Congratulations on reaching this exciting milestone of parenting—a curious and active one year old! If you’re looking for ways to engage, stimulate, and entertain your little one, then sensory activities are your go-to solution. Keep reading to discover why these activities are so beneficial and some fantastic ideas to try at home.
Sensory play activities are interactive tasks designed to engage a child’s senses—sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing. They not only entertain but also educate, laying the foundation for various cognitive and motor skills. From squishy mud pies to colorful sensory bottles, these activities open a world of joy and learning for your child.
Sensory activities are more than just a way to keep your one year old busy; they serve as an essential tool for their overall development. Here are some of the incredible benefits of incorporating sensory activities for 1 year olds into your child’s daily routine.
Cognitive Development: By encouraging your child to explore various textures, colors, and sounds, sensory activities boost cognitive growth. They help improve memory, attention, and problem-solving skills, laying the groundwork for later academic success.
Motor Skills Development: Fine and gross motor skills are honed when your one year old grasps, pinches, or stacks objects. Whether it’s picking up water beads or squishing playdough, these activities provide ample opportunity to refine motor abilities.
Enhanced Emotional Regulation: Sensory activities allow one year olds to experience a range of emotional responses in a controlled environment. They learn how to manage feelings of excitement, frustration, or joy, which contributes to better emotional regulation as they grow.
Improved Social Skills: When engaging in sensory activities like group painting or sharing a sensory bin, your child learns essential social skills. These can include sharing, taking turns, and effective communication—skills that are beneficial in nursery and beyond.
Increases Attention Span: The various sensory inputs maintain a child’s interest longer than other types of play, fostering an enhanced ability to concentrate. This can be particularly beneficial in preparing them for more structured learning environments in the future.
So, from emotional regulation to cognitive and motor skill development, sensory activities offer a host of invaluable benefits for one year olds. Why not start incorporating some into your child’s daily routine?
As your child hits the one year mark, you’ll be amazed at how quickly they’re growing and learning. This is the perfect time to introduce sensory activities for 12 month old toddlers to boost their cognitive and physical development. Here’s a roundup of ten fabulous activities you can easily set up at home.
Lay down different textured materials like bubble wrap, carpet, and tin foil on the floor. Let your little one walk or crawl over them to feel the various textures.
Use colored balls and matching colored containers for a simple sorting game. This helps in recognizing colors and honing fine motor skills.
Make your playdough with different scents using extracts like vanilla, lemon, or even spices like cinnamon. It’s a fun way for your 12 month old to explore different smells.
Create flashcards of different animals and make the corresponding sounds. This is an excellent activity for auditory discrimination.
Gather household items like spoons, pots, and a shaker to create simple musical instruments. Allow your child to explore different sounds.
Use crushed graham crackers or biscuits to make edible sand. Provide cups and spoons for scooping and pouring for tactile fun.
Let your child feel the soft sensation of feathers by gently brushing them on their arms, legs, and face. It’s an easy and soothing tactile experience.
Place different fabrics in a box and play peek-a-boo. Encourage your child to feel each fabric and talk about its texture, making it a multi-sensory activity.
Set up a safe mirror at your child’s level. Make faces or play peek-a-boo, encouraging self-recognition and emotional development.
Set up a small station with cups and bowls filled with water. Show your child how to pour water from one container to another. It’s a great way to develop coordination and enjoy water play.
So there you have it! Ten easy-to-set-up sensory activities for 12 month old toddlers that not only engage but also contribute to their all-around development.
Embrace the mess and let your child dive into the wonders of sensory play! Messy play is a cornerstone of sensory exploration and provides endless opportunities for tactile experiences. Below are ten DIY sensory activities that are as easy to set up as they are fun to explore.
Lay out some non-toxic paint and paper, and let your little one go to town with their fingers. This activity enhances creativity while being a sensory delight.
Create oobleck with just cornstarch and water for a fascinating lesson in fluid dynamics. This easy sensory activity is safe and fun to poke, stir, and even walk on!
Mix flour and baby oil to make soft, moldable cloud dough. This is great for squishing and molding and makes for a wonderful tactile experience.
Cook spaghetti noodles and let them cool. Add a bit of food coloring, and you’ve got yourself some squishy worms for your child to play with.
Spread a plastic sheet and spray some whipped cream on it. Let your child swirl, dab, and even taste this delightful treat.
Take some garden soil and water, and you’ve got yourself a natural mud pit. Perfect for digging, scooping, and generally getting messy.
Colored rice in a bin with some scoops and small toys makes for hours of sensory fun. It’s an easy sensory activity that can be set up in no time.
Freeze colored water in an ice tray and let your child paint with the melting cubes. It’s a beautiful mess that’s incredibly engaging.
Fill a small container with jelly and hide some small toys within. Your little one can dig them out, experiencing the strange and compelling texture of jelly.
Add some food coloring and essential oils to shaving foam for a fragrant and colorful sensory experience.
