Age 1

Read!

  • Looking and talking about books help teach your toddler to talk.
  • Reading books with toddlers helps them to get ready to listen and learn in school.
  • At this age, your toddler can choose a favorite book.
  • Establish a daily reading routine and read to your toddler in your native language every day.  (A few pages at a time is plenty.)  Also read whenever your toddler is interested in books and words.  Make sure that when you are reading, the TV is off and there are no other distractions.
  • Your toddler should be able to point to pictures that they want you to look at, open and close a book and copy your reactions.
  • Your toddler may only pay attention for a few minutes at a time.
  • Model reading for enjoyment and use a different voice for each character.
  • Take your toddler to Story Time activities at the Wake County Libraries.
  • See Tips for Toddlers. (English) (Spanish)
  • See Don’t Sit Still: The Fun of Reading Aloud. (English) (Spanish)
  • For additional assistance with literacy see Motheread.
  • At this age, your toddler will enjoy looking at cloth books, board books, ABC books, touch and feel books and picture books with short stories.  See Build the Best Home Library for Your Child.
  • See Reach Out & Read parent resources.
  • See article Importance of Reading Aloud.
  • Go to Read! Reading Success by 4th Grade for great tips in English and Spanish.

Talk!

  • Ask your toddler lots of questions.
  • Sing songs to your child throughout the day and on-the-go.
  • Imitate the sounds that your toddler makes while looking at a picture. Then make up a short sentence.  For example: Meow. The cat says meow.
  • When your toddler says a word, repeat it and use it in a simple sentence.
  • While looking at books, name and say a few words about the pictures your toddler is pointing/looking at.  See Toddler Reading Milestones.
  • Respond to your toddler’s use of gestures or sounds.  Repeat what your toddler does or says.
  • Go on walks and point to familiar and new things.  Say the names and talk about it.  Ask your toddler questions, so they can interact.
  • While shopping, pick up familiar objects and name them and explain what they are.  Ask your toddler questions, so they can practice talking.
  • While reading, make up questions.  Your child can point to the answers or say the words.  For example: Where is the pig?  Where are the girl’s eyes?  Where are your eyes?
  • Expose your toddler to new words so he/she can expand their vocabulary.  Research shows that the fewer words a child hears and learns, the more likely they are to experience an achievement gap in school.
  • Sign up for the text-to-parents program Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing. (English) (Spanish)  This program sends tips for early language development to parents.  Also download the App Vroom which will teach you how to turn shared moments into brain building moments.

Play!

  • Provide a variety of materials and textures for your child to explore: fabric, water, soft things, sand, natural items.
  •  Act out stories in books and sing about the stories.
  • Make animal sounds, truck sounds etc. for pictures in books.
  • Make up games while looking at pictures (Who can find the trucks first?)
  • Remember that toddlers love finger plays, nursery rhymes and lap games.
  • Take your toddler to a class at Marbles Kids Museum.
  • Enjoy music together.
  • Help your toddler pretend to be a character in a book.  Imitate, make noises, create costumes or add props.

Download the One Year Old Bookmark – English | Spanish