Baby Photograph

Activities to Support Healthy Brain Development

For 1-Year-Olds

  • Collect several sponges of different sizes.  Show your toddler how the dry sponge floats, and then fills up with water. Invite the child to pick up the sponge and ask “Where is the water?” Show them how to squeeze the sponge for the water to come out. If you are giving a bubble bath, this sponge will make bubbles too.
  • Using the song, “If you’re happy and you know it”, fill in the blanks with parts of the body, like touch your head, or touch your nose. Sing the song for your toddler and help him follow each step.
  • Use 3-4 piece knob puzzles to help your toddler take the pieces out and try to fit it back into the base. Point out the pictures on the base.
  • Put out a large inflatable plastic ring and put a few toys in the middle.  Encourage your toddler to climb into the tube to play with the toys.
  • Set out a large box or laundry basket to make a car and encourage your toddler to take their favorite toys and push them in it. Don’t be surprised if they want to climb in and get a ride also!
  • Make a box to look like a barn. Add plastic animals in the box and show him each animal as you name it. “Here is a cow.  Can you say cow?” Then ask the child to find each animal as you ask for the name.
  • Create a book area for your toddler using board, cloth, plastic, and other sturdy books. Use a rug or some pillows to make a cozy area.
  • Create story boxes out of shoeboxes to include a book and some toys that relate to that book. Use these to reinforce learning with the book.
  • Set out baskets with different types of toys in each one, such as animals, cars, and blocks. As you toddler explores the baskets, help him name each item, and talk about the item. “The car says vroom! The blocks stack high!”
  • Hide some familiar objects around the room, and walk with your toddler trying to help them locate the objects. Name each object as you search for it.
  •  Record your child’s voice making sounds or basic words and let him hear the way it sounds played back.
  • Put a spoon and napkin out for mealtimes with your toddler. Offer gelatin cubes and help put a cube on the spoon. Point out how the jello jiggles on the spoon and encourage your toddler to try to eat it from the spoon.
  • invite other trusted adults to read stories with your child.
  • Using a child sized table with a washable surface, put a small amount of washable paint directly on the table and then cover the whole table with plastic wrap. Allow your toddler to “Paint” by moving his hands around the plastic wrap.
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