Looking for activities for one-year-olds? This list has it all!
Shortly after my children’s first birthday, I notice a significant shift in their declaration of independence. Babies are not easy to entertain! On the one hand, my one-year-old was ready to hit the ground running (literally), and on another, he demanded my full attention. It is pretty exhausting! We desperately needed activities for one-year-olds to help implement more independent playtime.
The problem was that I couldn’t find a list that helped my baby reinforce crawling, sitting, standing, hand-eye coordination, and learning through playful experiences as I had wanted.
So rather than counting the minutes until nap time, I got to work creating new ideas and playing the fun and easy ideas I have found in my search to bring more life into our days!
What activities can you do with your one-year-old?
Babies and toddlers are thought-provoking investigators: fun and easy baby ideas for all children to discover new ideas with everyday household items.
IMPORTANT: All baby activities require adult supervision and consideration of the size of objects, harmful materials, and sanitation.
A one-year-old should begin to explore:
- Balancing blocks
- Hearing new sounds
- Grasping objects of different sizes
- Filling and dumping
- Throwing and tossing
- Pretending and using puppets
- Communicating ideas
- Moving around the environment
- Making choices in play
- Hide objects
- Transport items from one location to another
- Inserting objects into spaces of various sizes
- Push and pull toys with wheels
- Dump cups in water
- Touch new textures
- Read books
- Listen to music
- Rotating objects like wheels on a toy
How can we take all of these one-year-old milestones and create playful learning experiences? Here are my favorite ways to entertain a one-year-old and baby play ideas.
Let’s get these early learners exploring their senses!
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Let’s Create an Environment You and Your Kids are Excited to Wake up to
These 40+ Activities for one-year-olds have three main categories:
- Simple baby play ideas
- Sensory play activities
- Baby crafts and toys for one-year-olds
Reggio Inspired Play Ideas
These Reggio-inspired play ideas encourage babies to become researchers of their environment. These invitations for play are open-ended and focus on stimulating the senses through sound, texture, mobility, sight, smell, etc. I encourage you to start here.
- How to Introduce Loose Parts with Infants and Toddlers – Fairy Dust Teaching
- 5 Paint Invitations to Embrace the Explore Stage – Fairy Dust Teaching
- Loose Parts: Let’s Play with Fabrics – Fairy Dust Teaching
- Beginnings of an Infant and Toddler Classroom – Fairy Dust Teaching
- Toddler Tales – Painting a Gift
Simple Activities for Babies
Fun and easy baby activities do not require fancy supplies. Use this collection of ideas to encourage fine motor, grasping the hands, and upcycling objects for play invitations. These baby ideas will challenge your child’s thinking and also offer opportunities to feel success.
- Toddler Drive and Drop – Days with Grey
- Sticky Grab – Happily Ever Mom
- Sticky Pumpkin – Days with Grey
- Toddler Shapes Game – The Mama Workshop
- DIY Pick a Color – Days with Grey
- PVC Pipe Ball Drop – A Crafty Living
- DIY Sensory Board – Happily Ever Mom
- Velcro and Pom Poms – Teach Me, Mommy
- Q-Tip Push – Happily Ever Mom
- Clothespin Pull – Days with Grey
- DIY Object Permanence – The Paige Diaries
- Ribbon Box – Teaching Mama
- Scoop and Dump – Busy Toddler
- Dry Bath – Busy Toddler
- Outdoor Block and Sticks – Days with Grey
- Baby Board Book Hack – Teaching Mama
13+ Baby Sensory Play
Sensory activities activate the brain by exploring new sounds, textures, tastes, and ideas. With adult supervision, there are 13 baby sensory play activities for one-year-olds.
- Dry Noodle Sensory Play – Days with Grey
- How to Train for Sensory Play – Days with Grey
- Cereal Pool – Busy Toddler
- Sweet and Tasty – Days with Grey
- Magic Foam Spiders – Fun at Home with Kids
- Sensory Play for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers – A Crafty Living
- DIY Animal Sensory Board – Find The Little Mind
- Baby Music Bin – Busy Toddler
- Soap Paint – A Crafty Living
- Shredded Paper Bin – Days with Grey
- Homemade Edible Paint – Fun at Home with Kids
- Rainbow Spaghetti – A Crafty Living
- Foam Sensory Tubs – The Paige Diaries
- Baby Songs and Chants – Teaching Mama
- DIY Baby Sensory Blocks – A Crafty Living
Baby Craft Ideas
- Hot Air Balloon Suncatcher – Rainy Day Mum
- Hot Air Balloons – Find the Little Mind
- Rainbow Family Footprints – Find the Little Mind
- 30 Engaging Gifts for One-Year-Olds – Days with Grey
such an amazing toys thanks for sharing,i’m very confused on what kind of gifts to buy for my nephew and I was looking for a useful toys , which can encourage him in learning, thought of buying this chunky puzzle toy https://www.sophielagirafe.ca/store/wood-toys.html .but after reading you blog.,i need to go for that wooden puzzle toys and balance boads these are really the perfect gifts for him. Hope he would love to play and learn with them.
Days with Grey says
So happy you found this useful! Thanks for being here!