Day by day _ 12-24 Months




Playing with hands

Stimulation Activities

Before you begin

  • Loosen the baby’s diaper for comfort.
  • Dress the baby in comfortable clothing for freedom of movement.
  • Position the baby according to basic principles.




  • Put toys on the floor to get the baby to squat while playing.
  • Make sure the baby’s feet are aligned with her knees and hips.
  • If the baby sits down, stand her up again so that she can practice getting into a squat. Her feet should be placed slightly apart for balance.
  • If the baby is too tired, it’s best to try again later.


  • Encourage climbing by putting toys up higher, such as on sofas, beds, and chairs.
  • Gradually increase the level of difficulty.
  • Spot the child to avoid falls.
  • Guide your toddler’s movements by placing a hand on each leg.
  • If need be, support the child’s bottom.
  • See that the child uses a different supporting leg each time, so that both legs develop equal strength.
Walking with the help of a grown-up


  • Place yourself behind the child.
  • Hold your hands at either side of the child, at the height of the child’s elbows.
  • Bend your knees to protect your back.

This position may be trying for an adult. Be persistent! Your baby will soon be able to move on to the next phase.

Walking with push toys


Your baby should be able to hold the push toy at shoulder height or lower.

The object being pushed should be heavy enough that the child can use it for support and proper control. If the object is too light, it may roll away and the child fall down.

To make the toy heavier, you can attach wrist or ankle weights with Velcro or fill it with books or a large bag of rice.

Stepping over obstacles


  • Start with small items like a paperback book, a box of facial tissues, etc. This leaves you hands-free to help your little munchkin if needed.
  • Move on to a stick, like a broomstick, that you can hold at ankle height.
  • To help your toddler with balance, put your hands on the hips and press gently down toward the floor, in the direction of the supporting leg. Alternatively, place one hand on the tummy and the other on the bottom.
  • Once the child gets really good at keeping his balance, simply offer a hand for support. Your little one may or may not take it. Your hand should be at the level of the child’s elbow, lower than the shoulder.
  • Gradually increase the challenge. You can use a hula hoop or limbo stick (or broom stick) that you raise progressively higher. Never go above knee height.

Kicking a ball


  • To steady your toddler, put your hands on the hips and press gently down toward the floor, in the direction of the supporting leg. Alternatively, place one hand on the child’s tummy and the other on the bottom.
  • To guide the movement, hold the child’s leg with one hand and make contact with the ball.

Throwing a ball


Climbing stairs
Climbing stairs

Be careful and attentive!

  • Always keep an eye on your child if you have stairs in the house, or keep the stairway gated, at least until you are sure he can go up and down safely by himself (usually around age 2 years).;
  • When the child is on the steps going up, stand directly behind him in case he loses his balance.;


Always watch your baby or toddler on stairs! In addition to slipping or falling, she may make a wrong move and hit her head on the step directly above.

Step by step: on their knees

Babies can climb the stairs by crawling on hands and knees. As they get older, they will learn to put their feet on the steps, instead. In the meantime, help guide your child if need be.

Step by step: on their feet

Once toddlers are better able to keep their balance, they are on their way to learning to walk up the stairs. See if your child would like to put her foot on the next step instead of her knee, and then the other, using her hands on the steps for support.


Be careful and attentive!

  • Once a child can go up the stairs, it is imperative to teach him how to come down.;
  • Don’t teach your child to go down the steps before he knows how to go up.;
  • When on the stairs, stay directly behind the child so you can catch him in case he loses his balance.;


  • Start the activity alternatively with the left or right leg so that your child has no trouble going down with either.
  • Make the exercise gradually more challenging by increasing the number of steps to go down.

Place a toy at the bottom of the stairs to entice the child to go down.

Be careful and attentive!

  • Don’t teach your child to walk up the stairs before he walks well without help.;
  • Do not engage in this activity before the child has mastered going up and down stairs on all fours.;
  • When the child is on the steps, stand directly behind him so that you can catch him if he loses his balance.;


Be careful and attentive!

  • Don’t teach your child to walk down the stairs before he knows how to walk up the stairs with both hands on the banister.;
  • To prevent falls, stand one step lower than the child and spot him. ;


Spot your child in this way to make sure she’s safe and help her if need be.


Stay behind the child for safety and balance, as shown, as she goes up the stairs.

Be careful and attentive!

  • Don’t teach your child to walk down the stairs holding on with only one hand before she knows how to walk up the stairs that way.;
  • To prevent falls, stand one step below and spot.;


Stay in front of your child, as shown, as she goes down the stairs. In this way, you’re there to hold her hand and keep her steady.

