30 easy ways to entertain one year old toddlers at home

Between the age of 12 months to 24 months, kids start doing things on their own. Their learning skills start developing rapidly, and they see cause & effect and engage with others.

If your baby is 1 year old and you want to keep him entertained, then follow this guide. This guide about activities to entertain one year old that are of easy, affordable, and very fun.

entertain one year old with these fun activities

Parents stimulate kids and their involvement with kids is very critical to their development. Parental involvement should be in a way that they expose babies to age-appropriate challenges.

Without delaying further, let’s find out what are those activities that you can perform to keep your 1 year olds entertained.

You might also be interested in these edible safe activities if you have a toddler that still puts everything in their mouth.

Quick & Easy Setup Activities

Big Art

There is something so freeing about drawing on large pieces of paper. Take out that Ikea roll of paper (or the back of some leftover wrapping paper) and roll it out. Take out Washable Markers, Dot a Dot markers, Scented Markers, large egg crayons, and have some fun!

Play house

For this activity, you can use cardboard from old crap and turn it into a fort or house. Keep it big enough that your baby can enter into it and come out easily. You can create an entrance door and exit as well.

You might not need to show your kid by entering into the fort by crawling. Add fun & entertainment factor by pretending a few things. You can knock on the door and ask if anyone is inside the home. Use different voices to pretend like two people are part of the conversation. Your toddler would certainly love doing this.

Apart from being an entertaining activity, it teaches social skills as well. Therefore, you can expect some positive results from this activity.

Matching game

It’s a great activity for your baby, which isn’t only fun but educating as well. It will help your kid develop color recognition skills and combination making abilities.

Take out all the shoes of your toddler from the closet and spread in front of him. First, show him what to do by pairing up different shoes according to their styles and colors. Then, tell your baby to do the same or let him be creative. After a few turns, he would get it right.

make a Megaphone

Kids love such activities and find them entertaining. Use cardboard and make a tube from it. Talk through it and see how your baby reacts to the change of voice. Encourage your baby to talk through it as well. You’ll be amazed to see his reaction after listening to his own changed voice. Such an activity boosts confidence in babies, and they found it entertaining to try novel & new sounds.

It would teach your kid to discriminate between sounds and turn-taking skills.

Scented containers

Your toddler is still working on exploring his/her senses. This one is a fun activity to do because you will love to see their funny faces as they explore each scent.

Grab a few things that have strong but safe smells or taste. Add them to containers and have your toddler lick or smell them. Explain to them what they are smelling/tasting.

You can use lemon, basil leaves, and fresh flowers. These things have strong tastes and will be easier to guess and remember. You can use more things as well or exchange items every time you engage your toddler in this activity.

Play Pretend Telephone

When parents talk with their friends or family over the phone calls, toddlers enjoy it a lot and want to experience the same.

Use an old cellphone or a toy telephone (this one is the one we have)

This activity is great for language development, it teaches your one year old how to take turns when communicating. How to listen and engage.

Pretend plays are great for improving social skills in your babies. You can use toy phones to make fake phone calls and let your baby talk over the phone. You’ll enjoy the reactions of your baby.

Up and down obstacles

Such activities are great for your baby growth. All you need are boxes and sofa cushions. Place them around the room to create an obstacle course.

Model the activity in front of them before they start doing the activity. Ask your baby to do up & down, jumping from the obstacles. You can add a few variations to the course by doing it backward, go the opposite way, and other safe variations.

After completing the course, clean up the area with the help of your toddler.

Bubble wrap maze

I don’t think there’s anyone out there who doesn’t like bubble wrap. We all love playing with it because it feels so satisfying, popping those tiny bubbles. You may have a few of them at your home. If you have, then it’s time to make a maze with them. Tape the envelopes with the bubbles face up and create a path. Then put some music and take off your shoes. Dance, walk, and have fun popping the bubbles.

Let your baby walk on it, and he would love this entertaining activity.

Give those rolls to your baby along with paint and a large piece of paper. Get out those finger paints and that toilet paper roll and create some stamps. Let your baby stamp those rolls on the paper.

