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Encouraging Toddler Friendships

Your toddler is ready, willing, and able to connect with other kids -- she just needs a few cues from you.
toddlers playing together First Friends

At 15 months, Janani Bhagat already has a pretty active social life. "Our apartment building has a playroom, and whenever Janani goes in, she recognizes her favorite friends, calls out their names, and runs over to them," says her mom, Bhuvana, who lives in New York City. These first friendships may seem simple to you, but they're important to your 1-year-old's development. "There's so much toddlers can learn by watching other kids, from becoming more independent to increasing language skills," says Jen Meyers, coauthor of Raising Your Child: The Complete Illustrated Guide. Still, you'll need to provide the right opportunities and environment for your child to practice. Get started with these smart steps.