Your 1-Year-Old

Creative Arts

Music and art help remind us of the beauty of the world, and your toddler is already excited to explore all about the creative arts. She’s learning about her favorites – songs, music, picture books – and she wants to share all those experiences with you. Whether it’s a kitchen dance party, a car sing-a-long, or a book reading extravaganza, she’s all in.

The phrase “dance like no one is watching” was probably made for toddlers, so encourage her natural inhibitions! From swing music to rap to pop, she’ll enjoy a taste of it all. Whether it’s in her bedroom or the public library, supply her with a wide variety of bright, colorful books. And although finger paints may be messy, your little artist will love creating her very own masterpieces with them!

2018 International Day of the Girl: Great Books about Work

Music Makes Me Happy.

Turn up the music, and watch him turn up his dance moves! From salsa to soft rock, he’ll move and groove and sing along with his favorites. Give him a couple of sticks and a little rock and roll, and he’ll probably pound out the beat as best he can. Dancing, drumming, and dreaming — your toddler is discovering his inner musical genius!

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

A quick check of toy shelves should show off some tiny toddler-friendly instruments, ribbons or scarves to wave while dancing. You may even some dance shoes! Also take time to listen — when recorded music is played, make sure it’s diverse. A variety of cultures and types of music should be represented in songs that are played and sung.

I Can Dance Like No One’s Watching!

Just like a mini Jennifer Beals, she’s a maniac on the dance floor! The dance floor might actually be your kitchen or car or the park next door, but nevertheless, she loves to move every part of her body to whatever beat you provide. Introduce her to different types of music and let her discover what moves her most.

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Have you seen a dance party at the program? Dancing to a variety of music — from a sing-a-long to a radio tune — is a vital part of a high-quality classroom. Make sure teachers embrace this form of self-expression!

Show Me All Your Colors!

Does he have a favorite picture book? One he requests again and again? Does he have another he’d prefer to throw across the room? No worries — your toddler is learning about what he likes in the world of visual arts… and what he doesn’t. Similarly, he may love play dough and loathe finger paints. Continue to let your little Picasso explore and expand. His artistic future depends on it!

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Check out the art station. You want to see a place where art is freely available. You might see chalk and paper at table, water paint, brushes, and paper at an easel, or finger paints- art takes many shapes. Take a look at the displayed art, too. It shouldn’t all look the same — individual expression is important!

I’m Getting My Move On.

The cow says “moo,” and the pig says “oink.” How do you know for sure? Your toddler will tell you! She loves imitating her favorite animals — complete with animated facial expressions. And when she’s playing alone – which she’s doing more often now — you may find her acting out scenes from the barnyard or the playground or from her favorite movie. Play along with her to see her imagination soar!

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

From cows and dogs to firefighters and police officers…look for opportunities for children to pretend to be someone or something else. Teachers should help take play to the next level by adding language, encouraging questions, and pretending themselves. “Oh you are a princess firefighter! That is great! You might need this fire extinguisher to help put out the dragon fire.”

All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.