17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Things to do with a one-year-old

This is a tricky age. Baby T (maybe I should start calling him Toddler T) just turned one and I'm wondering if there is anyone out there who has some creative ideas for things to do with one year olds.

I mean, we do plenty. Going to the park, storytime, playdates, hang out at home and stack blocks, play ball, listen to music & dance, get into stuff, explore. I love this age (he's so stinkin' cute - learning new stuff everyday). It's just that these pre-toddlers have such a short attention span, obviously their language skills are just beginning to develop, and sometimes when you're a SAHM of only one child you run out of tricks, or ideas, or imagination. I'm sure if he had a brother or sister there would be plenty more to do (this is not an announcement). And if he were just a little bit older and I got into a slump I could just run to a craft store for some ideas. Like I said, it's a tricky age. So I was just wondering... what do you love to do with a one year old? Do you have any favorite websites or blogs that you go to when you're in a creative mommy slump?


  • We had great success with a one year old at the zoo not long ago. He pointed and went "ooooooo" to all the animals. He really loved it. Also, our zoo has a kids area with fountains for playing, so that kids can bring their swim suits and stomp around in the fountains. There's also a petting zoo with little goats, who stand up well to being pet by toddlers. They're not so small that they can be easily hurt by the kids. I loathe to see poor rabbits cowering under an onslaught of toddlers. The goats do just fine, though. =) Our zoo has a yearly membership fee, then admission is free if you're a member. Hopefully there's one near you with similar policies and focus.

    Another one year old I once knew delightedly chased the pigeons and peacocks who live at the zoo while we sat on a bench and watched. This activity had the admirable quality of wearing out the child much more than the parents. =)

    Another great idea that my mom let us do always is to play in water. Get a number of plastic cups of different sizes, and perhaps a small bucket. Sit the child on the countertop with bare feet in the sink. Fill the various cups, pour from cup to cup, splash feet in the water. A bit messy but really not that much cleanup, and very educational. I learned tons about physics from this sort of play when I was little.

    Hope these ideas are helpful!
    posted by Anonymous Tatiana at 3/05/2007 05:16:00 PM  

  • Paint brush, water, and outside. Let him paint the deck for hours, or the driveway, or the sidewalk. Totally mess free, totally engaging. Not such a good option in the winter, though.

    1 year olds are HARD. They can't be left alone for a second, and they are very destructive in their curiosity.

    Toys they can stand and push around as they learn to walk. Good for balance, and they love it.

    Cellphones. Fake ones, of course, although they will want the real thing. Kids this age love the phone, and if you get one that talks back, it will totally engage your kid as it drives you crazy and you wish you'd never bought batteries for it.

    Blocks, stacking cups, anything they can knock over and build up. They love to "take things out" even if they can't "put it back in" yet. They get that pretty quick, too, and then stacking cups are a dream.

    Good luck. It's been a couple of years, so I can't remember everything I did. I survived, though.

    Oh, and at this age, it would still be 'parallel play' with another child, so even if you had a sibling for him, you'd still have the same question.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 3/05/2007 07:21:00 PM  

  • THANKS Beth for posting this! I have been wondering the same thing lately. Everywhere I look for answers seems to have things we already do or craft projects that are too "old".
    I am excited for it to warm up a bit so we can go to the zoo.
    The painting sounds awesome too. Keep the ideas rollin! Great post.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 3/05/2007 08:40:00 PM  

  • A game we played is I would put a clothespin somewhere on his clothes and he would pull it off. It served to keep him occupied and quiet in church.
    Also at about a year (14 mos) old he started pushing empty laundry baskets around. I encouraged this, and now he's strong enough to push a full laundry basket to the laundry room-- which he does happily.
    posted by Blogger Starfoxy at 3/05/2007 08:46:00 PM  

  • TUPPERWARE! They can't get hurt and it will literally provide at least an hour of fun as they drag stuff around the floor, stack, fill. Great for when you're already in the kitchen and they need some "parent" time.

    Beyond that, I can't even remember when my kids were one anymore - I've got to start remembering...
    posted by Blogger chloe at 3/06/2007 07:44:00 AM  

  • Honestly, I don't love doing much with a 1 year old. I have decided that age 12 months to 24 months is like my least favorite time of raising a baby. Now that Poopy is rounding the corner to two, and talking and having an attention span, I am loving it SO MUCH BETTER.

    I have no suggestions b/c I have chosen to block out this past year's trauma!!!!
    posted by Blogger Kage at 3/06/2007 04:36:00 PM  

  • This is a hard age. I am not great at "playing" with my kids at home, but I love taking them places (the zoo, the museum, the park, hiking -can be very short with a small fry, or even a walk around the block). At home, I try to have things around that my 18 month old can do to entertain herself for the most part.

