9 answers

Need Ideas for Activities for My One Year Old

I have a just turned one little boy who is VERY active. He's already running around and has started climbing on everything this week. I'm finding that if I don't keep him busy, he becomes bored, and when he's bored, stuff gets destroyed. Since I'm a SAHM, I need some ideas for activites appropriate for a toddler to keep him active and engaged....I just bought him some crayons and sidewalk chalk, so we're gonna start having "art time" each day. What are some other games/activities/even places to take him?

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I have a blog designed specifically for toddlers 1 - 4yrs. I update every weekday with a new craft project or activity. My aim for each project is quick and cheap! I was also looking for things to do with my kids (a 1yr old and 3yr old) and didn't really find any good websites out there, so I made my own! Hope it helps - http://toddlerplaylearn.blogspot.com/
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I also second the suggestions for Paradise Pond, joining a MOMS Club, etc. My son was (and is) incredibly active. Around this age, he could keep himself busy for a good long time with things like play-doh, trains & train tracks (he'd put together the tracks on the floor), duplos, puzzles, blocks and even some books. Don't feel you have to spend every minute on the floor with him. Allow him the free time to explore. This is incredibly good for developing independence but also discovering his world.

Paradise Pond would be my first suggestion for indoor play time. http://www.fbcgrapevine.com/groups/children/paradise-pond/
Sidewalk chalk is awesome as is just painting with cheap paint brushes and buckets of water. Any kind of water play is fun at this age- fill up a water bin and add lots of cups etc. Bubbles are also fun.
I did Gymboree with my son but it got expensive and he started to lose interest after a little while.
Just plain blocks - nothing fancy are always good and one of our favorite things even now at 3 1/2 is to build forts with blankets, pillows, card tables, etc.

My son is the same age and is also getting quite active. We pay $67 per month for a Gymnoree class and it's worth every penny! Because we also get open gym time sun-thurs! He REALLY need s this climbing time! Plus, he interacts with kids in a 0-4 age range.

I have a blog designed specifically for toddlers 1 - 4yrs. I update every weekday with a new craft project or activity. My aim for each project is quick and cheap! I was also looking for things to do with my kids (a 1yr old and 3yr old) and didn't really find any good websites out there, so I made my own! Hope it helps - http://toddlerplaylearn.blogspot.com/
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do you know about Paradise Pond in Grapevine?
It is a fantastic way for your son to play until he is exhausted (I always get a great nap out of my 2.5yr old when we go there). They are open thurs and fri from 9-11 and one last monday (tomorrow) same time. try to get there as close to 9 as possible, as I have heard of people getting turned away when they are too busy. Everyone that works there is great too!
You need $1 cash per person, socks, and fill out the release form online or when you get there.
good luck.

Hi J.,

I'm a member of the Hurst/Euless/Bedford MOMS Club and have been for the past 4 years (my boys are 5 and 2). We have about 45 members, and even more kids! We meet 2-4 times a week for playgroups, coffee club, walking club, and playdates at places like Paradise Pond (and other indoor play areas, most free), the zoo, McDonald's, etc. We also meet once a month at a local church for our business meeting, which is a great time to get to know some other members. If you'd like more information, please let me know. We would love to have you visit to see if we're a good fit for you!

Other than that, my kids and I have done lots of art-type projects: play-do, clay, chalk, various paints, etc. We also like to dance! When my oldest son was about 13 months old, he discovered Laurie Berkner, and we bought one of her CDs. We love her music! Of course, we also take lots of walks around the neighborhood and to local parks.

Hope that helps!


This is such a fun age... when they start getting around and exploring.

I would start by finding a "group" like MOMS Club, MOPS, your early childhood PTA (ours is for kids 0-5), or neighborhood women's club. Most will offer playgroups - that's what you're looking for. They'll offer playgroups with kids of different ages, so you can meet with 4-6 other moms regularly that have 1 year olds. Playgroups, and the larger groups alike, will (or should) set up monthly outings to places like the park, zoo, train ride, etc. It's a great way to explore new areas with other kids and moms. They'll also have a meeting once a month with a speaker... someone who usually discusses a topic relevant to moms with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

In terms of one-on-one time, the chalk and crayons are a great idea. Here are some others:

PLAYDOH (be sure to get cookie cutters, rolling pin, etc. - and a plastic mat for easy clean up)
PARK, CREEK, DUCK POND, etc. We used to do this several times a week. Check out new parks in your area - we used to frequent about 6 different parks - a new outing every time. Kids love it and it's a great way to wear them out.
LIBRARY STORYTIME (some bookstores offer this as well)
EXPLORE THE MALL. Get there early before it's too crowded and let him walk beside you. It will really wear him out, and you wouldn't believe the things they'll discover while they're there. Grapevine Mills is a great one with the allagator, ramps, etc. One lap is one mile.
VISIT BASS PRO in Grapevine. They've got a couple of fish tanks, a bridge and koi pond, and lots of cool lifelike animals.
VISIT GAYLORD TEXAN (parking is $10, so you might want to save this for a family outing). Again, a great indoor place to explore.
SPORTS Even the youngest kids, as long as they can run, appreciate kicking around a soccer ball in the backyard or playing catch with mom with a spongie nerf ball.
FOUNDERS PLAZA - Just north of DFW Airport, you'll find their observation area. There area picnic tables, telescopes, etc. Sounds from the tower are also piped in to the area, so you can hear what's happening between pilots and the controllers.
GRAPEVINE REC CENTER - On Thursdays they offer "Play Time" for toddlers and preschoolers in their gym for $1 - $2 (I don't remember). They bring out balls, games, mats, and the large parachute for kids to play with.

There are also lots of classes and activities that you can sign your child up for. Some are "Mommy & Me" others children participate and moms watch. I would start with your local rec center (through your city parks & rec dept.), then also check out places like Little Gym, Gymboree, etc.

Good luck!
www.familyeguide.com Free guide to affordable family activities in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highand Village, and the surrounding communities.

Sounds like you are on the right track. I always feel better when I can get out of the house at least one time a day to do something fun. If you are looking for ideas of places to go and things to do in DFW (and at home) check out www.BurbMom.net - we are running a list of the 70+ places we have visited and written about from a mom's point of view this week so that should get you started!

My 18 months old goes to The Little Gym every week, and we have a zoo pass. THey are both definately worth the money! An hour at the zoo will wipe out any toddler! ALso, the local libraries have free reading sessions. I don't know where you live, but the rec centers in Arlington open for free play. That can be fun too, and cheap.

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