The activities chosen to engage a 1-year-old are vital in stimulating their senses in a meaningful way. From puzzles and blocks to books, music, art and even water play, it is essential to give toddlers experiences that foster learning by actually exploring the objects or environment around them. With the right sensory activities that promote physical exploration and create opportunities for cognitive, social and language development, infants as young as 1-year-old can grow and develop into happy, healthy children.
As a parent, it can be difficult to find educational and enjoyable activities for your baby. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 10 fun and educational sensory activities for 1-year-olds. Read on to get some great ideas!
Squeezing water out of sponge balls
Squeezing water out of sponge balls is a great way to introduce your baby to the wonderful world of texture and water. This sensory activity helps your child explore the properties of water in a fun and entertaining way.
When you squeeze one ball, they can observe how it absorbs liquid and gets heavier. As your baby squeezes the sponge, they will see drops or streams of water flowing out. They can also learn about wet versus dry by touching both sides of the sponge before and after filling it with water.
Playing with sensory bottles
Sensory bottles can help engage your one-year-old’s senses and promote exploration. These sensory bottles often contain glitter, water, oil, beads and other objects that babies can move around inside the bottle. A sensory bottle is an easy craft for parents to make at home. Simply fill it with different things of varying shapes and sizes, then seal the top securely.
Your toddler will be fascinated by all the different things they can observe and manipulate within their sensory bottle. They will learn about properties such as texture, color, shape and size as they explore what’s inside the bottle.
Working on puzzles
Puzzles are a great sensory activity for 1-year-olds. They can help develop hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and fine motor skills as your baby pieces them together.
Puzzles that contain large, colorful pieces with simple shapes, such as circles or squares, are ideal for this age group. Puzzles with 6 to 10 pieces encourage your child to focus on the task at hand but aren’t so complicated that they become frustrated. As their abilities progress, you can gradually increase the number of puzzle pieces for a more challenging experience.
Playing with blocks is an effective sensory activity for 1-year-olds. It helps babies learn about colors, shapes and sizes while also developing problem-solving skills.
Choose bright and colourful blocks with varied shapes, sizes and textures for the best sensory experience. Introduce your baby to different ways of stacking and sorting the blocks, such as by size or color. Place the blocks in a sensory bin filled with water, sand or anything else to keep things interesting!
Reading books is a great way to stimulate sensory development in 1-year-olds. Books allow them to explore new words and sounds while also introducing them to different cultures, characters and concepts. Read simple stories with many illustrations that your toddler can look at as you tell the story together. Ask questions about the pictures, and make sure to point out items you think they will find interesting.
Reading books with your 1-year-old can help foster a love of reading, improve language and communication skills, and increase their cognitive development. So grab a book and start exploring!
Playing sensory games
Sensory games are an interactive way to engage and entertain your one year old. These sensory activities involve movement and sound, which can help stimulate their senses while providing a fun learning experience. You can play sensory games like peek-a-boo or “pat-a-cake” with your baby to help them learn about cause and effect and encourage their visual and auditory skills.
Listening to music
Listening to music is an excellent sensory activity for 1-year-olds. Music allows them to explore different sounds, tempos, rhythms and melodies. Playing soothing lullabies before naps or bedtime can help calm your child down while more upbeat tunes will get them up on their feet and ready to dance.
Playing an assortment of music can help your baby discover how different sounds interact and provide a sensory experience that lasts a lifetime. So don’t be afraid to break out the instruments, grab some CDs or turn on the radio for your toddler!
Exploring sensory bags
Sensory bags allow babies to explore different textures without any mess or fuss. Fill a large resealable plastic bag with sand, feathers, cotton balls, water beads and other materials. Then seal the top securely so that nothing slips out or gets lost in transit. Your baby will have fun feeling all the different objects within the sensory bag and discovering what they do.
Playing games outdoors
Playing outdoors is an important sensory activity for 1-year-olds as it helps babies engage all their senses in the natural environment. Go on nature walks with your toddler and encourage them to explore the sights, smells and sounds of nature. Give them objects like pinecones or rocks that they can touch and examine. Let your baby explore a garden or park while looking out for butterflies, ducks or other animals.
Finger painting provides babies with a sensory-rich experience. It’s also an enjoyable way to promote artistic expression and creativity. Use washable, non-toxic paints and provide your baby with newspapers or old sheets to keep the mess contained. Let them explore the colors, textures and smells of the paint as they finger paint away.
Sensory activities for 1-year-olds are essential for their growth and development. By incorporating these sensory activities into your child’s everyday routine, you can help them explore their world in new ways while having fun at the same time!
Here at Young Scholars Academy, we aim to create an engaging learning environment, filled with meaningful fun activities that create such big memories, your kids will happily remember throughout the years! We pride ourselves in the quality of our establishment and maintain an environment that is clean, safe and loving for all. Our classrooms provide every child a place where they can explore, discover and enjoy learning through kinesthetic experiences. Visit us to learn more!