10 Fun Things To Do With Your 1 Year Old

My 1 year old and I!
My 1 year old and I!

My son has hit the big time!  His age is no longer confined to months, but can be described in years now!  He sits up on his own, crawls on his own, walks on his own, and can even play on his own.  What this all means though, is that he can also get bored on his own.  What is a mother and father to do when a child gets bored?  Here are 10 Fun Things To Do With Your 1 Year Old.

1. Introduce him to the Dog!

We have a 100 pound Golden Retriever puppy that is the sweetest, most docile most gentle creature that you could ever meet.  He loves being around us and other people, just hanging out.  And also, he is the Rock Star of the house.  At least, in our son's eyes.  Whenever our dog enters the room, our son's eyes light up and he immediately flocks to wherever the dog is.  Our son loves to pet him (sometimes too aggresively) and hug our dog.  When he holds on to the hug for too long, the dog will stand and, if our son is holding on to tightly, might be taken for a ride.  Our dog has also become the recipient of untold amounts of extra food due to our son's need to share. 

We do not watch much TV, but for our son, the dog essentially has taken on that role.  Once engaged, the dog can entertain for hours!

2. Walking

Our son loves to walk!  Especially when Mommy and Daddy are both on the floor with him.  We will sit on either side of the room and he will walk in between us until he falls from exhaustion.  This has definitely improved his walking skills, strength, and endurance.  And it never fails to generate many laughs from him.

3. Hang Out With Cousins

Our son is the youngest of 15 first cousins that range in age from 18 down to 2 years.  He loves every single one of them and since they are so spread out, they have different types of relationships with him.

The oldest 2 girls are forever wanting to hold him and carry him around, until it is time to change his diaper.

The oldest boy cousin is 16 and says that our son is about 10 years too late to be any kind of playmate! 

The middle ones are into him to varying degrees, particularly the pre-teen girl cousins.  These girls carry him around, play on the floor with him, and make pigtails out of his curls! 

The youngest 2 boys 2 1/2 and 2 see him the most as they are my brother's children and the 3 of them are often watched by my parents during the week.  These guys play cars, blocks, and terrorize Grandpa.  Since we live in the same town together, I am sure that they will be like the 3 amigos wreaking havoc and breaking girls hearts as they get older!

4. Take Him Out To The Ballgame!

Crowds, other kids, a strange spectacle going on out in the dirt and grass.  The sights, smells, and sounds of baseball!  It is a rite of passage to take your son or daughter to their first baseball game.  My tickets happen to be 10 rows behind homeplate at the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees AA affiliate).  We took our son to his first game last year when he was about 4 months old and while he didn't have a clue (and likely won't this year either), he was fascinated by the spectacle.  Be prepared to leave early if the stimulation is too high, but it is never too early to introduce your child to something that you are passionate about.

5. The Zoo

Get out the stroller and your walking shoes!  The zoo brings about its own unique experience in terms of sights, smells, and sounds.  We recently introduced our son to the zoo.  While he was ho-hum to most of the animals (as they were to him), he was fascinated with people watching and flirting with all of the kids!  We received season tickets to the Philadelphia Zoo from Grandmom and will fully explore the zoo over the next year where our son is sure to get a kick out the animals.

6. Blocks!

Blocks, paper, widgets, whatever is small and they can get their hands around!  Our son is developing his engineering skills through the placement of blocks and also his intent study on how things are put together and operate.  He was intensely curious when I was putting together his Cozy Coupe. 

He also may have a career as a professional organizer.  Our son has a penchant for "stacking" things into neat little piles and then "restacking" them in another spot once finished.

7. A Jumper

This neat little contraption snaps overhead of an entryway.  Your child goes into the little seat beneath with his feet touching the ground.  Then he goes to town.  Our son will sit in this thing for an hour or so and run in circles or swing back and forth while we are watching a movie, a ballgame, or folding laundry.

8. Go To A Children's Museum

In Philadelphia, the children's museum is called The Please Touch Museum.  We took our son to the museum a few weeks back and he was in kiddie heaven.  He was surrounded by other kids and the make believe play was endless - from creating waves and navigating boats through them to walking through Alice in Wonderland's world to being in his own grocery store. 

Children's museums bring everything down to the child's level and encourages creative play and the physical handling of museum display items.  Google your nearest children's museum and book a trip.

9. Cook Breakfast or Bake a Cake

 Make your 1 year old your sous chef!  Well, not really.  Place your 1 year old in the high chair in the kitchen and talk him through all of the steps of what you are making and give him samples along the way.  Talk like the Swedish chef from the Muppet Show for the complete comedic effect.  Make it a game, give periodic samples.  Breakfast in bed for Mom, or a chocolate cake for company!

10. Take a Nap!

Listen, after all of that activity, both you and your 1 year old will be exhausted.  Go take a nap.

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