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indoor activities for one year olds

These past couple weeks have been so cold and windy. It’s miserable to be outside. When the weather is nice, we like to get out of the house to go for walks around the neighborhood, go to the park, etc. because it wears Hazel out and helps her to nap extra good. But with this weather, we’ve been cooped up inside more, so I’ve been trying to have fun activities for us to do indoors each day. Below are 10 of our favorite indoor activities. Perfect for kids 12-24 months.

10 indoor activities for 1 year old

  • Build a Fort: What child doesn’t love a fort?! Build a fort out of your chairs or just throw a big blanket over your dining table. Let your child bring in their favorite toys. A fort is great for your child’s imagination. In their mind, they could be in a mermaid cave or in a rocket ship to the moon. When we’re in our fort, Hazel thinks its secretive and cool, and likes to whisper. It’s the cutest!

  • Indoor Bowling: Stack plastic cups on one side of the room and give your child a ball to roll to the cups and knock them over. This is the perfect activity to do in a hall way or use pool noodles/wrapping paper to act as a guide. Having something to help guide your child/the ball will lead to greater success for your child. You can also have your child help you stack the cups each time, you can count the cups, and start the conversation of math by talking about how many cups were knocked down and how many are left up. I know this seems early to talk to a one year old about, but being around those concepts at a younger age will help when they’re older, and it helps to get you (the parent) in to habit of looking for those learning opportunities.

  • Shaving Cream in the High Chair: High chairs can be used for more than just meal time. Place your child in the high chair and squirt foaming shaving cream on the tray. Add some drops of food coloring so they can see what happens when the colors get mixed together. If you are worried about using shaving cream, you can also you the spray whip cream.

easy indoor activities for 1 year olds

  • Stainer and Pipe Cleaners: Develop you child’d fine motor skills by giving them your kitchen strainer and colorful pipe cleaners to place in the holes. It’s also a great time to talk about what each color is to help them learn their colors. To add another layer of fun to it, give your child fruit loops to place on the pipe cleaners.

  • No Mess Painting: Water, a paint brush, and cardboard is a great way to let your child “paint” without making a colorful mess of your house.

  • Pretend to be Animals: Acting out the different types of animals is a fun way for your child to learn their animals and animal sounds. We “fly” around the house, flapping our wings like birds, and bang our chest like a gorilla. Hazel thinks it’s so fun!

  • Indoor Sandbox (without the sand): Fill a rubber made tub with beans, give your child a few scoopers and toys, and let them play! They will have fun scooping up the beans, pouring them out, and even climbing in the tub themselves.

indoor activities for 1 year olds

  • Sticky Art: Tape contact paper to your wall (sticky side out), and give your child supplies to stick to the paper. You can raid your craft supplies or gather leaves, sticks, and flowers from outside. Your child will have so much for creating one-of-a-kind art. Hazel likes to put objects on the contact paper and then take them off and put them on again and so on. Developmentally, children must take things apart before they learn to put things together, so let your child do as they please with this activity. Hazel also thought it was really fun to put the contact paper on the floor and run across the sticky contact paper with her bare feet. If you’d like to save your child sticky art creation, you can place a piece of paper over the objects and fold the contact paper in half so that the front and back of the paper are covered in contact paper and it preserves your child’s art. 

  • Magnets (on your fridge or cookie sheet): We only bring our magnets out on occasion to keep them more exciting and fun. If you have a stainless steal fridge that magnets don’t stick to, your child will have just as much fun playing with magnets on a cookie sheet.

fun indoor activities for 1 year olds

  • Dance Party: Turn up the music and dance. Let your child twirl, get dizzy, and fall down. It’s a big part of a child’s development to be able to get dizzy and bring themselves back to center.

I hope your kids enjoy these activities! If you have any other ideas, leave them in the comments below. Hazel and I are always looking for fun things to do 🙂

XO, Kacie

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