    Both of my kids got strollers for their first birthdays and those cheap little umbrella strollers are still the all time favorite toy in our house. I think someone said it before, but they love pusing things around. They also love loading the strollers up with things (not just babies). All the kids that come over (boys too) love to play with the strollers. But if your husband doesn't like the stroller idea for a boy (he shouldn't mind, but just in case) you could also look into getting a shopping cart.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 3/06/2007 09:38:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 3/06/2007 09:51:00 PM  

  • These are great suggestions. Sometimes I just need to hear about what other moms do with their days to help jumpstart my imagination.

    Tatiana - I live less than 5 miles from the LA Zoo so I plan on being there all the time with T. I really like the idea your mom had of the water play. This summer I want to get a water table (or sand table) and put it on our balcony - oh, how I wish we had a backyard!

    the wiz - paint brush & water. I love it. thanks.

    starfoxy - I am intrigued by the clothespin-during-sacrament-meeting game. I will try anything that might keep T busy during that LONG hour.

    chloe - I am with you on the tupperware. In my kitchen, every drawer/cabinet on T's level is full of things that I don't mind him getting into (tupperware, pots, big spoons, etc.) so that he can entertain himself while I get stuff done. Also those ABC magnets that you put on the fridge can keep him busy for awhile.

    kage - "I have no suggestions b/c I have chosen to block out this past year's trauma!!!!"....... this is exactly why I need some ideas.

    carrie - I'm like you with the outings. I'm trying to be better about playing with T around the house. I think you're right about a push toy. I'll have to look into a stroller or something. And DH wouldn't have a problem with that at all. :)

    Great ideas... any more are SO SO SO welcome!
    posted by Blogger Beth at 3/06/2007 09:52:00 PM  

  • Thank you, thank you. This post was perfect--my baby boy turned one and all of a sudden it is so hard to keep him happy! I tried the water play today and it was awesome.

    When I am at a loss, I always break out the bubbles and baby has fun with that. I also bought him a little musical instrument set and he loves when we play those together (maracas, a triangle and some other percussiony things).

    Thanks again...this was very helpful.
    posted by Anonymous Amberly at 3/07/2007 10:52:00 AM  

  • A couple of things I like to do with my son is pull him around on a blanket or put him in a laundry basket and push him around in it. He loves it!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 3/09/2007 05:34:00 PM  

  • Mine just turned 10 months, so we're not at the year mark (yet) but oh I can see the problems coming!

    If you don't care so much about a little mess, put baby in the highchair and give them some flour. I did this with her the other day and it was good for at least 20 mins of time for me to clean the rest of the kitchen.

    Other ideas I got from the BabyPlay and ToddlerPlay books are:
    *Taking paper bags and making "blocks" out of them
    *using big cardboard boxes to make "cottages"

    Good luck!
    posted by Anonymous LDSMom at 3/10/2007 01:31:00 AM  

  • LDSmom - I was just thinking the other day that one of the keys to surviving the one-year-old phase is letting your kid make a mess. I'm all for messes if it means that we had a great time and T was busy and happy for awhile. I'll have to check out those books, too.
    posted by Anonymous Beth at 3/10/2007 11:45:00 AM  

  • I love doing Babys Signs with one year olds. It gives them another outlet to communicate and they love to do the signs to songs.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 3/13/2007 08:07:00 AM  

  • There are some great activities at www.toddlertoddler.com. My son and I have done many of them and I enjoy them as well. We've made some nature postcards, had some fun with diaper boxes (toddler skeetball) and other stuff. It's worth checking out. My son really enjoyed playing with board books. ~Jennifer L.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 3/15/2007 11:06:00 AM  

  • Hiya everyone..Well I am a mum of teenagers..but am babysitting my neice and nephew. who are almost 2 and almost 4...one thing that I have found to keep them busy is sidewalk chalk..on a nice day go outside with chalk and let them have fun...can be messy, but other then washing the kids up no clean up the rain does it all!! also like to do about a half hour in the morning and half hour in the afternoon of dance..most all ages like this activity..hope this helps a bit. have fun with the toddlers gals
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 3/19/2007 03:10:00 PM  

  • My husband found this site for me in an act of sympathy! I have officially hit the wall after being a SAHM for 1 year. Love it, wouldn't change it, want to keep doing it, most important thing I have ever done, but I am exhausted! I'm hoping the ideas will help me to reboot and re-energize so that I can be the kind of mom my little girl deserves, and keep her entertained and meet this next stage of developmental needs. She is 1, capable of walking but prefers to still cruise. She signs, which is a big help to prevent meltdowns, so I really recommend "Baby Signing Time" DVD. It's long enough to clean the kitchen (or drink coffee without someone trying to snatch it from you), but short enough that you don't feel like you are letting TV be the babysitter or that you are rotting your kid's mind. I've done the zoo, bubbles, splashtime in the tub, etc. I think we are going to try the paint today, and let her get messy like one mom suggested. Just in a tight spot in terms of fighting monotany: it's going to be 100 degrees or higher for the next 3 months (Arizona), limiting outdoor play to early a.m., and gas prices make trips to anywhere expensive.