Indulging in these DIY sensory activities with your child not only makes for an engaging playtime but also stimulates their sensory development in a multitude of ways. The best part is that these are easy sensory activities that you can set up with everyday household items. So, why not roll up your sleeves and get messy?
If you’re looking for mess-free options that still engage your little one’s senses, sensory bottles are the way to go. These fun sensory activities are perfect for tiny hands to shake, roll, and observe. Here are some ideas for sensory bottles that are specially designed for one year olds.
Fill a bottle with water and add some glitter and a drop of food coloring. Seal the bottle tightly and let your child shake it to see the swirling glitter.
Combine water and blue food coloring in a bottle, adding small sea creature toys or shells. Watch your child’s amazement as they hold the ocean in their hands.
Take colored rice and layer it in different colors in a clear bottle. It’s a visual treat as well as a noisemaker when shaken, providing multi-sensory stimulation.
Collect twigs, leaves, and flowers to place in a bottle filled with water. This allows your child to explore natural textures and colors safely.
Fill a bottle with colorful pom-poms and tiny beads. Your child can roll or shake the bottle to move the pom-poms around, providing both visual and auditory stimulation.
These sensory bottle activities are not just fun sensory activities; they are also incredibly versatile and educational. You’ll love watching your one year old explore, shake, and become fascinated with the world in a bottle!
Sensory bags offer a squishy and safe avenue for little explorers to experience various textures and materials. These zip-lock wonders are perfect for tactile fun without the mess, providing an ideal sensory playground for your 1 year old.
Fill a zip-lock bag with hair gel and add some water beads or marbles. Seal the bag and tape it to a window or table. Your child will have a blast pushing the beads around through the gel.
Put different colors of non-toxic paint in a zip-lock bag and seal it tight. Your child can then squish the colors together, creating new shades and patterns in a mess-free way.
Fill a bag with water and add foam letters or numbers. Your little one can push the letters around in the water, making it a fun and educational sensory activity.
Sensory bags are fantastic for on-the-go or at-home play. Easy to make and easier to clean up, they’re the perfect choice for busy parents and curious one year olds alike.
Water activities are a splash hit with one year olds for a reason! Not only do they offer endless opportunities for sensory exploration, but they’re also perfect for hot summer days or indoor fun. Here’s a list of refreshing water-based sensory activities to get those little hands splashing and learning.
Fill a tub with water and add various objects that float and sink. Let your child explore what stays on top and what goes under.
Put small toys in an ice tray, fill it with water, and freeze. Let your child use warm water to melt the ice and free the toys.
Create a small water channel and let rubber ducks float down. Your child will love to watch and even try to race them.
Give your child a brush and a cup of water to “paint” on a sidewalk or fence. As the water dries, the painting will disappear, ready for another masterpiece.
Provide different sizes of sponges and buckets. Show how to squeeze water out of the sponge into the buckets and transfer it back and forth.
Add some small toy fish to a water tub and give your child a small net to catch them with.
Non-toxic water beads provide a wonderful sensory experience. Add them to water and let your child scoop, pour, and feel them.
Whip up some soap foam and fill a bin. Add spoons and cups for endless scooping and molding fun.
If it’s raining, set up a bucket to catch the rainwater. Your child will be fascinated by the dripping sound and the slowly filling bucket.
Create a waterfall using a pegboard, funnels, and tubes. Your child can pour water at the top and watch it make its way down.
Water sensory activities are not only enjoyable but also offer a multitude of learning experiences for your one year old. So, roll up those sleeves and dive into some water-filled fun!
Sensory activities are a fantastic way to stimulate your child’s development, but it’s important to approach them in the right way. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable sensory play experience for your 1 year old.
Especially with activities involving small objects or water, constant supervision is crucial. Never leave your child unattended during sensory playtime.
Before introducing a new material, especially food-based items like dough or edible paint, test for allergies by applying a small amount on your child’s skin.
Make sure to establish some ground rules to keep the play safe. For example, food used in sensory bins should not be eaten, and water activities should stay within a designated area.
After messy play, ensure that the area is thoroughly cleaned to avoid any slipping hazards or ingestion of materials.
By following these tips, you’ll make sensory play a positive and enriching experience for both you and your little one. Happy playing!
You can start as early as a few months old, but tailor the activities to your child’s developmental stage.
Aversion to certain textures, extreme reactions to sounds, and difficulty with balance can be early indicators.
While sensory issues can be a symptom of autism, they are not a definitive sign.
In some cases, sensory issues may contribute to speech delays, but they are not a direct cause.
Sensory play is more than just a fun pastime—it’s a vital aspect of your child’s development. Through various textures, sounds, and interactive experiences, your one year old learns about their world and their place within it. From messy play to water activities, and from sensory bags to sensory bottles, there are endless ways to engage your child’s senses. As a parent, embracing these moments not only provides your child with valuable learning experiences but also allows you to bond and create cherished memories. So roll up your sleeves, prepare to get a little messy, and most importantly, have fun exploring the world of sensory activities with your little one. Happy playing!
This post was last modified on September 5, 2023 1:15 pm
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