At 11 months, my baby loves to get into e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Sometimes it is a constant job just cleaning up his messes! That’s when I have to get creative with ways to entertain him. Use this list of one year old indoor activities for your toddler!
One Year Old Indoor Activities: Learning
My 11-month old is constantly learning new things. He learn by watching and experiencing for himself.
This is called play. He is always learning through play.
My son learns how to spin the wheels on his tractors and trucks. He learns how to turn the pages in books. We roll the ball to him and he rolls it back.
Playing is learning.
One Year Old Indoor Activities: Safety
At this age, kids are putting everything in their mouths. My little guy puts some things in his mouth, but not to the extent that I’ve seen his cousins.
When you are picking activities for your toddler, be sure there are no small parts to break off or go down their throats.
I also set up my little one’s activities in the same space I am. I don’t put him to play in the living room and go sit in the den. I’m usually working where he is playing. Yes, I leave the room to run short errands around the house, but he is safe.
13 One Year Old Indoor Activities
- Water! – Water is one of the simplest, most entertaining activities for my child. I pour a little in his high chair tray for him to play in. Or I drop his sippy cup and water goes all over the floor. I don’t mop it up. I set my child down in the middle of it and he is wildly entertained for 20 minutes. And I get my floor cleaned!
- Clean Laundry – This activity only works because I am usually behind on housework. I get a sunny day and do three loads of laundry. So it sits in baskets in my living room or piled high on the couch. My little guy loves to get into anything in my baskets. He pulls all the laundry out and waves it over his head like a victory flag. The only bad thing is when he gets into my folded piles of laundry!
- Canning Rings – My child loves canning rings. He drops them on the floor or clangs them together to make wonderful sounds. I slide them on his arm or leg and he has to figure out how to get them off. These are great toys because they don’t break or ruin the flooring when he drops or throws them. They are relatively painless when stepped on. And they are cheap and always accessible.
- Pictures – I have pictures of my nieces and nephews on our fridge. I also keep Christmas card pictures on the wall all year. My little guy loves to look at and touch them. He is so interactive with them. Like his cousins are smiling just at him! He even tries to give them kisses. I love having pictures for my baby to look at because he only sees most of his cousins a couple times a year. Just laminate your pictures or cover them with clear packing tape to make them last longer and prevent your little one from sucking off the nasty ink.
- Magnets – The side of our fridge is open to the hallway so my baby can sit there and play with any magnets I put within his reach. He loves moving them around and playing with the different kinds. As a plus, you can buy those clear, magnetic photo protectors and put family pictures in those for your toddler to play with!
- Balls – My baby has several balls of different sizes to play with. One has a rattle, one is stuffed and his third is a tennis ball. His favorite is the tennis ball because he can grip it one-handed. He will sit on the floor rolling the ball back and forth with us for 10 minutes or more at a time! This develops his hand-eye coordination required for most life skills. It also gives him one-on-one face time with whoever he is playing with.
- Bowls – I set out my plastic and stainless bowls for my son to play with. He loves banging them on the floor and the noise they make. He likes putting things in them. Plus, they are my toys so the appeal is greater.
- Kitchen Utensils – I give my boy wooden spoons, rubber spatulas and my pastry roller to play with. He loves banging his bowls or the floor with them. Or if I don’t want him under-foot I put him in his high chair to play with these simple toys.
- Windows – We are fortunate to have a sliding patio door in our house. My little guy loves to sit in front of it and watch turkeys and deer come into our yard. And now that the corn is chopped off, he likes watching the cars go by on the distant road. If you don’t have a low window, put your toddler in the high chair facing a window.
- Mirrors – Babies love to look at themselves. And I get great entertainment watching! When I am at the bathroom counter I set my boy on it and he smiles and squeals at the face looking back at him. If you don’t have a low enough mirror, get a childproof mirror for the toy box. Or glue magnets to it and put it on the fridge.
- Baths – Bath time is my baby’s favorite! He can splash and play for half an hour in the tub. He has a few toys and a cup. For this activity you need to stay with your child always! It’s easy for me to read a book or do computer work while my baby is in the bath.
And most importantly…
12. Books – My little guy has constant access to his books. At this age they are all board books. He loves to pull them off the shelf and look at them. He will flip through the book and babble just as if he is reading them! If you read a lot to your child, he or she will learn to love books, too. Remember, reading is the key to learning all other subjects.
If you have time for only one thing: read, read, read to your child!
Activities don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Just look around your home and use what is available. One year old indoor activities can be anything that is (somewhat) clean and safe. The child will make their own endless fun!