23 Fun and Engaging Things to Do With Your 1 Year Old

At the age of one, toddlers are like sponges, absorbing everything around them and eager to explore the world with boundless curiosity.

We’ve gathered Fun and Engaging Things to Do With Your 1 Year Old activities that are perfect for this age.

From stimulating sensory play to outdoor adventures, these activities will not only entertain your little one but also create precious memories and lay the foundation for their future growth.

Sensory Play with Homemade Playdough:

Sensory play is a fantastic way to engage your one-year-old’s senses and stimulate their cognitive development. Create a batch of homemade playdough using flour, salt, water, and food coloring. Set up a safe play area with a plastic mat or tray and provide your little one with different shapes, cookie cutters, and kitchen utensils.

Musical Exploration with Homemade Instruments:

Music has a magical effect on young children, capturing their attention and sparking their imagination. Help your one-year-old discover the joy of music by creating homemade instruments. Fill plastic bottles with rice or beans to make shakers, use pots and pans as drums, or create a simple xylophone with wooden blocks and a mallet.

Rainy days or cold weather shouldn’t limit your one-year-old’s opportunity for physical play. Create an indoor obstacle course using pillows, cushions, tunnels, and soft play equipment. Arrange the obstacles in a safe and secure manner, and encourage your child to crawl under, climb over, and explore the course at their own pace.

Nature Walks in the Park:

Exploring the great outdoors is not only refreshing but also a fantastic learning experience for your one-year-old. Take them for a leisurely nature walk in the park or a nearby garden. Encourage them to touch the grass, smell flowers, and observe insects or birds. Point out different colors, shapes, and textures, and engage them in conversation about their discoveries.

Storytime Adventures:

Reading together is a wonderful bonding experience that ignites your child’s imagination and builds their language skills. Choose age-appropriate picture books with bright colors and simple stories. Create a cozy reading nook with soft pillows and blankets where you and your little one can snuggle up. As you read, use animated voices and engage them by asking questions about the characters or the illustrations.

Sensory Bin Exploration:

Create a sensory bin by filling a shallow container with materials like uncooked rice, dried beans, or colored pasta. Add in small toys, plastic animals, or scooping tools. Let your one-year-old explore the different textures, pour and scoop with their hands or tools, and discover hidden treasures within the bin.

Bubble Play:

Blowing bubbles is a simple yet delightful activity that can captivate your one-year-old. Set up a bubble station in your backyard or a spacious area indoors. Use a bubble machine or blow bubbles manually using a wand.

Water Play:

Water play is not only refreshing but also an excellent way to engage your one-year-old in sensory exploration. Fill a shallow basin or a plastic tub with a few inches of water and place it on a safe surface. Provide child-safe cups, measuring spoons, and plastic toys for pouring and splashing.

Puppet Show:

Bring out your collection of puppets or make simple finger puppets using craft materials. Set up a small puppet theater using a blanket or a cardboard box. Put on a puppet show for your little one, using different voices and engaging storytelling.

Building Blocks and Stacking:

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Building blocks are a classic toy that offers endless possibilities for play and learning. Provide your one-year-old with soft, stackable blocks or large Lego-style blocks. Demonstrate how to stack them to create towers or encourage them to explore different ways of building.

Outdoor Picnic:

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Take advantage of the good weather and have a delightful outdoor picnic with your one-year-old. Pack a blanket and a basket filled with child-friendly snacks and finger foods. Find a cozy spot in a park or your backyard and enjoy a relaxing meal together.

Baby Yoga:

Introduce your one-year-old to the wonderful world of baby yoga. Set up a soft mat or blanket and guide them through simple yoga poses and stretches. Use gentle movements and sing rhymes or songs while incorporating yoga postures. Baby yoga helps improve their balance, coordination, and body awareness.

Indoor Dance Party:

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Turn up the music and have an energetic dance party with your little one. Clear a safe space in your living room and put on their favorite tunes. Hold their hands and dance together, encouraging them to move their bodies and groove to the rhythm.

Treasure Hunt:

Create a simple treasure hunt by hiding toys or objects around a designated area of your home or backyard. Provide your one-year-old with a basket or a bag and give them clues or hints to find the hidden treasures.

Playdate with Other Toddlers:

Arrange a playdate with other toddlers and their caregivers. Find a safe and spacious play area, either at home or in a park, where the little ones can interact and play together. This social activity helps develop their social skills, sharing, and turn-taking abilities.

Nature Scavenger Hunt:

Take your one-year-old on a nature scavenger hunt to explore the outdoors and discover the wonders of the natural world. Create a list of simple items like leaves, flowers, rocks, or sticks. Walk together in a park or garden and help them find and collect each item on the list.

Puppet Theater:

Set up a puppet theater using a cardboard box or a table draped with a colorful cloth. Create puppets using socks, paper bags, or felt cutouts. Put on a puppet show with your little one, using different characters and voices.

DIY Art Projects:

Engage your one-year-old in simple do-it-yourself (DIY) art projects that allow them to explore their creativity and experiment with different materials. Offer them child-safe paints, crayons, or washable markers, and provide large sheets of paper or cardboard.

Animal Encounter:

Introduce your one-year-old to the animal kingdom by organizing an animal encounter experience. Visit a petting zoo, farm, or animal sanctuary where they can interact with gentle animals under supervision. Allow them to touch and feed animals like goats, rabbits, or ducks. Talk about the different sounds they make and teach them simple animal names.

Sohaib Hasan Shah

Sohaib's journey includes 10+ years of teaching and counseling experience at BCSS School in elementary and middle schools, coupled with a BBA (Hons) with a minor in Educational Psychology from Curtin University (Australia) . In his free time, he cherishes quality moments with his family, reveling in the joys and challenges of parenthood. His three daughters have not only enriched his personal life but also deepened his understanding of the importance of effective education and communication, spurring him to make a meaningful impact in the world of education.

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