25 Activities for Toddlers Who Put Everything In Their Mouth

Entertaining a toddler who still puts everything in his/her mouth is challenging. Thankfully there are lots of things you can do that are edible-safe.

From 12 months to about 17 months your toddler is no longer a baby and not yet ready for all the popular toddler activities out there on Pinterest or even Instagram. Some of these toddler activities are too advanced or use materials that are not safe if put in a toddler’s mouth.

As a sensory teacher, I always have to get creative when I have my edible-safe class. I always have to find variations of common toddler activities or choose age-appropriate fun ideas.

Today, I’m going to share with you some activities you can do at home, even if your toddler still mouths everything.


For this reason, I collected a few of my favorite activities that are safe to do at this age.

Don’t like to get messy? No problem, the list is divided into 2 sections.

You might also like: 30 ways to entertain a 1-year-old

No matter what activity you choose, one thing is for sure, your toddler will have a great time with any of these aimed for one-year-olds who put everything in his/her mouth.


Did you know that sensory play is super important for your little one’s development?

Yes, it is!

Sometimes sensory play can be messy and yes, sometimes it is time-consuming To set up and clean up, but overall it is super important to expose them to this.

isn’t that our job as parents? Expose them to experiences that will help them in their growth and development.

Still not convinced? Guess what…

Messy play prevents picky eaters in the future – so give it a try! With one of these edible safe sensory activities.

you might also like: Top messy play activities to do at home

Edible yogurt paint

There are lots of recipes to make edible paint but my favorite has always been the one made with baby yogurt and food coloring. This one is yummy and the colors really pop when you do it. I also like that the colors transfer nicely into the paper or tray to keep the “paint” element as opposed to other edible recipes I have tried.

Place your child on their high chair, inside a large sensory bin, or go outside and play with this easy edible paint recipe

Play with cooked pasta

You can leave the pasta as is, or you can color it. Of course, colored pasta is a lot of fun and very attractive to the eye, but sometimes when you are short on time and you have some pasta leftover, just create a sensory bin using that leftover pasta and your little one will have just as much fun as without the color.

To make colored pasta all you need to do is soak the already-made pasta into cold water that has been mixed with food coloring and drain it after one hour.

The more food coloring you use, and the longer you let the pasta soak into the water, the darker more vibrant colors the pasta will have.

Product recommendations to recreate this activity:

Cereal pour and scoop sensory bin

Sensory bins are a great way to work on fine motor skills like strengthening your little one’s hand muscles. Use sensory bins to practice important skills like pouring and scooping. To make this sensory bin edible and safe, we use one of our favorite cereals for play. Cheerios!

Not sure how to play with a sensory bin? check out the Toddler Pour & Scoop Station: A Cereal Sensory Play Activity and see how we got started using this (now our favorite) type of play.

Product recommendations to recreate this activity:

Jello sensory bin

Playing with jello is fun and is edible safe, you can do one color or many colors. You can hide toys in the jello and encourage digging and playing.

For a more challenging activity, you can use spoons to scoop and carve out the toys.

Note: Try to avoid red jell-O as that one tends to stain the hand.

Jell-O tends to be sticky when you play with it, so our latest discovery is gelatine cubes. We used this unflavored gelatin (Amazon) which doesn’t have sugar – and it is also tasteless.

Cool whip sensory bin

You will never see a grocery shopping trip the same way. Now, every time you go, you will Ask yourself if that Ingredient or that other one can be used for sensory play.

the great thing is that the possibilities will be endless.

Grab some cool whips next time you go to the grocery store for this fun activity.

Note: if you don’t have Cool Whip, you can also do it with Greek yogurt.

Swirl some food coloring onto the cool whip but do not mix to make a cool marble effect like how we used it for our Christmas candy cane activity.

Present it on a bowl and allow your little one to explore mixing it as they play.

Colored Oatmeal

This one was a favorite activity I set up For a local event! The theme was apple pie because it was November.

We played with oobleck but noticed the older toddlers enjoyed that better and the colored oatmeal was enjoyed by the little ones. It was gooey, yummy, and colorful and the texture was something they never experienced before! the best part? they were left with really nice softer skin from that oatmeal bath!

Wondering how to make it? Easy! Just make a batch of quick oatmeal using water and a bit of food coloring. Add some extra water to make it gooier.

make oobleck for babies sensory play

Edible playdough

We experimented with lots of materials and playdough was recommended.

In my experience, an edible-safe scented playdough recipe made with Kool-Aid was the best one for this age group. Bonus! It smelled fantastic so it added to the sensory play working on the sense of smell (and probably taste too).

For one-year-olds, I notice that they are not ready to play with playdough as we are used to seeing kids play with it. One-year-olds need a lot of guidance on how to play with it. I have noticed that sometimes they don’t even want to touch it.

A great way to set up this play is to give them some cut-out straws or popsicle sticks that they can use to poke the playdough. You can create balls and have them transfer them from one cup to the other. Take this learning opportunity count them and help them build on some pre-k readiness skills.

Edible Water beads sensory bin

Store-bought water-beads can be very dangerous – even deadly if consumed. They are fun but I had to come up with a better idea! so I did! And you can make them at home, they are edible and even healthy!

Learn how to make these edible safe water beads here

edible safe waterbeads

Pudding Pools

During my sensory class, we had a farm theme day and I bought a bunch of plastic pigs. I wanted to create a cool slime-type texture as the mud. I made two packs of chocolate pudding and added some quick oatmeal. The kids loved it! and it was so easy to make.

