At one year old, your kiddo is most likely pulling themselves up onto everything, standing on their own and maybe even walking a bit! It’s a really exciting time to watch them begin to take notice of everything you’re doing throughout the day and begin to want to help. Your little one is at the perfect age to start doing more natural learning while fostering their budding independence. Most activities at this stage are aimed at developing the fine motor skills such as reaching, grasping, using their pincer grasp (thumb and forefinger) and transferring objects between hands while also exploring their senses! Watching the joy on their little faces when they see something for the first time is one of my favorite parts of motherhood.
25 Super Fun Activities for 1-Year-Olds
Here are 25 Super Fun Things You can do with your one year old right now!
1. Pipe cleaners through a pasta strainer.
2. Indoor Soup Sensory Bin:
Sensory bins are great activities for 1 year olds. To create an indoor sensory bin, fill a large plastic bin with water and toys, watch them float or sink and splash around.
3. Toilet Paper Roll Drop:
Tape toilet paper or paper towel rolls to the wall at their height, a bucket underneath and give them some toys to drop down the tube.
4. DIY Drum set:
Those old coffee containers and wooden spoons make for the best drums.
5. Pasta Scoop:
Grab different shaped and textured pastas in a bin or bins and let them scoop, dump and sort. I ’ve seen some people dye the pasta different colors to add another level.
6. Trucks and scoops in a sandbox:
Similar to the Pasta Scoop but with sand! I personally love to use kinetic sand, but that can get pricey.
7. Washi Tape:
Grab some colored Washi Tape or cater to the seasons as you show your little one how to stick, peel and wrap the colorful tape.
Our favorite airplane trick right here! Get them their own notebook for their budding sticker collection
9. DIY Playdoh
Make Playdoh and add some lavender essential oil for an extra sensory experience. Take it outside and add leaves, sticks and other natural treasures to see how it changes. Here are some great recipes for DIY Playdough.
Blow Bubbles or grab a bubble machine and have a dance party. I have to say I always have bubbles on me as a mom of lttle ones. Whether we are in line at a theme park or doing some shopping, it’s a great activity for a 1 year old and will buy mama a little extra time.
11. Make a Texture Book:
Tape or glue items with different textures into a soft book for your little one to feel. Or if you are like me and not too crafty, you can always buy the book on Amazon
12. Calm Down Jar:
Combine hot water, clear glue and glitter into a plastic bottle, superglue the lid shut and watch the magic. As they get older, we use this as our calm down the jar.
13. Buckle Clipping:
Find some buckles and let them have at it! I love our REI kids backpack for this because the clips are kid-sized!
14. Tissue Box Stuffed with Silks or Fabric Squares:
Make a few round holes in a tissue box and stuff plays silks or fabric squares inside for a fun surprise.
15. Nesting bowls:
Yes, the ones you use for baking and cooking. 😉 It’s one easy peasy activity for a 1 year old.
16. Balls through tissue box:
Cut holes in a tissue box and grab some plastic balls for hours of fun.
17. Velcro Board:
Velcro tape is the best, put some on a wooden board and give your kiddo the other side.
18. Magnets on the fridge:
We have letters, numbers, animals and trucks adorning our fridge right now. But the family favorite is the gears!
19. Tactile Exploration Cards –
Glue different textured things to cardboard pieces so they can explore each individual feeling.
20. Pipe cleaners in a bottle:
A great activity for 1 year olds is playing with pipe cleaners. It works on their hand eye coordination and keeps their attention for quite a good amount of time. Empty plastic bottles get new life with colorful pipe cleaners and are perfect on the go activity
21. Stacking blocks:
We like the natural wooden stacking blocks and have had them for nearly 7 years now. They are perfect for imaginative play throughout all the ages and stages.
22. Simple puzzles:
Melissa and Doug make some great chunky 1st puzzles with large grips
23. Chunky beads:
Grab some large, wooden chunky beads and those pipe cleaners again for some serious fine motor skill work. Just be careful with beads as they are a choking hazard.
24. Small sized broom and handheld vacuum:
One year olds love to help with household chores! Sweeping is a fun one and our handheld vacuum seriously gets fought over. You’re welcome, Mama.
25. Practice pouring in the bath or outside: Grab a small plastic pitcher and cups and hit the water for hours of indoor or outdoor fun.
We hope these activities help you keep your very active little one busy as a one year old definitely can tire you out.
Do you have a great activity for a one year old? Let us know in the comments and we will add it to the list.
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