Sticky walls

The right kind of sticky! Contact paper with the sticky side out, and you can add any toys to be rescued. Give all the toys to your baby and ask him to stick the toys on the wall. You can do it first to show him what he needs to do. You may ask him to choose only a few of them that he loves the most. This way, you’ll also get to know what are the favorite toys of your baby.

Make music

Toddlers pay huge attention to beats and rhythmic sounds. You can use different items like spoons, pots, rattles, and drums to make percussion sounds. You can spend a little time learning a few fun tunes that have arousing beats. While making musical sounds, encourage them to play along by gesturing them with your face & hands.

It will not only keep your baby entertained but improve his musical exploration skills, coordination skills, and listening skills as well.

Musical towers

Push toy


It’s not just a fun activity for your tabby, but we all have enjoyed playing with push-toys in our childhood. It is an easy activity that any 1 year old enjoys a lot.

My favorite push toy is the lawnmowers that shoot up bubbles (available on Amazon). Who doesn’t love bubbles anyway!

this toy helps with gross motor skills, coordination cause & effect, and spatial awareness.

Provide as many tiny blocks as you have to your kid and let him build a tower from them. Let him be creative and place as many things as he wants. After building a tower, ask him to knock the tower down and enjoy it as it falls.

Stickers and craft cubes

Collect some craft cubes and stickers for your baby from the toy shop. You can use them to provide a great and entertaining activity to your baby. Place stickers on each craft cube and let your baby stick them on cubes.

Stack the cubes one over another and then knock them down to mix and match.  Create stories out of the characters on the stickers. You can stick action stickers on the cubes as well and ask them to do the activity that is printed on the sticker. It would engage them, and it’s healthy for their growth as well.

Play with shadows

entertain one year old
playing with shadows puppets is a great way to entertain one year old toddlers

If it’s hurricane season, that means the electricity could go out. If that happens, then get ready and play with the flashlight and make some shadows. It doesn’t mean that you’ve to wait for the electricity to shut down.

Just turn off the lights to make the room dark. You can cut a few shapes and glue them to different sticks. Then, use these sticks to make shadows on the wall. Let your kid catch those shadows. Play with them and let them catch a few ones to feel a sense of achievement or victory.

Baby ball drop

It’s an easy yet entertaining activity for kids. For this activity, you need a wipes container and a few small-sized balls. Empty the container and hand it over to your baby. You’ll be amazed to see your baby’s hand-eye coordination. Your baby will dump the balls into the container.

During this activity, the baby transfers the ball from one hand to the other and drops it into the container. Once it is filled and he can’t drop another ball, he’d knock the container.

First, sit in front of him and model it, so he knows what to do. Probably, your kid won’t get it right away, but he’ll surely learn scooping & dumping after making some false attempts.

Arts & Crafts activities

Toys making from recycled materials

It’s one of the fun & creativity boosting activities for 1 year olds. Take out all the recycled boxes and tubs and make some toys. You can create some toys yourself and ask your baby either to copy you or make something he wants. You can create a “feed the monster” toy by creating a mouth, eyes, and nose and feed colorful sticks to the monster. It will boost your child’s creativity, and it’s great for practicing colors as well.

Make sure to supervise your baby so he won’t try to eat anything potentially harmful.

Toilet paper roll stamping

entertain one year old with art activities like painting with toilet paper rolls

Before throwing empty toilet paper rolls in the waste bin, use them as a tool to encourage painting skills of your toddler. Take out the roll and make several cuts on one end.

Painting with edible Paint

Snack time doesn’t have to be boring. Make edible paint and serve snacks in a fun, playful way. Add some cheerios for extra texture and nutrition.

Painting with Flowers

If you want to sharpen your baby’s painting skills, then painting using fake or real flowers. This is one of my favorite art activities to entertain one year old toddlers. Provide foil, flowers, and paints in different shades of blue.

Make this fun by placing the paper on a wall instead of over a table.

This activity works on your baby’s fine motor skills, color exploring, art expression.

Drive and Paint

Use tape or paper to create a pattern of roads on the paper or cardboard. Add a few paint spots on the paper and let your toddler drive a few toy cars over them to create cool tire imprints.

Remember, at one year old art and paint activities are more about exploring the materials and creating process art and not about creating the typical crafts we are seeing use to that preschool kids make.

