One Year Old Activities

Recently, I was talking to some friends about entertaining a 1-year-old (or somewhere around that age). I realized I hadn’t covered much of that here on the blog.

Honestly, most of the activities we do are thought of with P in mind. M is happy to do anything his brother does. When P was around 1-year-old, I seemed to spend more time planning, prepping and cleaning up than he spent interested in the activity. M has a similar attention span. 5-10 minutes is pretty typical, but sometimes I can’t even get that.

Here are some things that I have done with the boys.

Sensory bins

I started these around 1.5 years old with P and they were a hit! M started closer to 10 months – 1 year and loved them as well. When he was still putting everything in his mouth, I mostly stuck to the oatmeal sensory bins so that when he ate some oatmeal, it wasn’t a big deal (plus, he quickly learned it didn’t taste very good). Sensory bins tend to entertain my boys for the longer than most other activities.



This is something P started doing around 10 months at daycare otherwise I would have probably waited until he was much older. It is certainly not a skill they need to have at 1-year-old, but it was fun for me to get some “teaching” time in. P mostly learned this at daycare, but I did start this with M around 1 since he had to be doing the same thing his older brother was doing. I would tape a piece of paper to his art table and give him an open marker. In the beginning I had to hold his hand and draw with him. Now he wants to do it all by himself! I just keep reminding him to keep the marker on the paper and redirect him when he tries to draw elsewhere. “Markers stay on the paper!”


Self feeding

Love this site on self feeding. It is very messy! After starting self feeding with a spoon around 10 months, at 20 months, M still ends up covered in food. There was a point with both of my boys where they refused to let me spoon feed them. I started off with a bowl that had a suction cup to keep it on the highchair. I would put a small amount of yogurt or something they liked in the bowl. I held their hand to give them a feel of the motion and then let them try on their own.


I just collected different tops anytime we were going to throw them away. The idea is for them to put the tops through the slot on the top of the wipes box. This is still hard for M to do on his own, but he loves moving all of the tops from the wipes box to the other container and back again.



Pipe Cleaners

I used an empty container of oatmeal and pipe cleaners cut in half for this one. The goal is to put the pipe cleaners through the holes at the top of the oatmeal container and improve fine motor skills. I just remembered that I had this and let M try it out. He is probably the perfect age/skill level for this activity! He was very focused and interested in putting all of the pipe cleaners in the holes. P even wanted to join in.



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