When the weather is less than ideal, you may be finding yourself in need of indoor activities. Babies are busy little beings! They get into everything and love to learn as much as they can about their environments.
That being said, it can be super easy to find an indoor activity for your toddler. There are tons of simple ways to spark their interest and help their minds develop!
So even when you are stuck inside, here are some simple and fun indoor activities for your toddler!
7 Simple Indoor Activities for your 1-Year-Old
*This article may contain affiliate links. See disclosures for more information.
Music is the perfect way to stimulate your baby’s growing mind. And I don’t mean planting them in front of YouTube with baby shark on repeat.
I’m talking good old fashioned music.
Now, maybe my husband and I are stuck in the 90’s because we use a CD player (gasp)… I know… But our daughter LOVES it! When he comes home from work it is such a fun routine they developed to sing and dance to a song.
It may be just as well to play music over your Bluetooth speaker, or whatever other fancy items people are using these days. Alexa is her name right? But just play music. No videos from your phone or TV, just music!
Dance with your toddler. Sing in silly voices. They will love it. And how hard is it to turn on some tunes and act silly for 10 minutes?
Let them be the musicians!
While I don’t expect my 1 year old to be creating any major symphonies anytime soon, she does thoroughly enjoy creating her own “music”.
There are many options for toddler instrumental toys. And I’m sure these are all great! But for those of us that enjoy saving a little money, make your own instruments!
What is more awesome than banging on Tupperware or shaking a homemade maraca? Um… nothing! At least in the eyes of a toddler.
I have a bunch of musical toys we bought, but without fail my toddler always prefers to play with the cardboard box or the empty water bottle. Do you see the point I am trying to make here?
Kids don’t need big flashy complex toys that sing and dance for them.
The biggest favor we can be doing for their developing minds is to encourage them to use their imaginations!
Try filling an empty water bottle with dried rice, or something comparable. Ensure the lid is on tight! (You may want to just glue it shut if you are certain you won’t want to add new things to it later).
You just made your baby their new favorite toy. At the cost of like 10 cents.
Take Tupperware and put a smaller object inside, for example a plastic toy cup. This will stimulate your baby’s music sense in the percussion realm, and also challenge their minds to understand that there is something inside of what they are holding.
Things that seem simple to us, are only because our brains have developed that understanding.
Our toddlers are still developing their brains and they have yet to form the connection of “oh the Tupperware has my plastic cup inside of it”.
Make this a separate time from bath time. There are endless ways to do this!
One simple way is to take a shallow pan or plastic container and fill it with small amount of water. Put some towels down on the floor and place the container on top. Now just let your baby splash their little hands in the water!
For additional fun add in some cups, spatulas or spoons. Your baby will enjoy playing in the water and they are stimulating their brain at the same time.
This activity is especially helpful when your baby is a little timid around water. It will get them used to the water and associate it with fun!
**ALWAYS remember safety first. NEVER leave your baby unattended near water no matter how small the amount!
Most one-year old babies that I have met have one big thing in common: everything goes into their mouths. This is why this activity is such a great alternative for younger toddlers whom it would not be safe to use regular paint yet (despite them being nontoxic).
You have several options when making your edible paint.
I know you have left over rice cereal in your pantry… get that! If you have some all natural food coloring you can add that for coloring. And lastly you just need a little water.
I don’t tend to make a lot when we do this activity because a little goes a long way.
Generally I use:
- 3 teaspoons of rice cereal
- 6 teaspoons of water
- Add food coloring to your preference
It depends on how much paint you want to make, but if you stick to a 1:2 ratio, the consistency should be just right.
Mix the water, cereal and food coloring until blended. I like to have my baby in her high chair when we use the paint to localize the mess.
Then offer the paint to your baby and let them explore it. You may have to show them the first few times what to do. But your baby will love to feel and see the colors you make the paint.
And no worries if/when your baby eats it because it’s completely edible!
Why save story time just for bed time? Letting your child play with their books should be an ultimate go-to for rainy days!
Your one-year old may not have the longest attention span yet, but it is definitely a good idea to try reading to them and showing them how you turn the pages, etc.
Pointing out the pictures in the book and talking about each one is such a great way to get their minds going. Your little one will start to understand words and make relationships to pictures.
I have to give my husband 100% credit for this idea. Super simple and yes it is as fun as it sounds. And it is the only time I ever see my little one lay still.
All you will need is:
An open floor plan
Pull your toddler around as if they were on.. you guessed it… a sled.
Minus the snow and freezing cold.
Your toddler is bound to LOVE this one! I mean, who wouldn’t? The blanket sled is probably one of my toddler’s favorite indoor activities now.
I love Tupperware. And you know who else loves Tupperware? Your baby.
Get out some Tupperware and let them explore and play! Stack it up and let them knock it down. Let your baby try to figure out how to get them unstuck from each other.
My baby enjoys using it as a hat sometimes. Whatever floats your boat, girl!
Keep your toddler entertained with these 7 indoor activities.
In a world full of electronic toys, games, TV’s, etc., it can be tempting to appease your kids with all of those things. But it is important to give your child time away from that.
Give your baby options that don’t involve screens. Let them develop their imaginations and create their own games.
Play time = learning,
no matter how simple the activity seems.
Do you have more ideas for indoor activities? Let me know in the comments below!