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Your one year old

As you reach the one-year stage

Your child is growing, and each new stage for your baby is another step towards becoming an individual little person. Each new step your child takes also takes you as a parent along to hold your baby’s hand along the way.  We thought you might find it helpful to know how you can support them along the way.

Speech and language

A baby’s speech, language and communication starts before birth. Once they are reaching one-year-old the world is a place of huge opportunity and the importance of speech, language and communication is really important in a child’s world, for the child’s whole future.

Simple ways to support communication and speech and language development

  • Share stories with your child
  • Sing songs to/with your child
  • Help your child to make actions with their hands when singing and during story time
  • Tell your child the name of things
  • Talk to your child when you go out for walks

More ways to support speech, language and communication development

  • When you go for a walk talk to your child about the sounds you can hear
  • Make the sounds of animals and things when you’re sharing a book with your child
  • Play games with your child where they have to follow instructions like ‘roll the ball’ or ‘throw the ball’
  • Let your child help with things like unpacking the shopping by telling them to find different things, e.g. ‘ find the apples’
  • Show and give your child choices about what they can have to eat, drink, play with etc.

Physical development

Physical development is a really fun area of development that also keeps you on your toes as a parent. As your child grows, their indoor and outdoor world is part of their physical playground and development can be supported within that with parent support.

Simple ways to help develop physical abilities

  • Let me splash my hands and kick my feet in the bath
  • Give me a doll’s buggy or trundle trike to push
  • Move my toys a bit further away to give me a small challenge
  • Let me help turn the pages or lift the flaps of a book
  • Give me playdough to squeeze or squash with my hands
  • Share finger play songs with me, like ’round and round the garden’
  • Let me have finger foods
  • Let me try to have a spoon to eat my food with

More ways to help to develop physical skills

  • Give me a little something to carry when we go out
  • Give me a bucket to put interesting things in when I’m exploring outdoors
  • Give me rolling pins and cutters to see what I can do with them when I’m playing with playdough
  • Let me try to wash my hands and face by myself
  • Let me try to put my shoes on by myself. My world around me also gives me a sense of belonging. In learning who belongs in my world, who is important to me and knowing who I can trust to meet my needs provides me with a sense of identity and trusted relationships

This website has some great advice: Start 4 Life activities for toddlers

Developing social skills

My world around me also gives me a sense of belonging. In learning who belongs in my world, who is important to me and knowing who I can trust to meet my needs provides me with a sense of identity and trusted relationships.

Help me understand who I am and who is part of my world

  • Share photos of special grown-ups with me
  • Let me meet special grown-ups. Tell me their names
  • Let me look in a mirror. Point to me and tell me that’s me in the mirror. Point to my nose, arms and legs and tell me what they are
  • Let me get my comforter or special toy when I’m feeling sad or tired

Help me develop my social self

  • Play copying games with me
  • Share photos or videos of me doing things and talk about what I’m doing
  • Engage with imaginative play with me. For example, use my dolls or teddies to show me how to pretend to look after a baby. Talk to me about the things you are using, and what you are doing with them
  • Let me help you share out things like toys and food so that everyone has something to play with/eat.

This website gives some fantastic ideas of activities you can undertake with children of all ages: Activities – Support for Parents from Action For Children

Looking after their teeth

Brushing your child’s teeth as part of your child’s bedtime routine is really important.

Here is some information on how to do this effectively every day:

Healthy Eating

As your child grows, so does their taste in food. Remember, there is lots of support around for healthy eating and keeping well. The Start 4 Life website has a useful section on toddlers.


Have your say

Help us improve the local information on this website and give us feedback about any contacts you have had with our service by completing the Devon Public Health Nursing feedback form.

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Devon County Council runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called ChatHealth. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens. You can also call our Public Health Nursing hubs on the numbers listed below.

If you are concerned about the safety of a child in Devon, contact our Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0345 155 1071 or email with as much information as possible.

This page was last reviewed on 29-04-2022

This page will be next reviewed on 29-04-2025