    So great to read everyone's dilemmas, solutions and comments. I'm so relieved that it's not just me that thinks this is a tough age!!! Thank you!!
    posted by Anonymous Z's Mama at 6/05/2007 09:14:00 AM  

  • Hi,
    I found that one year olds are not old enough to paint with really paint so you use pudding. You can you use white pudding and put a little food coloring in it. Give the paper and a pile of pudding and they will love it. When there pic is done add sprinkles and let it dry.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/19/2007 06:38:00 PM  

  • I've got a darling 11 month old who just started to crawl and cruise. His favorite thing nowadays is when I get on the floor and crawl around him, or follow him around. He also really enjoys playing with things he's "not supposed to play with," like venetian blinds and remote controls and pens, so I rigorously supervise this type of play, but try not to get so uptight that he can't ever play with that stuff. But if your tyke is walking, I would say just see what happens when you follow him closely: stomp when he stomps, run when he runs, bounce when he bounces; and not the other way around.
    posted by Blogger ecuakim at 9/17/2007 03:59:00 PM  

  • This is a good page to go and read , it helped me a lot !!!:

    posted by Anonymous Milenka at 9/26/2007 12:41:00 PM  

  • I recently visited our local library and found out that they have toddler reading times. The reading times last about 30 min. Some times the story time will include music or some type of movment activity. This might be something to look into and it's free.
    posted by Anonymous Courtney at 10/01/2007 01:24:00 PM  

  • I am looking for things to do with my kids on our 10 hour trip to their Grandmothers house. I have a 1 and a half year old and an almost 4 year old. The 4 year old is no problem, he loves car trips. My 1yr old HATES being in the car for any longer than 10 to 15 minutes. We are taking some stuff like some of his books, toys, paper & Crayons, bubbles and a dvd player (Though TV does not hold his attention, but I am trying anything) Do any of you have any other ideas that I could do with a 1yr old in the car who HATES car rides? There are no web sites that I could find. Thanks!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 11/04/2007 05:54:00 AM  

  • thank you so much for the ideas, I have a 13 month old adorable boy and I can't wait until winter breaks to try the "water color" painting project. Right now we are stuck in the middle of a Chicago winter and I am going a little nuts. He is walking, running and falling into everything. I would like to hear ideas from Moms who are stuck in the house due to weather!
    posted by Blogger topcat at 1/17/2008 05:01:00 PM  

  • My son is 14 months old and we are just coming off of an Iowa winter and very sick of being inside all the time. It is really nice to hear that I am not the only one running into these problems. One thing that we really like to do is to build a fort and play peek-a-boo or play in the fort. Thanks for all the ideas!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 4/10/2008 09:38:00 AM  

  • If you have some old costume jewelry laying around...little girls love to play with it. They love to put the necklaces and bracelets on and show off to Daddy how pretty they look. They lay out the necklaces on the ground and stare at all the differnt types to try on. Just be with them when they are playing dress up so they don't put anything in their mouths that might break like a necklace of beads, etc.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 7/29/2008 02:12:00 PM  

  • Kids love to go into mom's purse and take out EVERYTHING. I went to Goodwill and bought an old purse and wallet and filled it with old plastic grocery store cards, pictures of family members and pets. I put in a kids set of car keys that make noises and a kids cell phone, small picture books and other types of toys that she hasn't played with for awhile. She spent 15 to 20 minutes just opening up all the hidden pockets in the purse and pulling out all the pictures from the wallet. After they are done...put it all back together with maybe some new pictures, etc. and bring it out another day.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 7/29/2008 02:23:00 PM  

  • These are great suggestions. I have to echo the "making a cottage" out of a cardboard box. We took one of our big moving boxes (about 4 feet tall) and cut a door in one side, a window in the other and my 1 yr old loves to open and close the door and walk in and out. He walks in and then opens the door fast and I yell "peek a boo!" and he laughs. he can also tuen it on it's side and he likes to toss his toys into in and sit in it. It lasted about 2 weeks before he had climbed on it too much and it wouldn't stand up any more. But it was a great source of entertainment and taught him about doors, going in and out and about looking through and around things.
    posted by Anonymous Leslie at 8/11/2008 09:12:00 AM  

  • I love the 'painting with pudding' idea but I need a translation from American into English - what exactly do you mean?

    My one year old is not walking yet but is crawling so containing messy games is difficult. And everything (EVERYTHING) goes in his mouth so looking for things that are safe is a challenge.
    posted by Blogger Ed at 9/05/2008 04:40:00 AM  

  • I have a thirteen month old and I agree with you that it is quite a challenge keeping him entertained. Once a week I take him to a nursing home to visit with the residents. It cheers up the lonely to see a little baby. He really seems to enjoy being the center of attention and we are giving service at the same time.
    posted by Blogger Marissa Joy at 10/08/2008 01:00:00 PM  

  • my little girl and my nephews absolutely love playing in a load of clean laundry. as soon as my laundry is done, i lay it out and she will play in it for the longest time. she'll wave a sock in the air, try to put a shirt on (of course she doesn't know how, she just puts it on her head) she loves it.
    posted by Blogger Kerri at 1/27/2009 01:07:00 PM  

