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5 Indoor Activities To Do Around The Home With Your One-Year-Old

Published Jan 13, 2015 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

Your baby has just transitioned to toddlerhood and is eager to explore the world around her. Here are 5 ways you can enjoy some quality time together while helping her develop her cognitive and motor skills - all from the comfort of your home!

I’m on round 3 when it comes to having babies, and celebrating my little one’s first birthday last month was exciting. Although her development this past year has taken place in leaps and bounds, the milestones she’s expected to hit in the next few years are what will make her her own little person. 

I can also be a lot more involved in her achievements now; I had nothing to do with pushing her first teeth through her gums, or figuring out how hands and feet shuffle along the floor in a crawl. But there are activities and games we can play these days that help her explore her senses, develop her cognition…and entice more of those beautiful smiles and giggles.

Here are 5 easy to-put-together, indoor activities to keep your one year old learning and laughing this winter:

1. Where’d It Go?

Cut a piece of yarn, about 45 cm in length, and tie one end to a small toy (a car works really well). Use heavy-duty tape to secure the other end of the yarn to about the middle of your child’s highchair tray. Place the toy on the tray and demonstrate how he can throw the car over the edge of the highchair and then pull it back up by the yarn.

Once he gets the hang of it, you don’t have to stop at just one toy. If he likes this game, tack on a few more toys to the tray!

2. Clothespin Peek-A-Boo Buddies

Draw happy faces on the tops of 12 clothespins. Turn an empty egg carton upside down and cut a hole out of each egg cup, just big enough to fit a clothespin though. Your child should be able to poke the clothespins in and out of the holes, making them appear and disappear!

3. Through The Tunnel

Tape a paper towel tube to the leg of a chair or table and show your child how to drop Lego or other small blocks into the tube – and watch them come out the bottom! Simple, but guaranteed fun!

4. What’s Under Here?

Use a poster board (or for a smaller version, one side of a cereal box) to create a grid of magazine pictures or real photographs. Cover each picture with a piece of fabric by gluing the top edge of the fabric above each square. Once the flaps are dry, your child will enjoy lifting them to see the pictures underneath. To keep things interesting, change up the pictures every so often.

5. Squishy Fingers

Squeeze ketchup or mustard into a Ziploc bag. Place the bag into another one to ensure no leaks. Let your child poke and squish away!

Remember that there is a big difference between the way a 12 month old will participate in these activities, and the way a 23 month old will. But, in general, these are great for entertainment and learning – and simple enough to create with things you likely have on hand! 

Source: These games were adapted from the Bright and Beyond Age 1 deck by Pal Toys.

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Comments (1)

February 3, 2015, 7:08 a.m. Flag

These are all really creative ideas. I really like the game where you put the pictures under the fabric. It not only works on her cognition, but sparks her curiosity. The paper towel and lego game is very crafty too. It's a great way to keep their attention and teach her to stick her with one task, where as most kids would run off to something new.


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