To encourage your toddler to use alternating feet, hold the lower leg and start the movement. You can also talk to the child and remind him to use the other foot.

Each child develops at his own pace, according to his own interests, energy level, and temperament. You can create a safe and inviting environment for your child. Your involvement will stimulate the child’s physical and mental growth toward fulfillment of maximum potential.

Fine motor development

Fine motor skills develop in stages. As your child grows, she will want to take part in activities that are increasingly complex. She will handle things with greater and greater precision. Watching your child play will provide a glimpse into fine motor development.


Baby’s first birthday came and went! At birthday parties, she enjoyed tearing the wrapping paper.

With increasingly precise movements, she’ll put objects into your hand, into a container, and build towers of 3-4 blocks.

Hand coordination keeps improving. Babies this age can hold an object steady with one hand and manipulate it with the other. They love molding and playing with play dough.

They can put large pegs in a pegboard and hold two objects in one hand. They have fun with crayons and scribble at will.

Handedness is not yet determined. Toddlers will explore and manipulate objects with either the right hand or the left, to see which is more comfortable. Eventually, one will predominate.


Your child practices his drawing skills. He imitates you with circles and straight lines (vertical). He begins to string large beads.

She builds block towers that are higher than before and does other simple constructs. She begins to use objects as tools, such as banging with a toy hammer.

Toddlers try to open and close containers. They turn pages to “read” board books and drop coins into piggybanks. They can put large puzzle pieces into a simple wooden puzzle and put shapes into a shape-sorter.

Your toddler loves helping around the house. He learns the skills of daily living by helping you out, participating, and imitating.


Fine motor skills
  • Basic concepts

    Pique your child’s curiosity

    Choose toys and objects that are colourful or make sounds. Attract your child’s attention and make playtime fun. Use words and sounds, like “Oh, look!”, “Oh-oh!”, “What’s this?”, “Wee!” Manipulate objects with wonderment and share that excitement with your child.

    • Make each activity fun and exciting, presenting each one as a new discovery.
    • Create a space free of toys and distractions.
    • Keep the television off.
    • Engage the child in one activity at a time.
    • Give the child enough space to move around and play.Sit directly across from your child, so you can talk, play, engage, and make eye contact throughout.
    • Allow the child enough time to react; observe the reactions.

    If the child does not seem interested in the activity at hand, leave it. In time, if the object is close by, she will play when she’s ready. You can also play on your own without pressuring the child. Eventually, she will watch and join you.

    However, if the child is frightened, cries, or turns away, stop and wait another few weeks before reintroducing that particular toy or activity.

    Having fun

    Stop the activity if the child loses interest

    Although children learn through play, playtime has to be fun!

    If your child doesn’t care for a particular game or shows signs of fatigue or frustration, it’s best to leave it and try again later.

    Learn to recognize signs of fatigue. Your child will only love you the more for it, feeling safer in your presence. She will seek you out and ask for your help. By pursing the same activity for only 5 minutes at a time, you keep playtime fun!

    Follow the child’s lead

    Watch your child at play and note which activities the child is drawn to, what he finds interesting, and what challenges he is ready for.

    Ask the child if you can play, too. Join the game, and add new elements, novel ways of playing with the same toys. See if he is interested. Does the child look at you? Does the child imitate your moves? If not, leave it. With time, even perhaps the same day, he may copy what you did earlier.

    Everything is a potential learning opportunity. Take crayons, for example. Crayons can be used for scribbling, naming colours, placing items into a container with or without a lid, holding one or several in one hand. Eventually, they can be used for counting, sorting by colour, pretending they’re a microphone to sing into, and so on. Plastic containers can be used as a hat or building blocks for towers; they can also be used for stacking one inside the other, differentiating concepts such as larger and smaller, matching the right lid, pretending to be a concert drummer, and so on.

    Child-directed play

    Who leads? The child.

    Children love to lead! They learn best and enjoy the game most when they get to choose what they want to play and how to play it.

    • Let the child choose a toy and play with it any way he likes.
    • Pique his curiosity by showing him other ways the toy works; for example, “Look at this! Press on this button, and out comes the duck.”
    • Describe the toy, naming its colour or function; for example, “What’s the truck doing now?”, “What a beautiful red car!”
    • Congratulate the child for his accomplishments, and/or continue engaging in the pretend scenario, playing along with the child’s ideas and directions.