  • Its amazing how this post was started so far back & its helping me today. I just went to google.com & typed in "does a 1 year old get bored?" after watching my 1 year old daughter roam around & talk in some sort of baby language. I am 21 & Im a stay at home mom. I know, young age. But my daughter seems entertained by just about anything. I saw someone earlier write about a basket they can push around, which she loves doing. Its my first child, so to keep her entertained I close all of the doors to my room, pick up anything she could hurt herself with, set a whole lot of toys on the floor, & I let her do just about anything she pleases. It gives me time to rest & her time to explore the room without being told "No, no" all day.
    posted by Anonymous Shay at 2/17/2009 02:11:00 PM  

  • Ok, what if you dont have any zoos nearby or its snow on the ground I need to babysit this child for 2 weeks and I would really appriciate an idea that welll doesnt invole going somwhere the clothspin idea i tried but he was not even the slightest bit intrested does anyone have an idea of somthing to do without going somwhere?

    posted by Anonymous Jenny at 2/22/2009 05:46:00 AM  

  • I really wish I had some ideas for you. I try coloring with my one-almost-two-year-old, but he eats the colors so that doesn't last long. He'll play with cars and make the noise, but only for a short bit.

    I'm like you, I just run out of things to do. And we've only got one car so unless it's within walking distance (which isn't saying much where we live), we don't go anywhere. We have a small park, which we can do for about an hour a day, and a small library which works for half hour to an hour. But then I have 8 more hours with the kid!
    posted by Blogger Mrs. S at 5/20/2009 09:08:00 AM  

  • Wow, I JUST posted pretty much the same question on my own blog about this. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one out there. I desperately needed some new ideas for my baby! Thanks everyone!
    posted by Blogger Matthew and Hillary at 5/28/2009 04:32:00 PM  

  • My one year old loves bubble! We bought a battery powered bubble machine at toys r us for around ten dollars. He also enjoys animals, so we often just walk around the block and talk about the nature we see. You can also fill just about anything with beads, nuts, beans, etc. to let them shake. Sit or lay him on the end of a blanket and pull him around. Wave bottles are fun for them to look at. The internet has ways to make them. Also, a trip to the local pet store never gets old! You might even come away with his own fish!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/18/2009 08:19:00 AM  

  • Hi I was having trouble thinking of things to do too. But my 18 month old loves baloons. He kicks them punches them and you can tie them to a string and hang them from the cieling. Just be careful and don't let them chew on them.
    posted by Blogger michael at 7/27/2009 02:41:00 PM  

  • Ed - In America pudding means custard made from gelatin - not a general term for all desserts like it means in UK.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 7/30/2009 06:24:00 AM  

  • Hello everyone! Thanks for all the great ideas. I am copy-pasting as many of them as I can find onto a Word document that I can tape to the fridge. Whenever I run out of ideas, I have my handy-dandy notebook! (We love Blues Clues.) =]

    Anyways, I just thought I'd add a few more ideas to the pile. Someone already mentioned clothes, but here is a new twist: I have a tall laundry basket that is just about as tall as my daughter. When the dirty laundry gets to the top, I let her grab as many pieces as she can and fling them everywhere. Sounds funny, but she just LOVES throwing the clothes. She flings them as fast as she can over her shoulder before I put them all back and let her do it again. =]

    She also loves things that jingle. Keys will keep her entertained for a long time. But I've learned from experience that they can sometimes be... misplaced during her exuberant playtimes. =] So what I did was gather as many random key chains as I could find and hooked them all together. It is one of her favorite toys, and one of the cheapest! Sometimes she just sits and looks at all the colors, while other times she stomps around like a Xmas reindeer. Jingle, jingle, jingle. ^_^

    Also, if you're willing to give up a few old or blank CDs, those seem to be very entertaining to babies. She throws them around, chases it, and then does it again. Other times she just flips them over and over in her hands - I think she likes how shiny they are.

    One last thing: NEWSPAPERS!! A little messy but nothing too catastrophic. She LOVES the crinkling. She rips all the papers apart and tosses them on the ground before stomping around on top of them all. She especially likes it when the ads get stuck to her bare feet - she laughs with every step she takes when that happens. =]

    I hope these ideas help, everyone. Just remember that NO ONE expects you to have a perfectly clean house when you have a small child. Don't get stressed because of the messes - just go with it and clean it up when you get a chance. My entire life changed when I finally realized that, and I started having a lot more fun with my daughter. A great trade-off in my opinion. =]

    Good luck, gals!!
    posted by Anonymous Nicole at 8/06/2009 05:12:00 PM  

  • My gorgeous daughter who is 15 months loved the purse idea. She sat and played with it for 30 min. She also loves the keyboard of my computer so instead of her pressing buttons and popping things up I took an old computer keyboard and gave it to her. She loves it!!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 11/12/2009 05:54:00 AM  

