking and running by the age of 20 months. Typically, babies will move from one place to another while standing and holding onto a support, to walking at around 15 months. By around 20 months, your baby will be running. As they reach two years of age they are able to move around independently. They begin to walk on their own and are also able to walk backwards.

    4. Kneeling and Climbing

      At around 12 months or so, babies will kneel and creep up the stairs. They try to climb stairs with the support of a railing, and would run around much more than they used to. Climbing on and off furniture is also something they would do at this age.

    5. Hand and Finger Coordination

      One-year-olds exhibit improved hand and finger coordination; however, they might still fumble a great deal and drop objects. They are also able to use their hands much more, sometimes using one more than the other. They are able to push and pull objects and pick up toys. Toddlers will also be able to catch and throw things. At this stage, toddlers will show a greater preference for push and pull toys like toy trains and cars.

    6. Moving and Experimenting with Hands

      Toddlers begin to use their hands to experiment with objects by turning them in all directions, banging them and often bringing them to their mouths. Toddlers also begin to discover the world through touch and taste. He or she learns to pat your face or shake things around and feel different textures like water, wood and walls. They are also able to hold books and flip pages. In their second year, toddlers start scribbling on paper, wall, etc. You will also see them shifting drawing and painting tools from one hand to another.

    7. Baby touching water
    8. Throwing and Kicking

      By the end of their first year, toddlers will be able to kick or throw a small ball forward.

    9. Feeding Themselves

      As they grow from 1-year-olds to 2, toddlers exhibit the ability to feed themselves. When seated at the table, if you fill up a bowl with cereal you might see your baby empty it on the table and eat off the surface.

    10. Dressing Up

      By age two, your toddler will be able to push hands into sleeves of his clothing and slip his feet into shoes.

    11. Pushing and Pulling

      Pushing and pulling toys along become interesting to babies around the age of 12 to 18 months. You can give them wheel-toys or even attach a piece of string to a toy car for them to drag it around. This activity also helps him improve his coordination, as he’ll be moving forward by glancing occasionally behind him.

    12. Squatting

      Up until the age of around 12 months, your baby would have bent down to pick up his toys. It’s from the age of 12 to 18 months that he will begin squatting instead. Show him that he can bend his knees, instead of stooping over. Let him practice by picking up his various toys off the ground.

    Apart from these, by 18 months of age, your child would have mastered the pincer grip, build towers with his blocks, scribble on paper, drink from a cup without any help, and slowly move on to the next set of milestones!

    Watch: Baby Development Milestones from 12 to 18 Months

    Key Takeaway

    • From 12 to 18 months, your baby becomes fully mobile and better coordinated as well. He attempts to walk, run, throw/kick balls, and squat. Help him practice these movements.
    • Play hide-and-seek or hide his toys for him to find, as, at this age, babies begin searching for objects too.
    • Caution should be exercised regarding staircases as babies will start trying to climb up and down stairs by this age. Install protective gates at the top and bottom.
    • Babies at this stage will start taking an interest in looking at books, pointing at images, and turning pages. It’s never too early to start reading to him! He will also learn to point at simple body parts and imitate the actions of others.
    • Provide your baby toys and objects that can boost his physical development and imagination.

    Toddler Physical Developmental Activities

    There are several fun activities and games your little one can indulge in that can help boost his physical development and can also help him understand different elements of the world around him. Here are a few interesting ones that can keep him occupied!

    • Use all the pillows and cushions you have in the house (the bigger, the better!) and scatter them in a big pile. Your toddler is sure to enjoy all the jumping, balancing, and climbing that comes with this game!
    • Pick a colour and have your little one run around the house finding it on various items. Keep going with a bunch of different colours.
    • Stretch! You don’t need to be a yoga expert for this. Simply stretch your arms towards your side and have your baby imitate you. Bend down to touch your toes, have her sit down and form a diamond shape with her legs. These exercises help him with growth and muscle development as well.
    • Throw socks into your laundry basket. Ball them up (clean ones preferable!) and teach your baby to aim at the basket and shoot for it. Keep the basket at a close distance so that he can land a few sock-balls in there! Move the basket further away once he is comfortable with the current distance and the motions involved.
    • Stick a line of tape in straight or squiggly lines on the floor. Your baby can either practice balancing while walking on them, or can jump over it too. Choose a thick tape that can be used on floors or rugs without ruining them.
    • Old is Gold, and so is a good old-fashioned game of Simon Says. Give him instructions like ‘jump up and down’, ‘squat on the floor’, ‘moo like a cow’, ‘give me a kiss’ - a variety of actions for him to practice!
    • Turn off the lights and make patterns on the wall with your flashlights, which your baby can imitate with his hands. Teach him how to make shadow animals with his hands.
    • Keep the balloons in the air! Keep tapping and swatting at a balloon and keep it airborne for as long as possible. Ensure that this activity is done in a spacious area.
    • Play pretend with your kids, by imitating various birds and animals, and asking him to imitate and identify your actions as well.
    Children playing pretend

    These physical developmental activities for toddlers not only help promote your child’s motor skills and development, but also teach him to use his imagination, learn about various new things, and provide a welcome break from the routine of watching TV and playing mobile games!

    Signs of Physical Developmental Delay in Toddlers

    Physical developmental delay in kids can be exhibited by certain signs, right from 3 to 4 months old.

    If your baby does not do the following by the time mentioned, it could be a cause for concern:
    • Does not grasp or hold objects (3 to 4 months)
    • Does not roll over at all (5 months)
    • Can’t sit up without support (6 months)
    • Does not reach out for objects actively (7 months)
    • Does not crawl or can’t stand without support (1 year)
    • Can’t walk or push objects (18 months)
    • Still walks on toes or cannot walk confidently (2 years)

    Physical development milestones are things that your child should be able to do at a certain age. While these milestones are indicators of your child’s growth, it is important for you to remember that each child is different. This is why you need not worry excessively if your child takes a little longer to reach these milestones. 

    Mom and baby


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