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Babies: 25 Ways To Entertain A One-Year-Old

Updated on March 16, 2013

Babies' Mental Development

You may think that because a one-year-old has a limited vocabulary, and might not be able to walk very well, that they can't do much of anything. That's simply not true. They can do a lot more than you think. The following is a list of things you can do with your baby when they reach the one year mark:

  1. LISTENING TO MUSIC - It doesn't have to be children's music either. Basically if you put on some of the more popular tunes they enjoy those better than the ones they listen to at night to help them get to sleep.
  2. DANCING - If your child can stand, then dancing is easy. If you get up and start moving to the music, they will too. Even if they're still crawling they can rock back and forth to the beat. You can start by dancing around with them in your arms. They soon get idea that your movements are coordinated with the music.
  3. PLAYING TOY INSTRUMENTS - The wind instruments probably aren't the first ones they'll be interested in, but the piano, the drums, the tambourine, maracas, and the guitar are all intriguing for a one-year-old.
  4. READING BOOKS - Once they get the idea that you flip the pages they're all for doing it. They'll flip straight to the back of the book if you let them. But, keeping it easy for them by using thick cardboard, inflatable, or cloth books is the best thing to do.
  5. PLAYING CATCH - Tossing a ball back and forth is great fun for babies this age. They may not get the ball back to you each time, but they'll toss it. Balls that light up and make some sort of noise are great.
  6. PAINTING - Of course you want to use non-toxic washable paints for kids of any age, but whether they can hold a brush or not they can have loads of messy fun with all of the colors.
  7. PLAYING WITH PLAYDOUGH - You can make your own with cornstarch, flour, and jello for color and scent, or you can use the store bought kind with one of those little machines you can crank, and push, and pull the dough through.
  8. HAVING MILK AND COOKIE PIECES - It can be a snack like this or you could make something else that comes in little pieces so she can pick them up and feed herself.
  9. PLAYING PEEK-A-BOO - This is one of the first games babies learn, and they love it every time you say it and hide for a minute.
  10. LAUGHING - It is the most incredible sight to see a child so young actually laugh. They scrunch up their faces as if they're laughing hysterically and make they little noises with a big smile on their faces. It makes you laugh to witness it.
  11. SWINGING - Babies can do this at home in their own swing, or they can go in the one at the park. It is not wise to swing with them on your lap. It's too easy for them to fall.
  12. HIKING - Okay they can't actually do this with their own legs, but they can ride in a special hiker's backpack for babies. These can be worn on the front or the back. Kids like getting out in nature, smelling the fresh air and listening to the birds in the forest.
  13. DRESSING UP - Even little babies like putting on hats and other dress-up clothes. And it's fun for the parents too.
  14. PLAYING KIDDIE SPORTS - You can put a tennis racket, a golf club, or long ribbons in a baby's hand and they will swing them around. You just have to make sure they don't hit themselves or anyone else.
  15. BUILDING WITH BLOCKS - Kids of all ages love blocks. There's so much potential with them. You can build and knock down anything. Then there are those big blocks that connect to each other. It may take a little work on your part for these.
  16. DOING PAPIER-MACHE' - This is something that you see older kids doing, but the babies love to do anything messy. This is very messy, but they love it.
  17. VISITING THE HOUSE OF BALLS - At this age you would have to go in with your baby or have a babysitter go in with the baby. They love falling backwards in the sea of balls. It's a sensation they've never had before.
  18. SINGING - This may seem difficult, when you can't talk very much, but one-year-olds can sing. My favorite little girl is turning one this week and she can sing two words from the theme song to my favorite sit-com. And she moves back and forth dancing and trying to click her fingers at the same time.
  19. PLAYING WITH COLORFORMS - These are those little thick plastic pieces that self stick to a board. They love sticking them down and peeling them off.
  20. COUNTING, ABC'S, AND VOWELS - How easy is it to count things when there are more than one? Everyone knows the ABC song, and the vowels can be announced when you're doing anything, especially when you're talking back to babies and you don't know what they said to you.
  21. PLAYING COMPUTER GAMES - You have to sit them on your lap or stand them up to a short table or something to do this. They can have fun punching the keys and trying to work the mouse. It's a great way to prepare them for the future.
  22. COLORING WITH FAT CHALK - This can be done outside on the sidewalk, or on a chalkboard.
  23. MAKING FORTS - You will have to push the furniture around and drape the blankets over it, but she'll love crawling in and out the the little tunnels you've created.
  24. SWIMMING - Babies love water. They can swim at home in the bathtub or they can go in the shallow end of a large pools with a life jacket, swimmies, and a floater, all with an adult. As you know they can even actually learn how to swim before they can do many other things in life.
  25. PLAYING IN THE SNOW - Whether you build snowmen or you sled, or toss it around, it's always fun.


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