Summer Activities for a 1 Year Old

Updated on April 01, 2010
R.D. asks from Haysville, KS
10 answers

Hey ladies I aksed a similar question the other day but only got two responses....hopefully I'll get a few more this time :)
I am a teacher so I will be home all summer with my daughter, who turns one next week. I am looking for fun things to do with her, especially some art activities we can do. I'd like to keep her day pretty routine. I have vowed to get rid of this baby weight, so I am going to join the YMCA and go at least three days a week. I thought this would be great because I can have some "me" time, and my daughter will still get the social interaction she needs. I am also planning on taking trips to the zoo, the parks, play in our backyard with the dog, etc. I am really wanting to do art with her as well. The daycare she is at does art every day and I want to keep it up. I was also wondering if anyone knows if the YMCA has classes for children her age? I suppose I could call, and I will, but I want to hear from other moms if they liked the programs. Any activities or ideas you have for a one year old would be greatly appreciated :)

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answers from St. Louis on

These can all be done outside (and some inside):

Bubbles - you can google this and find ways to make really big ones, colored ones, etc. Get a bubble machine or cheap bubbles at the dollar store.

Paint - you can do this with finger paints, regular paints or pudding (even put coloring in it)


Gardening - my 1 year old was helping me pull weeds at a year. Let her play with dirt - give her some things to put the dirt in.

Shaving cream - either play with it on a table outside or inside. Let her feel it in her hands, 'write' in it, fill cups with it (if you are worried she'll try to eat it try whip cream instead - yum!)

Swimming - local or kiddie pool. Maybe invest in a sprinkler or slip n slide.

Story time outside - in the afternoons on a blanket with snacks.

Collages - made with things you find in the yard. She'll find them and you'll have to do most of the work putting the collage together.

Playing outside - bring her babies, toys, etc outside and just let her play!

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answers from Kansas City on

Gymboree offers a art class with other children. My local parks and rec does as well...I don't know if theirs is for as young as one though. Nature Centers are fun.



answers from Wichita on

Well you have gotten a lot of answers, but for a 1 year old they just like you to play on the floor with them, show her how to play with her toys and have an imagination, get her a big box to crawl in and out of, maybe one big enough for you both to sit in, spending this time at this age builds a trust and relationship and it don't have to be done going places, that just teaches them you have to go some where to have fun. Get a wading pool and look for lady bugs, then when you have played awhile show her how to sit and rest a spell and take a nap with her, but don't let that be a habit or she will expect it every nap. Its also ok to let her sit on a chair while you do some of your work, its not all about her entertainment, they need to learn to pick up toys or help carry washrags so you can put them away, just any little thing, she can help with they love to help and teach the whole time you are with her, things that are acceptable and things that aren't, teaching words and sounds. you'll have a busy summer enjoy this time because next summer she will be 2.



answers from St. Louis on

Wow! Sounds like you have covered a lot of the bases. Being that she is so young I'm not sure there is a whole lot more to add to your list :-) The only things I can think of that you might want to add is getting her a kiddie pool and let her splash around in the back yard and checking into the library. The library always has tons of reading/story time programs for kids especially over the summer. Have fun!


answers from Norfolk on

One year old is pretty young. Just learning to walk is such a joy for them. They really do not get into playing with others until they are 3 or sometimes 4 years old. What they do until then is parallel playing. They'll play next to each other but not cooperatively with each other. Art? Maybe you can make pictures with her thumb / hand / foot prints. Make sure you use an ink that washes off fairly easily and is harmless if they get it in their mouth. When our son was that age, we did every county fair we could find one week after the other. We especially loved looking at all the 4-H animals, tractors, fire trucks, etc. Just anyplace to walk and see things. Inside malls work for when it rains. Kids will fall sleep in their strollers when ever they need to. You get good at packing a diaper bag for any eventuality.



answers from Wichita on

I didn't check to see where you live but I know the Wichita Art Museum has art classes for kids on a regular schedule. You might check with your local museum.



answers from St. Louis on

since you're a teacher, just hit a few of the Early Childhood Ed websites or contact your local Parents as Teachers group............both will have lots of ideas. In my daycare, the one year olds love music makers & noise makers of any kind, cause & effect toys, & gross motor skill toys.....such as building blocks.

As for actual art, crayons last about 30 seconds before they're placed in the mouth! The same holds true for most other art supplies. It makes me seriously question what the heck that daycare is doing! (no offense intended) I'm at a loss as to what a one year old can actually independently accomplish the name of Art! 16-18 months is when most children can independently connect that crayon, marker to the paper.....with the ability to place a piece to be glued onto paper - at about the same age. Prior to that..........???isn't it just all about the adult actually directing the child's hand to the paper???? I wish you Peace, Fun, & Happiness!



answers from Sacramento on

You should check out Art Beast! The place is amazing. I want to say it's on 23 and K in midtown, but google it, they have a website. It has art and other activities for all ages. You can pay a flat fee to get in, purchase a monthly membership or get a punch card for 10 visits. All the proceeds that don't go back into art beast directly go to a wonderful charity. There is every art activity possible, plus role playing rooms, movement and music rooms. It is pretty awesome!
I would also look into the storytimes at the libraries and bookstores. The library storytimes often list on their websites that they are geared to preschoolers, but I would check it out. I take two and three year olds, and there are often younger kids.
Oh! And the splash pools at the city parks are always fun for all ages! Lots of little ones there. We go to the one in Land Park... Opens in June, I think, usually at 11am for 3 or 4 hours.



answers from Los Angeles on

I got a sand/water table-my son loved it. i'm a teacher and stayed home with him the past 2 summers as well. Lots of trips to the park and around our complex. Swimming pool on the patio, bubbles, beach trips. Its hard to entertain at times, but if you are out alot, it makes it easier-enjoy your summers, I know I look forward to them every year!



answers from St. Louis on

I bought a rubbermaid container (the long flat kind for under a bed) and filled it with all different kinds of dry noodles. I think I bought 10 boxes when the grocery story was selling them 10 for $10. Add some cups, ladles, bowls, and let her go to town. My daughter (14 months) will scoop and dump noddles for at least an hour. My 3 and 5 year old love it too.

I do put the noodle box on top of a big blanket to make clean up easier.

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