8 Easy One Year Old Activities To Try

Our current daily and weekly schedule keeps us pretty busy with our one year old. We have gymnastics on Monday and music on Wednesday. All day daycare on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When you layer in meal time and nap time and driving time, it’s almost shocking how quickly the rest of the week flies by! But we do our best to fill those open blocks with fun, engaging, and educational opportunities for our one year old. We go to the zoo all. the. time. We visit the library and the local farms and the petting zoo. We frequent parks and playgrounds and have almost weekly playdates with friends. And when we’re actually home, it’s easy to turn to the same books and toys over and over again.

To keep our daughter engaged and always learning, I’ve been making a conscious effort to incorporate new but easy one year old activities into our daily play blocks. Since I always turn to friends, Instagram, and Pinterest for ideas (no use reinventing the wheel here), I thought today I’d share 8 easy one year old activities you can try today at home.

What To Look For in Easy One Year Old Activities

Before I get to sharing, there are a few things I almost always look for in one year old activities. I’m type A, a little OCD, and already feel like I spend half the day cleaning up… so I’m somewhat selective about our choice in activities.

First, the important child centered stuff:

  • Does this allow her to work on fine motor skills?
  • Will she be able to achieve this task by learning through repetition?
  • Is there an opportunity to introduce new language through this activity?

Then, the over-tired mom centered stuff:

  • Is it quick and easy to set up?
  • Is there a lot of clean up involved?
  • Do I have everything I already in the house?

Of course not every activity we introduce checks every box from the list above. Is there a time and place for messy play? Absolutely. Are some learning opportunities worth the cost of more involved set up? Yup. I hope you get the point. Sometimes we go big, and sometimes we get messy, and sometimes we splurge on buying new items.

But for the every day in between moments that we’re looking to keep our active and curious one year old engaged, these quick and easy one year old activities are awesome.

Try These Quick and Easy One Year Old Activities

So if you’re looking to switch up your daily play routine with your one year old, here are 8 activities I encourage you to try today! Or tomorrow. Tomorrow works too.

  1. Painting on Foil
  2. Pasta Play
  3. Golf Tee Push
  4. Card Slot Drop (Or like this mom with poker chips and a diaper box!)
  5. Tape Pull
  6. Pom Pom Drop
  7. Color Sorting Velcro Tower
  8. Easy Straw Drop

I realize this simple list of 8 activities is by no means exhaustive. There are probably thousands more activities you could easily dream up using every day items from your house. So if you have a busy one year old at home, let me know your favorite easy one year old activities and we’ll try those next!

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