Paint with Ice

This has been one of our favorite activities to do! my son is two and we still play with this. Maybe because it is so easy to make and because I always keep a batch ready in my freezer.

Grab some Popsicle molds, add some water and mix in some food coloring. Freeze. Then head outside and while the ice melts, the food coloring spreads onto the paper and create wonderful masterpieces!

These popsicle molds from Amazon would be a great option! the ones I have below are from Walmart and usually come out on sale around summer.

Fruit Sensory Bins

Fruits are a great sensory play activity and it exposes your little one to new foods. You can do some melon balls using a fruit scoop, or you can cut up some watermelons to create a bin full of them.

Citrus Sensory Bins

Want to explore the sense of taste even more? add a bin of water and add some lemon slices or even orange slices to create a citric sensory bin.

Edible Sand

Edible sand is so easy to make, all you need is some crackers and a blender. The kids absolutely love the texture and it is so much fun to play with! Watch the YouTube Video and learn how to make it.

You might also like: Sensory bags to celebrate fall

Chia Slime

I had no idea there was an edible option for chia slime! We tested it, we tried it and we loved it! it is very very messy, the seeds get stuck and the slime is hard to come. But.. nothing you can’t manage and I advise you to use small quantities to reduce the cleanup. Said, that, it has been one of my favorite activities we have done in class!

For the babies, we added a bit more water to the slime to get them to play with it.

Water activities for one-year-olds

I haven’t met a baby or toddler who doesn’t like to play with water. Honestly, when I don’t feel like entertaining my son and I don’t want to put him in front of the TV we play with water.

from little mess activities like painting with water, or playing at the sink to a full-on mess adding water to a plastic bin and creating a water ball pit!!

When you don’t know what to do? Just add a water

tantrum? Take him to the sink to play with water

basically, when in doubt – just add water.

Honestly, it will save you! and is the easiest activity to clean up.


Sensory Bags or bottles

Sensory bags are safe activities for one-year-olds. Putting materials inside a bag is a safe way to play with all different materials without having it to be a messy activity or be worried that they will put it in their mouth.

Note: Tape the bag to the table – otherwise, they will try to eat the bag.

Related: How to make the perfect glitter sensory bottle

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Bags

Play with Lego duplos

Duplos are so much fun! They are so famous for a reason. They also are a Benefit for the brain so don’t hesitate to get them a box of Duplos sooner than later.

You can teach them how to do color sorting, you can build a tower and knock them down.

Create toys with recycled materials

DIY toys like making toys from boxes or milk containers are my favorite type of games to create. You can create awesome games very affordable and once your toddler is no longer interested in them you can throw them away and I’m sure you won’t feel guilty about doing so.
My son’s favorite DIY toys were the ball drop activity and feeding the monster pasta.

Check out 11 DIY Toys Toddlers Will Love That Work On Fine Motor Skills

Work on Stacking

Stacking boxes, cans, or even blocks is a fun game for toddlers. At this age they are more destroyers than builders so you might be the one building the tower and they will be the ones knocking it down. Either way, is a great activity to play together.

Add some rice, beans, and other supplies that make noise when the tower falls over.

Check out: 30 ways to entertain a one-year-old

Create a maze with bubble wrap

Toddlers like to move, they like to explore with their feet and bubble wrap is a great way to do so! Get a few Amazon packages and open them to expose the bubble wrap, create a path, that can be used to run, walk, and crawl. Add some music to do all of the to the rhythm of the music.


At this age, puppetry is not just fun but a language development learning experience as well. Use songs and rhymes to play with puppets.

You can make a puppet using a wooden spoon, some Google eyes, and some buttons. A wooden spoon is great for little hands as it is easier to grab and coordinate.

Play Outdoors

Get that energy out! go to the park, take a walk, and enjoy playing with nature. Get some outdoor ideas for your one-year-old here


Play with puzzles. At one-year-old simple-shape puzzles are best. Too easy? Check the Instagram post to learn about the stages of puzzle play.

View this post on Instagram

What is the right type of puzzle for your little learner?⠀ That was a question I had for the longest time and no one seemed to know the answer. It wasn’t until I starting researching and developing the One Year Old Homeschool program that I learned about puzzles. ⠀ ⠀ **it is super important to provide your little learner with the right toys and meet them at the developmental stage they are at. Toys too advance and they won’t be able to work on the milestones they need**⠀ ⠀ You first need to start with these simple complete shape, large knobs puzzles like this one. ⠀ Then you move to smaller shapes and smaller knobs puzzles.⠀ When they master that, you move to raised shapes puzzles (most commonly set at local libraries play area)⠀ And then you can do the ones that breakdown the shape in pieces. You can DIY your own like I did with the ball.

A post shared by Kid Activities with Alexa (@kidactivitieswithalexa) on


Do not underestimate a balloon. One year old love them!! There’s not much to say.

blow up one or blow up many, add some faces or let them draw on it. Lots of possibilities!

I hope you found a few favorite activities for one-year-olds to try at home and have a great time! If you want to have more fun ideas don’t forget to subscribe! and if you want to have a meaningful playtime with them, and start teaching them early pre-k concepts then check out the learning resources to teach one-year-olds to give them a head start when entering pre-k.

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