Indoor Activities For 1 Year Olds

baby girl playing with toys sitting
Photo by li tzuni on Unsplash

Creative indoor activities to do at home


One of the things that I noticed with my daughter when she approached 1 year old, was that she would become easily bored with new toys quicker than before. You yourself also get bored! Whether you are a stay at home mom and spend most time with her at home or you work part- time, you will notice that your child at this age (12-18 or 24 months) is wanting more and more attention. They want to be held or cuddle, they want to feed, they want to get involved in whatever it is that you are doing! And rather than expecting her to spend a few hours playing with that new toy, it only catches her attention for 5 minutes before she leaves it to move on to something else.

Before we talk about games and activities to keep your baby occupied, I have to say you still need to supervise them. They start moving a lot at this age and can be quicker than you think. You also need to ensure the environment they are playing in is safe.

Here are some suggestions of what I found to be helpful creative activities at home or a one year old baby:


Play with water/liquids:


You might notice that your child likes making a mess at this age! Pouring water and playing with it. A simple solution would be to use the highchair with the board and give them some plastic cups of different sizes. You might need to cover the floor around them with a plastic sheet. You can also try the same idea on the floor using a large plastic container with multiple other cups and containers inside.

Their very own drawer:


My little daughter wants to be with me most of the time and she really likes taking things from (and putting random things in) drawers! Whether it is in the bedroom or in the kitchen, she loves them.
I have had to make most drawers she can access baby proof, however, she became very frustrated and would insist on opening drawers. So I ended up leaving a drawer just for her to use and put some safe items in it (some boxes and toys) and she would spend a lot of time "organizing" this drawer throughout the day.

Drawing & Painting:

This one comes with a couple of warnings: a) it could be messy if you are not careful and b)make sure you are using safe materials. As soon as your child discovers how to use the great invention that is a pen, he or she will be showcasing their artwork all over your walls, chair, clothes, etc. But at 1 year old, it is easier to prevent this from happening if you limit their access to pens and pencils.


Instead, you can use edible crayons or other child safe crayons/colors. Give them a few sheets of paper and let them have fun. They might need you to show them how to use it to doodle first. Don't worry if they are not using it correctly at first, they will try to eat it, they will bang it on the floor and throw it away, it is all normal.





Use a squishy ziploc bag for "finger painting":


One of the easiest way to have some great sensory fun and painting with no mess. Get a ziploc plastic bag and fill it with either water colors or baby oil of different colors, make sure you seal it tightly and use a tape to secure it even more. Use more tape to stick it to a table or a surface so it does not move. Keep an eye for them not to puncture it or for any leakage as these colors could be harmful if swallowed. Here is an example video:

Books:


Out of all the toys I bought my daughter,  books have been the only ones she still enjoys playing with months later (or at least the ones that survived!). Whether you are reading it to them or just leaving it for them, kids like looking at pictures and different colors. Her favorite are the ones with flaps and hiding little animals underneath and also sound books.

If you are reading to your child, make it interesting! Do not focus on the "learning" of new words, etc because this will come later. Instead, focus on making it fun and interesting, make this book sound like the most exciting book in the world! It is all about connecting with your baby and experiencing those emotions together which will have a positive impact on their cognitive development. Here is a video  I found really helpful to explain this art of reading books to children:



Pretend play:


Because your children will want to do things similar to what you are doing, it might be time to introduce little plastic cutlery, picnic basket or miniature kitchen, etc. They like to create their own world and feel as if they are doing something similar to what mommy or daddy is doing.

Dance:


Babies like to see you move around and dance, specially if there are some good music in the background. Not just good for health but also great fun and educational.

A favorite ride on toy:


I found that my daughter was really fond of this rocking horse and would spend a long time riding on it, moving it to new places, riding it the wrong way, etc. This was the case for a few months until she lost interest when she became 18 months but would still occasionally play with it every now and then.

I hope you like these ideas, please let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas or suggestions which I can add to this list.

Related:

-For a kid who is slightly older, check my post on other fun things to do with toddlers at home.
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