Ask Ginger: Activities for One Year Olds
Feb 03

Ask Ginger: Activities for One Year Olds

By Let's Move Pittsburgh

You've got questions ... we’ve got answers! Email your queries about healthy foods, physical activity and screen time for kids and Ginger will answer them here on the Phipps blog.

Q: I have a one year old son and a lot of the activities you suggest are for older children. Do you have any suggestions for activities for younger children to keep them active throughout the day? (Alice, Squirrel Hill)

A: Great question! At one year of age, children are moving, exploring and learning every day! According to the Center for Disease Control, one year olds will show greater independence, recognize themselves in pictures or a mirror, and imitate the behavior of others, especially adults and older children. They should also be able to recognize the names of familiar people and objects, form simple phrases and sentences, and follow simple instructions and directions.1 With their new found independence and curiosity it is important to keep your child active and involved with a variety of activities and games. Some examples could include:

  • Make drums from household items2
  • Make an obstacle course from a play tunnel or cardboard boxes3
  • Play house or other imaginative play games
  • Let kids play with their food! Put rice cereal on a baking sheet and let them write in it with their fingers2
  • Give them items to count or sort
  • Buy a ball pit and let them jump around and play3

If you want to get crafty, try these more detailed ideas below:

At this age, playing with your child is easy! Something as simple as hide and seek or counting is fun for your child and helping him/her develop. Create games with household items and be imaginative! The more you let your child play and explore the more they are developing skills to be an active and social toddler.


1 Center for Disease Control: Child Development
2 Parents: 11 Fun Activities for 1-Year-Olds
3 Kids Activities Blog: 30+ 1 Year Old Activities