Toddlers are so busy! Don’t just chase your kid around all day hoping they don’t get into trouble… try these activities for 1 year olds instead.
As a mom of 5 kids in 5 years… yes, I had 5 children aged 5 and under at one point… I have something to say.
1 year olds are so hard.
They are sweet and energetic and the absolute cutest things. Also, they are also so utterly exhausting because they are likely… at any point… to do the following.
- Make huge messes in no time
- Climb on things they shouldn’t
- Walk away from you in the direction of literally anything
- Fight naps even though they’re tired (this 1 year old sleep schedule will help)
- Pick up anything they can find and eat it
- Throw snacks, dump bowls, and get covered in food
- Throw themselves down on the floor and throw a tantrum for no logical reason
I know, mama, it’s super hard to get anything done with little ones. So you may as well sit down and play.
What's in this post...
1-year-olds require hyper-vigilance
By 10 a.m. with your toddler it feels like you’ve already passed 3 days. The days are long, but the years are short…right?
Consequently, mid-way through this year you’ll end up dropping your toddler’s morning nap. Then you’ll have all morning and part of the afternoon to fill up.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but the key to passing this time well is not to escape it into your phone or putting your little one in front of a screen.
The key is escaping into togetherness with your little one.
Things to do at home
You’ll have days that seem to last forever…and you’ll want more than anything to leave the house. However, there’s no escaping and you need something to occupy this one year old!
Try planning some fun actives to do at home to break up the monotony and escape into togetherness:
- Make a Chalk Target Practice- The only supplies you need are some chalk, a concrete slab, and something to throw.
- Tape a Maze on the Floor- Be sure to use painters tape or some tape that doesn’t stick too well. Get creative with your maze and make up a fun story to play along. For example, you may be princesses may be a prize throne at the end of the maze.
- Play Hopscotch with Shapes- Cut out simple shapes and place them down. This can be done inside or outside. Practice jumping together to each shape.
- Build a Small Bean Bag Toss- It’s easier than it sounds. Grab some dixi cups and large pom-poms. Also, ff you don’t have pom-poms, fill some socks with fluff and tie the ends.
- Play “Mommy Says”- Try this activity while cooking dinner or cleaning house!
- Lava Game with Pillows- I don’t know a kid who doesn’t love this game. Also, you’re sure to be giggling together and enjoying the fun!
- Create a Scavenger Hunt- If done outside, make it a nature hunt. If done inside, make it a color or shape hunt.
- Dance to Learning Songs- Put on those fun learning songs and make up some motions. Do them together!
- Take a Bike Ride or Go for a Walk- Sometimes it’s just good to get out together! Start young and your kid will appreciate the outdoors.
Activities for 1-year-olds with simple supplies
It’s amazing what crafts and activities can be done with simple household items! Furthermore, activities for 1 year olds that involve hands on play help fine motor skills.
Spark some imagination with these simple activities:
- Fruitloop Rainbow Craft- Everybody loves a little sticky cereal. Glue cereal (matching the colors) to the rainbow lines in a picture. For an edible version, use honey or corn syrup to make it stick.
- Ice Excavation- Although this takes a little extra planning, toddlers love exploring what may be hidden in ice cubes. Heres a tip- use their plastic tools (hammer or screwdriver) and put ice cubes in a larger bin so they can play around.
- Play Dough Construction Site- When it comes to activities for 1 year olds, this is a favorite. Use toys that he/she already has and incorporate that play-dough into some extra fun.
- Treasure Box Sensory Bin- Use screamed paper to in a shoe box and hide some special objects like toys cars, bouncy balls, or dolls for your now year old to find.
- Squishy Gel Bag- The only supplies needed are hair gel, a ziplock bag, and some sensory objects such as slitter or giggle eyes (the craft kind). Put it all in the bag and tape it to a window or the table.
- Magic Drinking Straw Flute- Have some plastic straws laying around? Cut them into different lengths and glue them together. You can even have this activity for 1 year olds decorate with stickers.
- Soapy jars- You’ll be amazed how much enjoyment your one year old will get from shaking around a plastic jar with soap and glitter. Add some beads for an extra kick.
- Make Boats from Juice Boxes- Use empty juice boxes. Take the straw and use tape and paper to turn it into the flag. Attach to the center of the box and you’ve got yourself a little boat.
Outside the home activities
One sure way to entertain and enjoy your one year old is to go to the great outdoors!
Not only does this build a love for being outside at a young age, but it’s also beneficial to get some fresh air and sunlight.
Take note of these outside activities for 1 year olds and you to enjoy!
- Use the Outside Gym– See my post on Indoor & Outdoor Toddler Climbing Toys
- Visit a Park- Not only is this a great way to make friends, but it’s also a good way for your little one to make memories. I still remember the little park my mom took me to as a young child.
- Take a Walk- Invest in a goo walking stroller or even use a wagon. Take advantage of the fresh air and get some exercise yourself! Remember to be present when you’re walking with your kids.
- Go on a Picnic- This is a fun way to mix up the same-old lunch routine. You don’t have to make it fancy. Kids love a picnic…even if its in the backyard.
- Play the Outside Toys Together-It sounds simple, but I remember one day I got the notion to push my toddler around in one of his outside dump trucks. He had such a blast and I got a good workout too!
You can do this, mama!
Kid’s don’t need to be glued to smart phones or technology to have fun and stay busy. You BOTH will have a blast, make the day go by smoother, and create some lasting memories when you plan activities to do together.
Have fun and enjoy your toddler. After on, they are only 1 for a little while…