  • FINGER PAINTS! they are non toxic and safe. i'm sure you could even find organic finger paint or baby fingerpaint online or something. i buy crayola. undress down to the diaper, tape a peice of paper top and bottom to your table, put a little paint on the hand or paper and let them go to town lol! it is so mch fun! sorry if someone already had this idea..didnt feel like reading all the posts =) have fun!
    posted by Anonymous rachel at 2/16/2010 02:48:00 PM  

  • ooh ya forgot to mention...we have the high chair that straps on to the regular chair. That makes it easy to paint at the table.
    posted by Anonymous rachel at 2/16/2010 02:50:00 PM  

  • Being inside because of the cold can really make your days feel looooong with an 18 year old. Here are some things I've done with my little guy.
    *We have foam blocks that I line up with a space in between and he loves to walk across them holding my hand. I think he likes the feeling of being taller. Pillows or couch cushions would probably work the same.

    *We have a bowling set at home but when we go to grandma and grandpas we use juice containers that grandma saved and set those up instead.

    *He loves taking a container and putting small objects in it. two containers set apart is even better because they will run back and forth taking out and putting in.

    *If you are willing to give up some old CDs, he loves using his imagination with those.

    *building a fort together takes time and my son loves being inside.

    *My son loves to be chased or he will chase you.

    As previous posters mentioned, dragging them on a blanket, sitting in a basket of clean laundry, keys (I love the keychain idea), dancing all seem to occupy them for a little bit. I love the purse idea and think i will try that as well as the painting. Something different as our days tend to become the same old same old!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 3/10/2010 11:50:00 AM  

  • These all great ideas! My son just hit 11 months, and
    there is nothing he likes better than cords. Try getting an unused ish cord or the coil-ly cords for those old fashioned phones... they can play with it forever! My son can be occupied for about 30 mins!
    posted by Anonymous AlexTheGreat at 5/03/2010 02:26:00 PM  

  • My daughter loves to video chat my sisters or her grandparents. She'll show off her new skills. I usually have the laptop on an ottoman that she holds on to. She loves waving and saying "hi" or lifting her hands up and practice balancing for them. I think she loves the attention. Plus, I'm sure she loves seeing another face besides mine all day. =)

    The toy she loves the most right now are the easter eggs I filled with rice and then modge podged fabric on. You could probably just take an old long sleeve t-shirt and cut a sleeve off, insert the rice filled egg and tie off the ends. I would probably tape the egg together after you filled it w/ rice though, just to be safe.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5/04/2010 12:51:00 PM  

  • My son, who is 11 months, loves to play with a big tupperware container of dried lentils! I went to the bulk section of the grocery store and bought a bunch of different colored lentils and peas- cost only $4. Add a couple of cups and sit him on a sheet or blanket and let him have at it. Keeps him occupied for at least twenty mins!hoden
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 5/26/2010 09:12:00 PM  

  • swimming...my daughter seems to love it.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/01/2010 02:33:00 AM  

  • Lots of great ideas! Something that my 18 month old loves to do...I collect empty food boxes of all shapes and sizes. Then we build with them. We build towers to knock over, sort by size and shape, build roads and cities ( for the older child) and our favorite is just to slide them across the floor. So much learning is going on and endless hours of free fun. Best of all, if a box is destroyed easy to replace.

    Also I build towers around the house while he is sleeping and he plays search and destroy when he wakes up.
    Fun days to come.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 8/01/2010 04:44:00 AM  

  • I made paperbag puppets with my 17 month old. He colored and put stickers on it then loved putting his hand inside. It was fun and took up a good amount of time in the afternoon.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10/09/2010 12:16:00 PM  

  • Some great ideas here! I'm from Canada and for the last 3 months the the temperature has been mostly between -25 and -35 degrees celcius (thats about -13 to -31 degrees Ferenheit) so you can imagine I don't go out with my one year old unless we have to. I've been looking for as many indoor ideas I can get because it will be another 2 months before the days start reaching above freezing.

    I have to say that I really love this age because even though my son can't say much, (16 months) he is communicating other ways. When he seems upset I ask him to "Show me" and he will often lead me to something he'd like opened or something he just needs adult help with.

    One game we love to play is hide and seek. Around 14 months old I started teaching him a simplified version. I would tell him I was going to hide, and let him watch me crawl behind the sofa or into a closet. As soon as he couldn't see me he would follow. To my surprise when I would tell him to hide, he would! This game has been the result of hundreds of hugs and lots of giggles, we've played it almost every day since. It's amazing what they all catch on to at this age.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/24/2011 10:24:00 PM  

  • My son is 17 months old and when we are playing i sometimes but a blanket over the object and make it 'disappear' he loves this and has a minute to think about it before checking my hands and looking for it. It then magically reappears infront of him, keeps him amused for ages and teaches him about memory aswell!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 3/05/2011 05:15:00 AM  

