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Ages & Stages

Tips for Grandparents of a 1-Year-Old

You have an ongoing role to play in your grandchild's nurturing and develop­ment. Though you must carefully "re-childproof" your house as a grandparent, there are many wonderful things your grandchildren can do with grandparents.

Here are some activities in which you can participate and some things to keep in mind as you do:

Motor Skills

Help your grandchild practice skills that tie in with your own likes and prefer­ences. For example:

  • Involve him in physical activities (e.g. sweeping, preparing food, or arranging items) around the house in which you can lend a helping hand to ensure his success and safety.
  • Devise and initiate outdoor games and exercises that you and he can enjoy together.

Cognitive Milestones

To help your grandchild develop cognitively:

  • Read special books to him.
  • Play music and sing songs with him.
  • Assist him as he begins to learn his numbers.
  • Play hiding games like hide-and-seek and peekaboo.
  • Mix fantasy play with real play.

Social Development

  • Encourage your grandchild to interact with his peers, but keep in mind that egocentric behavior is normal for this age.
  • Don't overreact to selfishness or disregarding the feelings of others. Just reinforce that he should be sensitive to the feelings of other children.
  • Do not give her a motorized riding toy.
  • Do not give her a toy with any small parts or sharp edges. Stick with toys that are intended for toddlers, not for older children.

Water Safety

  • Never leave your toddler, even for a few seconds, in or near any body of water without supervision. This includes a bathtub, toilet, wading pool, swimming pool, fishpond, whirlpool, hot tub, lake, or ocean.

Auto Safety

  • The safest place for all children to ride is in their car seat in the backseat.
  • Never let your toddler climb out of his car seat while the car is moving.
  • Keep in mind that this period of self-centeredness will taper off by the age of three.
  • Nurture his self-esteem at every opportunity, but not at the expense of others.

Emotional Development

  • Repeatedly tell your grandchild how special he is to you. Tell him how important your time together is to you.
  • Don't overreact to the mood swings he goes through—clinging one moment, independent the next, and defiant after that.
  • Don't reinforce his aggressiveness if it becomes abusive. Set limits, but do not physically restrain or punish him. Follow your own inclinations about the activities or areas that can promote his development.

Additional Information:

Last Updated
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 6th Edition (Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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