10 Brain-Boosting Activities for One-Year-Olds

Support Your New Toddler’s Development with These At-Home Activities

These activities are meant to give you ideas of fun things to do with your one-year-old that will support their development and expand upon what they are learning in their classroom. Activities are adapted from the ASQ Learning Activities by Elizabeth Twombly and Ginger Fink.

1. Freeze Dance

Play music that you and your child like and show them how to stop when the music stops and start when it starts again. This develops their listening and response skills.

2. Chunky Crayons

Tape paper to your child’s high chair tray or a cookie sheet and let them scribble with chunky crayons. This will help develop your child’s fine motor skills.

3. Bath Time Play

During bath time, ask your child to wash their nose, belly and toes. Then ask them to do the same for a doll in the tub. This is a form of parallel play.

4. Ball Transfer

Make large paper balls and provide time for your child to move the balls between containers. This helps with hand/eye coordination and developing fine motor skills.

5. Scarf Play

Place scarves inside of paper tubes or an empty tissue box and encourage your child to remove and replace them.

6. Can You Find…?

While reading with your child, ask them to point to different animals and objects in the illustrations.

7. Sponge Painting

Let your child ‘paint’ the sidewalk or cement surface with a wet sponge. This is a great way to get creative together.

8. Treasure Collector

Provide your child with a small container. Encourage them to find ‘treasures,’ like leaves or rocks, on a walk around the neighborhood to put in their treasure box. This will spark your child’s curiosity of the world around them.

9. Tube Talk

Make silly sounds with an empty paper towel tube and see how your child responds. Then, give your child a turn and see if they imitate you or create new words and sounds of their own. This activity builds auditory skills and turn taking.

10. Hide & Seek with Toys

Hide one of your child’s toys somewhere in the house. Ask your child to try to find it, and give them clues by letting them know if they are getting warmer or colder to the toy. This will build listening, problem solving and memory skills.

Curious about what learning looks like in our classrooms? Explore more about our one-year-old curriculum today!

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