Fun One Year Old Activities

Looking for one year old activities to do? Read on for some fun ideas!

As a parent of a one-year-old, you may wonder how to keep your little one entertained and engaged throughout the day. After all, at this age, children are curious, active, and eager to explore their surroundings.


Fortunately, there are plenty of fun and educational activities that you can do with your one-year-old to help them develop their cognitive, motor, and social skills.

Whether you’re looking for indoor activities to do on a rainy day or outdoor activities to enjoy on a sunny afternoon, you’ll find plenty of ideas here to keep your little one happy, healthy, and learning. 

So, let’s explore activities perfect for one-year-olds, from sensory play to outdoor adventures and everything in between.

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one year old activities - pinterest pin

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One-year-olds love to explore the world around them using their senses. Sensory play is a great way to encourage their curiosity and development. Set up a sensory bin filled with different textures, such as rice, beans, and pasta, or let them play with colored and scented playdough.

You can also create a sensory board by gluing various materials onto a piece of cardboard, such as sandpaper, feathers, and bubble wrap. If you have a water table for outdoor play, they work well for sensory play, too.

Here are some other sensory play ideas for a one year old:

  • Squeezing water out of sponge balls: Introduces texture and water
  • Playing with sensory bottles: Explore smaller items that may be a choking hazard
  • Mess-free painting: Add paint to gallon-size plastic bags, seal them, and tape them to a wall or table
  • Pom pom drop: Practice hand-eye coordination skills by dropping a pom pom through a hole
  • Create sensory bins: Use cloud dough, kinetic sand, flowers, coffee grounds, and glow in the dark stars to teach about day and night


Music and movement are essential for one-year-olds to develop their gross motor skills and rhythm. Put on some music and encourage your little one to dance, clap, or stomp their feet. You can also provide them with simple instruments, such as shakers or drums, to explore and play along. We have the Melissa and Doug’s band box, and we love it. Our son is reaching three, and we still use the instruments. We like to bust out the instruments and tell Alexa to play “Toddler dance songs” when we are in the mood to dance around.


Melissa & Doug Band-in-a-Box Clap! Clang! Tap! - 10-Piece Musical Instrument Set - Kids Musical Instruments, Wooden Percussion Instruments For Toddlers And Kids Ages 3+


Outdoor activities are perfect for one-year-olds to enjoy the fresh air and exercise. Take them for a walk in the park, let them play in the sandbox, or go on a nature scavenger hunt.

You can also set up a small pool or water table for them to splash around in on a hot day.


Reading and creating art are great ways to encourage your child’s creativity and language development. Choose age-appropriate books with colorful pictures and simple stories to read to your one-year-old.

Afterward, provide them with art supplies such as finger paint, crayons, or stickers to create their own masterpieces.

You can also use this opportunity to practice vocabulary by pointing to and labeling the different colors and shapes they are using.

Book favorite include:

As you can see, we’re big Sandra Boynton fans in this household lol.

Boynton's Greatest Hits The Big Green Box (Boxed Set): Happy Hippo, Angry Duck; But Not the Armadillo; Dinosaur Dance!; Are You A Cow?


Building with blocks is a classic activity for young children that can help develop their fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and spatial awareness.

Provide your one-year-old with soft, lightweight blocks that are easy for them to handle and stack. Encourage them to build towers, knock them down, or create simple shapes and patterns.

This will come in handy when they are older to learn shapes, too!

One year old activities - block play


One-year-olds love to play with water, whether splashing in the bathtub or playing with water toys on a sensory table. Fill a shallow tub or container with water and provide your child with cups, spoons, and water toys to explore.

You can also add food coloring to the water to make it more colorful and engaging. If it’s summer time, this is the perfect time to bust out the water table or fill out a kiddie pool. The kiddie pool is great because you can soak your dogs while your little one splashes around.

One year old activities - water play

We also found a free splash pad in our area, and it’s one of our favorite summertime activities ever since my son was one.

One year old activities - splash pad


Sorting and matching activities can help one-year-olds develop cognitive and problem-solving skills.

Provide your child with a set of simple objects such as blocks, balls, or stuffed animals, and ask them to sort them by color, size, or shape.

You can also create a matching game by providing them with pairs of objects to match up.


One-year-olds love using their imagination, and playing pretend. Provide them simple props such as a play kitchen, dress-up clothes, or a dollhouse to encourage their creativity.

You can also set up a sensory bin with toy animals or vehicles and encourage your child to make up stories and scenarios with them.


Puzzles and shape sorters are great for developing a child’s problem-solving and fine motor skills.

Give your one-year-old age-appropriate puzzles with simple shapes and bright colors or a shape-sorter toy with various shapes to match.

You can kind of mix the block play with this one, if you would like!


Play dough is an excellent activity for one-year-olds to explore their creativity and sensory experiences.

Provide them with soft, non-toxic play dough in various colors and let them experiment with rolling, squishing, and shaping the dough.

You can also provide them with tools such as plastic knives, cookie cutters, or straws to cut and shape the dough.


Playing with balls is a fun and simple activity that can help develop a child’s gross motor skills and coordination. Give your one-year-old soft, lightweight balls in various sizes and encourage them to roll, throw, and kick them.

You can also set up a simple game of “catch” with a soft ball or balloon to encourage hand-eye coordination.


One-year-olds love bubbles! Fill a small tub or bucket with bubble solution and give your child various bubble wands or even household objects like straws or cookie cutters to make their own bubbles.

You can also encourage them to pop the bubbles with their hands or feet.


Singing and reciting nursery rhymes with your one-year-old is a great way to encourage language development and cognitive skills.

Sing songs with simple, repetitive lyrics like “The Wheels on the Bus” or “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”.

You can also recite nursery rhymes with simple rhyming words like “Humpty Dumpty” or “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep”.


Sensory bags are a fun and mess-free way for one-year-olds to explore different textures and materials.

Fill a ziplock bag with a variety of objects like feathers, buttons, or pom-poms, and seal it tightly.

Encourage your child to squish, poke, and explore the different textures from the safety of the sealed bag.


One-year-olds love to imitate animal sounds and learn about different animals.

You can make animal sounds together and teach your child the names of different animals. You can also make animal puppets or have stuffed animals to show your child and help them learn the names of different animals.

You can also take your child to a petting zoo or a farm to see real animals and hear their sounds.


We love going to the park to let our little one play around. Now, at age one, there isn’t a ton to do, but there are some parks that have areas dedicated to their age. If not, a small slide or swing is always a great option.

One year old activities - swinging

WRAPPING UP: One year old activities

There are plenty of fun and educational activities that you can do with your one-year-old to promote their cognitive, motor, and social development. From sensory play to outdoor exploration, music and movement, and imagination play, your child has endless opportunities to learn, grow, and have fun.

Engaging in these activities can create lasting memories with your little one and help them reach important developmental milestones.

So, get creative, have fun, and enjoy this precious time with your one-year-old!

Will you be trying anything on the list? Would you add anything? I would love to hear from you in the comments section below!!


About Morgan Wender

I’m a boy mom, dog mom, bee mom, lover of all things Disney, and lover of making the best out of this chaotic life of mine. I created this platform to share my life, and help normalize “big topic” motherhood issues. I hope you enjoy my mix of life, love, levity, and everything in between.Now that you know a little about me, I would love to know more about you! Find me over on Instagram, and shoot me a DM if you would like to chat!the journey

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Hi, I’m Morgan! I created this platform to be able to share my life, help normalize big topic motherhood issues, and help simplify all the things I learned the complicated way. I hope you enjoy my mix of life, love, levity, and everything in between

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