Fun Games to Play with 1 Year Old?

Updated on October 14, 2008
J.M. asks from Willoughby, OH
11 answers

really hoping for some great ideas. i feel like my 1 year old is getting very bored with our day to day activities. she loves being read to, making music, playing outside, but what else could i be doing with her. i nannied for nine years and the youngest was two. i can think of a million activities for young kids but really struggling with my little one.

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answers from Cincinnati on

My daughter enjoyed doing "art" even at that age. She preferred markers, so I bought some of those ColorWonder markers that will only draw on that special paper, and then I hung the paper on the fridge with tape and let her draw to her heart's content. She was not a big fan of fingerpaint, but that's another possiblity. Enjoy this stage, time will fly by!

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answers from Indianapolis on

Ok, this is going to sound unbelievablly simple, strange and maybe even a little silly. However, after years of working with families with small children. ( I am a social worker working teaching parents and children how to interact with eachother.)
So you get a large plastic bowl, and some golf wiffle balls. (extremely cheap) Make the balls different colors.

put 3 or 4 in the bowl, have your daughter sit on the floor, and show her how the balls spin in the bowl, and how she can toss them into the bowl and teach her to count, teach her her the colors, it teaches eye hand coordination and you can cheer everytime she makes a goal.

This can be used for years, you just change the directions. When children are older you have them stand and move away from the bowl and play a basketball type game.

Hope this helps a little!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

Interesting, I've never heard of a 1-year old being "bored"! Do you let her play with kitchen items, pots, pans, wisks, measuring cups, etc. You could make homemade playdough. has some great open-ended ideas. Maybe you could find a play group with other families. She's too young to play "with" other children, but she can play side-by-side.

Hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Just take her around with everything you do--shop, library, visit friends (with or without babies), do dishes, straighten up, laundry, etc. and talk about everything. You can give her her own "stuff" e.g. plastic bowls and measuring spoons while you cook.

Seems like somebody posted a similar question not long ago, if you have time you could look in the archives for more suggestions.

Sometimes libraries have story times for kids.

You can keep doing more of the same but just slightly different variations, eg get her the touch books if you haven't already (Pat the Bunny, Pat the Cat), read other books than the ones she's been hearing, go for a walk in different neighborhoods.

Play peek-a-boo, sing silly songs, make a puppet "talk". Pet your cat or dog if you have one--it's not too early to teach "gently". Finger paint with pudding, or real finger paint if you don't think she will eat it

Give her an item and let her interact with it on her own terms--chew, handle, throw, etc--you don't have to show her what to do with it.

The other responses I have seen so far also seem to have good ideas.

Don't be afraid to try the stuff you used to do with 2 year olds. You'll know if it is working or not, or you may get an idea about how to change it that will be a big hit with your baby.

Good luck and enjoy your daughter, these times do go fast--I remember that the half hours and hours seemed interminable sometimes, but the weeks and months just flew!

K. Z.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

If you get bored when you can't get out as much, try your local library. They have story times that are age appropriate with stories, songs crafts, etc. We started going when my son was 12 months and still go today. You also meet other moms with children the same age! Have Fun!



answers from Cleveland on

stacking, sorting, dumping

stack chubby blocks, stack soup cans, formula cans- let your baby knock them over & re stack

sort- just putting things in a bowl and dumping is fun for one year olds.

Peek a boo and how big is baby are fun games too.

also finding a big box, clothes basket and letting your little one crawl in & out of it



answers from Toledo on

I teach a music class for babies and toddlers. You might want to try it. We meet every Monday from 9:30 - 10:30am at Brewed Awakenings, a coffee house located at 2636 W Central Ave (on the corner of Haughton near Douglas)in Toledo. The cost is $7 per child, plus a coffee house purchase. If you come, I promise you will learn more games to play with your one year old, and you will both have a lot of fun. Hope to see you there.



answers from Indianapolis on

Building blocks in bright colors, stacking blocks, patty-cake, all good games for ones that young.



answers from Indianapolis on

Think about developing senses......not just games. Different textures, sounds.....even different musical instruments, recognition. They are NOT too young. I've done lots of nanning in my day and you'll be amazed at what they'll pick up on IF given the opportunity..some quicker than others, of course, but MANY will respond well, LOVE the opportunity to learn and experience something new and it's fun as a nanny/teacher to watch them experience and/or learn it.



answers from Bloomington on

In the interest of self-promotion-- please see my website:
Many of our products come with extensive parent guides to give you a plethora of ideas for developmentally appropriate play. Two of the best for multi-purpose play with a 13 month old: measure up cups and boomerings links.

Call or email with anything else I can do to help!
[email protected]



answers from Dayton on

I would check out your local library. They have TONS of books that have really cute ideas in them. I have gotten several for my 2 y/o. That way you can check them out and take them back when you are done instead of buying something and then being stuck with it once you are done. Or you can check things out in the book and if you find one that you like, then you can go buy it after you give it a try. Good luck, it's hard to keep their attention for too long after all.

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