  • Hide stuffed animals all over the house, turn off the lights, give them a flashlight, and go on "safari"
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 4/07/2011 12:34:00 AM  

  • It's great playing with a one year old ...but YOU the mom or dad or caregiver have to be happy yourself, patient, IN SHAPE, and HEALTHY. The only time it's not fun is if you are tired and stressed. One year old would be happy chasing you, or hiding behind a curtain, or walking outside or even watching Sesame Street. If you kiss them, talk to them...pots and pans, water, toys, read books (pick one or to so baby can get familiar)...
    But if you say , as some have here, it's not fun etc, don't believe them. That's about the mom, not the kid. And the number one thing as a parent is ...let go of what's best for you and be ok with living in the moment. The smallest thing, like being angry and sad can really scare your kid so get it together.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 4/10/2011 09:20:00 AM  

  • my 1 year old loves hefty bags. he can just crawl in it and hide for hours. one time it took me 3 hours to find him. good game though fun for all.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/28/2011 06:52:00 PM  

  • Hefty bags...Really? Not a good idea for children as it can cause suffocation.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/30/2011 12:45:00 PM  

  • I worry about the hefty bags comment. Please do NOT play that game with your children. But some other very clever activities for children. Thanks!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 7/07/2011 07:31:00 PM  

  • Another things is to get plastic cups and play bowling with them. My 17 month old LOVES throwing them around and stacking them and unstacking them. We also go outside and play with the water hose. Also, refrigerator magnets are great! They WILL get lost, but I found them at the dollar store for just a dollar. Pots and Pans with a wooden spoon...this gets very noisy, but it holds my son's attention for quite sometime. He also loves sitting outside under our umbrella and looking through books or coloring. We also make popsicles with ice trays...
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 7/11/2011 10:10:00 AM  

  • The person who made the Hefty bags comment is full of shit and is laughing at all the serious responses right now. Wow, he/she is flippin' hilarious! (That's sarcasm for those of you who are taking me seriously right now.)
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 7/19/2011 09:41:00 PM  

  • My son is almost 11 months old and instead of pudding, I have put yogurt on his high chair tray and let him play with it. He loves it and if he puts his fingers/hands in his mouth, I have nothing to worry about. He also loves to be chased and be the chaser. Bubbles, keys, remote, putting baby jar lids into tupperware, and his favorite(not mine) a water bottle with those flat glass marbles inside. Very noisey, but he enjoys it(Thanks Grandma). I also agree with the purse/bag. He always wants to get into his diaper bag, so I think I might get one of the many bags I have used and stuff it full of random things. His favorite book he goes to all day long is a musical book that he has learned how to turn on and off. He also enjoys watching me be silly; jumping around, dancing, just being goofy.

    Thanks everyone for great ideas!

    To the person who posted about the hefty bag idea.....I hope you got a good laugh. Because unfortunately there are some people out there that may not know that is a bad thing to do and will actually do it because you said it worked for 3 hours. Shame on you for even putting that.
    posted by Anonymous Jen at 7/27/2011 10:13:00 PM  

  • I use old socks or paper lunch bags to make puppets... I just paint or marker funny faces on them. Usually the most fun is ripping them up after the "puppet" show. My daughter just loves to "watch" the puppet show and try to find me hiding behind the chair. Whatever, it works and i get to be a little creative.

    Painting with water and pudding is such an awesome idea!!! I am starting to think about what fun things we'll do when we're trapped inside for the Wisconsin winter. Forts, cardboard houses, "dress up"...all things i loved to do when i was a kid. 1 year maybe a little young, but i always have a blast playing and she has fun because i have fun.

    Those that didn't enjoy playing with your child; I'm sorry to hear that, but can understand. Your children only get one childhood, and you get to relive your's as a parent. How cool is that??!!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 8/26/2011 08:37:00 AM  

  • Check out my blog www.everydayonpurpose.blogspot.com

    I blog about things I do with the 1 year olds and four year olds I watch.
    posted by Blogger Kelly at 8/29/2011 11:42:00 AM  

  • I recently got a job as a nanny for a 13 month old girl. She doesn't walk yet and I was running low on fun thing to do with her. The hefty bag idea was horrible, especailly if she was serious. You never know. Some people just don't think. But it gave me an idea. The big recyclable paper leaf bags would be a fun thing for a toddle to play in and you can find 5 packs of them for under $3. If you have two of the rings to go it them they could be a fun tunnel, or a place to hide.
    Thanks everyone for all the great ideas.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10/08/2011 07:43:00 PM  

  • Great ideas!