Sensory Bins

Use water & sand

It’s one of the fun & entertaining activities for 1 year olds. Once your baby is over 18 months, let him play with water and sand. You should provide him a tub either filled with water or sand. Let your baby use his creativity and do what he wants. You can talk to them while they play or sing along to keep them engaged in the activity.

You can also play along in a separate tub filled with water or sand and ask him to do how you’re doing.

This activity develops creative skills in toddlers.

Homemade Play Sand

What is better than being on the beach? pretending you are at one while being stuck inside.

This sounds messy, and it could be if you don’t prepare my magic setup! The clean up will be a lot easier. I promised.

To make homemade sand also known as moon sand all you need is 1/4 cup baby oil for every 2 cups of flour. Place them in a bowl and mix.

The texture comes out soft and moldable so you can get creative in play.

This is a variation of the moon sand but I created my own homemade playing sand a version so it looks like real sand instead.


Playdough is a great activity to play indoors. You can make your own, or you can use store-bought.

1 year olds don’t know how to play with it, so you have to sit and show them. The easiest game is to make balls and place them in different containers (as you count) or use straws and other toys to dig into the playdough.

You can make edible playdough at home using different ingredients or buy from the market. Some moms hate playdough because it gets everywhere in the house. For those moms, the use of the magic container is suggested.  You can buy a chair as well that is explicitly designed for babies to sit and do activities with playdough. These chairs come with belt straps that keep your baby safe from falling.

A high chair or at a table offers a contained area to play, just use a placemat to be able to roll the Playdough easier and avoid it getting stick to the table.

Rainbow Bread Toast

It is one of the entertaining activities for 1 year olds. You need to put a little effort into making a rainbow sensory play for your kid.

To make it, buy bread from the market and lightly toast it to make it firm. Gather small cups and add water with a few drops of food coloring. Provide foam paint brushes to let your toddler paint the bread using the edible-safe paint. After coloring, you can add peanut butter and jelly and have a tasty snack!

Scoop and dump

Make a cornmeal dump station for your kid in a sensory box. Scoop and dump is sensory play for 1 year olds. It’s quick & easy and sharpens the fine motor skills of your baby.

Take a storage box, cornmeal, scoop, and an egg carton. Place the egg carton inside the container on one side. Also, pour cornmeal inside the container in the remaining part of the container. Hand over the spoon to your toddler and ask him to scoop the cornmeal and dump it in the egg carton.

You can use a formula scoop as a spoon. It will offer better handling to your baby.

“Fill it up” station

It’s another similar sensory play, which is quick & easy for 1 year olds. You need to have two containers for this activity.

Pour rice into a sensory bin or container. You can use color rice (learn how to make it here) or non-colored straight from the bag. Now place multiple cups of different sizes & colors in the other part of the big container. Hand a formula scoop to your baby and let him scoop the rice and fill the cups.

If your little one still mouths everything, do this with colored cooked rice.

Mud Kitchen

A mud kitchen is a fancy way of saying entertain one year old with dirt and mud outdoors. It has been the new Pinterest trend and no matter how simple or fancy you do it, it is definitely a lot of fun!

Grab some bowls, water pitchers, garden soil, leaves, flowers and set up a play station or play kitchen. Let you your toddler play, mix, create as he/she explores the different textures and enjoying nature.

Add some basil and other scented plants to enhance play.

Pre-K Readiness Learning Activities

Sort and drop color activity Using an egg container

It’s a great activity to sharpen color recognition skills in your toddler. This activity requires you to use a few items you have at home to make the toy.

Take an egg carton and using different color markers to paint over a few egg locations in different colors. Now, take a knife and cut a hole over each color circle, leaving some color showing around it outline the edges of each square with varying colors.

Now give several color toys (we used color bears and color pom-poms) to your toddler. Start with only red, blue, yellow, and green for your tabby to play with. As your tabby gets better at sorting these colors add more colors to your egg tray.

Interested in activities to teach PreK-readiness at home? check out our homeschool resources


All the activities mentioned above for 1 year olds are safe, fun, and entertaining for your baby. However, make sure to supervise your baby when he’s performing these activities. Some material might be potentially harmful to your baby, so always monitor them while they play with any kind of stuff.

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