    Taking turns

    • Get your child’s attention; g. call her by name or make eye contact.
    • Interact, alternating some of the strategies below to make the game fun:
      • Use simple language; e.g. “Yes!”, “Wow! That’s so good!”, “My turn”.
      • Make sounds associated with the picture book or toy; e.g. “Vroom, vroom!”, “Meow, went the cat!” Babies and toddlers love sound effects.
      • Ask simple questions as you read a picture book or play; e.g. “What’s the bear doing?”
      • Give simple commands; e.g. “Throw me the ball”, “Catch”, “Your turn”.
    • Wait for the response; allow at least 10 seconds for the child to react, make a sound, smile, or look at you.
    • Continue interacting, even if there was no response. Use the strategies above.
    • Encourage the child to go on about the same subject, encourage her to communicate.

    I can do it myself!
    Children love to do things themselves. They begin asserting their independence, and gain confidence in doing so. Of course, they’re also testing the limits.

    To encourage independence:

    • Watch the child’s efforts and help out only in case of frustration
    • Stay nearby or facing the child and comment if you like. Sometimes, playing quietly is a good thing!
    • Praise your child for making the effort, even if he didn’t succeed.

    A positive attitude on your part will increase your child’s confidence in play and pride in learning!

    Concentrate on effort rather than results. Defuse difficulties. If the child didn’t succeed, say, “Nice try!” or “These blocks are hard to stack so high, they keep falling down, don’t they?” This way, the failure is due to the characteristics of the toy or the difficulty of the activity, rather than the child.

    Show your child that you fail sometimes, too. Knock down the blocks “by accident”. The child will learn that even adults can fail and that these things can happen to anyone.


    Learning through play

    Show and tell – doing it over and over again

    Children learn through play and observation. They’ll do the same thing over and over again until they get it right!

    Faced with a new toy or a novel situation, children explore it fully. A toddler will go up and down a 3-step stairway just for the fun of it. They thrive in meeting new challenges.

    When you show a small child how to play with a toy, the child will try to copy. Children also copy other children and look up to older brothers and sisters. Sometimes they’ll also want to copy younger siblings. These are all teaching moments.

    You can help your child master difficult fine motor activities using “hand-over-hand” prompting. Putting your hand over the child’s hand, you guide him through the motions. When you use this technique, be sure to always let the child know ahead of time that you will be helping him.

    Importantly, take your time. Repetition is the key to success, one small step at a time.

    Show and tell

    Raising the bar: choosing toys geared to your child’s learning level

    When a child accomplishes something, s/he looks for greater challenges. Here are several ways of kindling your child’s natural curiosity.

    Increase the level of complexity. For example, when stacking rings, the baby learns to orient one object relative to the others. As long as the central column is rigid, the exercise can be done using only one hand. However, when threading beads onto a string, both hands are required. This involves a greater degree of precision and coordination.

    Pay particular attention to the size and weight of the toys you provide. Toys have to be comfortable enough for the child to hold, manipulate with one or both hands, and carry. You want the level of difficulty to challenge the child’s fine motor skills and endurance level, but not so much so that the child tires easily or gets frustrated. Observe your child at play and choose toys accordingly.

    Raising the bar – Stacking and threading

    Observe your child at play

    Some activities may be challenging for your child. Observe your child at play, see what he finds difficult, and help him out if need be.

    • Is the baby scared of the object?
    • Does he find it too difficult to pick up?
    • Can he turn the object around in his hand?
    • Are both hands coordinated?
    • Does he understand what the activity is all about?
    • Does he understand the sequence, what to do next?

    Help your child become more independent by pitching in only when necessary. Observe the progress.

    Problem solving

    Problem-solving: using hand gestures, sounds, keywords

    To help your baby or toddler understand what to do with a particular toy or activity, explain it step by step as you play together. You can use hand gestures, words, and sounds.

    ABC Boom! is a multi-sensory handwriting method used in early education. Each letter is associated with sound and meaning. For example, a straight downward stroke represents a raindrop that goes “plop!” as it hits the ground.

    Teach your child key concepts like in, out, over, under, and through, by combining keywords with hand gestures. For example, when building a tower with the baby, say “over” as you point to where the next block should go. If you want the child to put the blocks into a container, say “in” as you point to the container.

    Associating words with actions and sounds helps children understand new concepts and remember the sequence of events.

    Increasing precision

    As the child gets older and more adept, precision improves. She can handle smaller objects. She will want to do things that become progressively more complex, like eating with a fork and doing arts and crafts.

    Help baby with precision training by playing with smaller toys and asking for specific shapes and spatial orientations.

    Raising the bar – Sorting by shape, size, and direction


    If you feel that your child’s motor skills are still lacking, despite whatever strategies you may have tried, do not hesitate to contact a health care professional. They are there to help you.

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