    14 month old very active boy just loves climbing on the couch and running from end to end (if he falls i am there for him but suprisingly is fairly careful), piling up cushions on him.. 1 cushion, 2 cushions and then pulling him out by his legs -thinks it is hysterical - keeps him entertained for a long time. Also rumbles on the bed is very popular, loves it the most if nappy is off.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10/13/2011 06:57:00 PM  

  • My little one is 15 months old. He loves to look through books, he'll sit and "read" for 30 minutes sometimes, as long as I keep his book supply up to his quick reading.
    Also, if you have easy access to internet, I love to go to Pandora.com and get fun kids songs. You can give either a song name or artist (we love Laurie Berkner, Raffi, etc.)
    Both my 4 year old and 1 year old love to hear fun new songs and they both LOVE to dance, they will go anywhere from 10 min to an hour sometimes because they have so much fun dancing together.
    posted by Blogger Chalece at 2/21/2012 08:26:00 AM  

  • I'm sure the Hefty bag idea was a very BAD JOKE (right?!)
    there are lots of great ideas on here too, but keep in mind that strings, cords or stretchy items long enough to wrap around your child's neck are a choking hazard!!! As is anything small enough to fit through a paper towel tube. Good luck and happy playtime everyone!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 2/22/2012 12:00:00 PM  

  • Hello,
    I just got a Nanny position for a 1 yr old and thought I'd look up activities to do with her on here. I'm pretty scared to do this job for I have already raised my 5 children and I'm afraid I will be boring for her and myself. I need the money and do love kids so I thought I would pursue being a Nanny. The people are going to have cameras in the house to watch me and whoever is in the house and that makes me feel funny. I totally understand why they want to do that though. It makes me feel like I can't relax though. So my first day is next week. I'm learning her schedule and all that. She doesn't nap much they said so I will be entertaining her all the time pretty much . I love walks though I hope it's ok to take her for long walks, picnics, park etc all the time. Any advice please comment. I don't know why I am anxious so much about doing this Nanny thing for I love kids. I know it will be hard though. I kinda feel stuck and committed now. They are really nice people.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 4/30/2012 02:27:00 PM  

  • My 11 month old is walking, running, and getting into things all day long. The zoos, aquariums, museums, wading pools, beaches, playgrounds, and indoor playgrounds have kept us busy so far this summer. Most libraries have story times, puppet shows and other activities for free as well. At home we bang on pots and pans, play hide and seek or chase, go for walks with the dog, or slide the laundry basket around. I have also found that he really likes turning lights on and off and watching the cause and effect. Also if you save cereal boxes and put small treasures inside (teething rings, books, cars, blocks...) baby can find and hide things again and again. We use the giant diaper boxes to make tunnels and buckets make great basketball baskets that baby can throw balls or anything you want into. There were some really great ideas in reading all of these posts!
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 7/17/2012 08:58:00 AM  

  • I just figured out a new trick! Baby yogurt (I used vanilla) with different color food coloring ( on scoop yellow, one scoop green, on scoop red) When the colors are mixed they make fun new colors and it's yummy. A natural paint brush, their hands and you have an instant starving artist! My LO is having a ball!
    posted by Blogger Kristine at 9/07/2012 10:13:00 AM  

  • I just figured out a new trick! Baby yogurt (I used vanilla) with different color food coloring ( on scoop yellow, one scoop green, on scoop red) When the colors are mixed they make fun new colors and it's yummy. A natural paint brush, their hands and you have an instant starving artist! My LO is having a ball!
    posted by Blogger Kristine at 9/07/2012 10:14:00 AM  

  • I just figured out a new trick! Baby yogurt (I used vanilla) with different color food coloring ( on scoop yellow, one scoop green, on scoop red) When the colors are mixed they make fun new colors and it's yummy. A natural paint brush, their hands and you have an instant starving artist! My LO is having a ball!
    posted by Blogger Kristine at 9/07/2012 10:14:00 AM  

  • I just figured out a new trick! Baby yogurt (I used vanilla) with different color food coloring ( on scoop yellow, one scoop green, on scoop red) When the colors are mixed they make fun new colors and it's yummy. A natural paint brush, their hands and you have an instant starving artist! My LO is having a ball!
    posted by Blogger Kristine at 9/07/2012 10:15:00 AM  

  • I just figured out a new trick! Baby yogurt (I used vanilla) with different color food coloring ( on scoop yellow, one scoop green, on scoop red) When the colors are mixed they make fun new colors and it's yummy. A natural paint brush, their hands and you have an instant starving artist! My LO is having a ball!
    posted by Blogger Kristine at 9/07/2012 10:15:00 AM  

  • I just figured out a new trick! Baby yogurt (I used vanilla) with different color food coloring ( on scoop yellow, one scoop green, on scoop red) When the colors are mixed they make fun new colors and it's yummy. A natural paint brush, their hands and you have an instant starving artist! My LO is having a ball!

    posted by Blogger Kristine at 9/07/2012 10:15:00 AM  

  • I just figured out a new trick! Baby yogurt (I used vanilla) with different color food coloring ( on scoop yellow, one scoop green, on scoop red) When the colors are mixed they make fun new colors and it's yummy. A natural paint brush, their hands and you have an instant starving artist! My LO is having a ball!
    posted by Blogger Kristine at 9/07/2012 10:16:00 AM  

