15 (More) Independent Activities for One-Year-Olds

My first post on 15 Independent Activities for One-Year-Olds has been the most popular post on Imperfect Homemaker.  I figure there must be lots of other moms who are in the same boat that I am and need something that will occupy their little ones for a while!  I decided to round up some more ideas for all of us that are age-appropriate for one-year-olds and can be done independently by the child.

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101 Independent Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Note:  If you click a picture or the link under the pictures, you will be taken to the blog where these ideas originated from.  If you’d like to pin a specific picture, please pin from the blog where the idea was originally posted.

Here goes!

ball play

1. Playing with balls of various textures
household articles

2. Exploring household articles
Sticky Table 3. Sticky Table Musical Pots 4. Musical Pots Cardboard Tunnel  5. Cardboard box tunnel         Felt Board 6. Felt board play Homemade Drum 7. Homemade Drum Busy Board 8. Homemade Busy BoardPom pom tube

9. Pom poms and cardboard tubes (if this activity is going to be unsupervised, I think it would be best to replicate this idea with larger sized balls that won’t fit into the child’s mouth.)

Connect Four

10. Connect Four (without the rules of course!)

Water painting

11. Water Painting

Emptying baskets

12. Emptying baskets

 jars and lids

13. Jars and lids

ball pit

14. Homemade ball pit

Toys for one-year-olds

15. Toys!  There are lots of toys that you can buy that are educational, and you don’t have to take the time to make anything.  Here’s my list of 10 toys for one-year olds.

What activities do you use for your little ones when you need them to play by themselves?

Also See:

Additional activities:



oneyear-old toys

The ultimate resource:

Kids play at day care. Two toddler children build tower of colorful wooden blocks. Child playing with toy train. Educational toys for preschool and kindergarten.

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  1. AAA! Thank you so much for this list! I have a busy one-year-old that seems bored with his current toys. I don’t want to go out and buy a bunch of stuff, when I know we have things at home he would love to play with. Just needed some new ideas. Great list!

  2. Thanks for including our activity and photo on your round-up. I wish you were also giving proper photo/pinterest credit.

    • Heather, I think this is such a great idea for little ones! I can’t disable my “pin it” button on a specific photo, which is why I purposely linked not only the text but also the large photo directly to each blogger’s post. I didn’t pull this from pinterest – just from good old Google, so I didn’t know where to even find a pinterest link. I definitely encourage readers to pin from the original site, but if you’d rather we not use your photo I understand. Or if you have any other suggestions or would like to watermark your photo that would be great as well! I’m totally not trying to cause problems! 🙂

  3. Awesome!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, I just found your blog via Pinterest. 🙂

  4. My daughter LOVES playing with magnets

  5. I put different amounts of rice or noodles in small containers and then i turn on some kids music and we drance and shake the containers. My son loves doing that alot not only does it keep him happy for a while its a great work out for me as well 🙂

  6. love the pom-pom and the tube idea! i so wish i had discovered this when my kids were this age. One thought I had is to use cheerios, gold-fish or kix cereal, and then you don’t have to worry about them eating pom-poms.

  7. Hi there!
    I find this post so inspirational and will try to do a few of them soon! Started with the cardboard tubes and pom poms though. My lo loves it! 🙂



  1. […] my elbows in supper preparation while simultaneously trying to extract my legs from the grip of my one-year-old.  I’ve got to keep working if I’m going to get finished up and get everybody […]

  2. […] I’m always looking for new things to introduce him to. That’s why I love this post by MaryEllen at Imperfect Homemaker. It has a great list of activities for one year olds that will increase their independence. […]

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