  • I quit my job of 10 years to do daycare for my Grandson. He is 12 months old. I am having a blast. One thing that I do is go to a thrift store and buy intresting small baby toys-rattles and such and keep them in a basket near the changing table and when he has a messy diper or just dosent want to be changed I give him a "new" toy that he hasnt seen before and he lays nice and still. When the job is done I put the toy back in the basket and keep it there and when it finely gets unintresting I put it in his small toy bin to save for the next Grandbabies

    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9/16/2012 07:04:00 AM  

  • I am a nanny of a 1 year old girl that was born premature 32 days and is just starting to grow teeth and hair...she cant do all the big 1 year old games but i love to give her two big wooden spoons and i let her bang away on the pans. I also read that fingerpainting with all the paint in a huge ziplock bag is great and No mess:)the parents decided to take her to a gymnastics class in town and she loves it. They suggested we teach her how to play follow the leader around the house. i also found it humorous to teach her to kick a small ball around the house. The ball distracts her so well that she began to walk on her own to kick it and was oblivious for a while. Such a great time to teach kids things:) great ideas on here! Every day we go on a walk outside and i just hold her little hand but i noticed her eyes were all over!!! So i gave her a whole tour of the outside world; held her next to a tree and let her feel the bark as i said what it was and the leavea and flowers (i have her pick a flower every day for her mommy). Rocks and pets are great too! Im going to let her lead the way because in the end it is her life to live:) i am here to protect and follow<3
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 9/20/2012 08:42:00 AM  

  • I used to teach a class of 3 year olds and now I am nannying just one 16 month old. He will play by himself with his musical instruments, old cell phones, board books, and of course anything of mine he can get his hands on! He loves to go for walks and he will walk up and down the driveway just looking at little objects, usually until I get bored of it! He loves to climb the steps, you just have to stay right behind them. He loves looking at pictures of people he knows and telling me their names. He loooooves to "cleanclean" and drag a rag and broom all around the house. He likes to do "laundry" by loading and unloading the dryer. He LOVES to get into my cupboards and drawers LOL this is fine with certain cupboards, but not all of them. He likes to watch the cars go by out the screen door (or use a window if you have no screen door). He likes to dance and sing. He loves to run from one end of the couch and have me chase him and say BOO. He knew some signs but now he is starting to talk more so we do play a game where I show him an object and ask him what it is. Introduce objects the child knows and teach him the word. Get all excited when he says the new word for the first time. He likes to help stir if I am cooking and likes to try on my husband's boots and other clothes too. He enjoys throwing the ball for and petting my dog. He is really a lot of fun; can't wait for my own. :)
    posted by Blogger Kristi Byers at 10/12/2012 04:07:00 PM  

  • how ridiculous. shame on you, those are moments to be treasured
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 12/10/2012 09:40:00 AM  

  • Relax. Not liking that phase doesn't equate to bad parent. And no doubt they have some moments they'll remember. Either way, it's a trying time and I agree that it improves a great deal around 2 yrs old. So settle on the shame blame. How many parents can't handle their teens during their teen angst. No shame. I appreciate their honesty. As long as the kid gets the love then liking or not liking a phase is just that.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/05/2013 10:00:00 PM  

  • What do u do when u go to take ur 1 year old son to doctor and he wont sit on ur lap and when i try to get him to sit he throws a fit and crys? Someone plz help me
    posted by Blogger kari stanley at 3/20/2013 08:36:00 PM  

  • For great non-toxic make your own crafts and supplies got to planetpals.com - they have recipse to make you own coloring for paints, playdough etc. It's totally safe for the ones who love to put "everything" in their mouth. I highly recommend it!
    posted by Anonymous Jonah's Mommy at 4/17/2013 08:39:00 AM  

  • Most malls have an area for little toddlers to play. There is a height LIMIT so no big kids are in there. No shoes allowed, no sharp edges anywhere, other kids, moms, and seats to sit and watch them play. And warm indoors during winter months. Just bring antibacterial wipes for their hands and avoid weekends!
    posted by Blogger tldm at 9/19/2013 01:59:00 PM  

  • So true,relax lady!everyone copes diffrent.shes just saying its harder at that age.i found it hard at the first few months doesnt mean your not treasureing the moments but it can be hard at that time!well done for honesty its nice to hear something diffrent from how perfect being a mom is.loveing a child and raising them as best as you can will teach a child alot when their older.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 3/02/2014 07:20:00 PM  

  • I am currently watching a one year old. I recently found something that keeps her busy for a bit.
    First, I took her plastic drinking cups and showed her how to stack them. And she is proud when she can do it. Next, I used her plastic bowls for stacking. And just this past week, I noticed she liked to remove the utensils from the dishwasher, so I gave her the utensil basket from the dishwasher, several of her colorful plastic utensils and put in on the floor for her. She enjoyed putting them in and out, etc.
    posted by Blogger Gisele Stedfast at 3/17/2014 11:37:00 AM  

  • Really? Shaming people because they are expressing the fact that they find something difficult. You are a really thoughtless person.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10/31/2015 02:55:00 AM  

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