100+ No-Prep Indoor Activities for 1 Year Olds

Here is a list of 100+ no-prep and low-prep activities you can easily do at home with your 1 year old.

And checkout my short form crafting series on TVOkids and TVOkids YouTube! Watch all the episodes all here.

No-Prep Activities

Looking for more easy ideas? I am currently developing a new Toddler Homeschool Curriculum called Play2Learn Toddler Homeschool Program. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter for more information plus giveaways and the release date!

Here is list of super easy no-prep ideas to do with your 1 year old at home:

Low-prep sensory bags & mess-free painting

45+ Sensory Bags is a list of low prep sensory bags and mess free painting ideas that your 1 year old can do.

Low-prep sensory bins

15+ Sensory Bins is a list of low prep sensory bins that are fun and safe for for 1 year olds.

Good sensory bin fillers for 1 year olds are green peas, corn, water, ice. Check out the post for more easy ideas.

Low-prep contact paper activities

Contact Paper is a a self-adhesive semi translucent sheets that you can stick up on your wall with painters tape or masking tape to create what is called a Sticky Wall! If you want to know more about how to use contact paper for activities check out this post.

Here are a few ideas of low-prep contact paper activities for 1 year olds:

No-prep discovery baskets

Discovery baskets are a super easy no prep way to entertain your 1 year old. And there are a million ways to create them for your baby using the things you already have in your home.

Check out these posts for ideas:

  1. How to Create Montessori Baby Discovery Baskets – Mama Happy Hive
  2. Discovery Basket Ideas – How We Montessori
  3. Discovery Baskets for 1 year olds – Mama.Papa.Bubba
  4. 12 Super Easy Discovery Basket Ideas -Mama Meganallysa

Play Dough and Your 1 year old

The recommended age for play dough is 2 year olds, however, I let my 20 month twins play with homemade play dough. Use your best judgement when playing with play dough. It may not be appropriate for your 12 month old but by 20 months your baby may be ready to start playing with it. Again as a parent you know what’s best for your child – use YOUR best judgement as when and if to introduce play dough to your 1 year old.

Check out this post from Mama.Papa.Bubba for a baby safe play dough recipe – Baby Play Dough.

If you don’t have time to make baby safe play dough you can place regular play dough in a sensory bag and let your little on play with it that way!

When playing with play dough provide tools and loose parts that aren’t choking hazards. With play dough adult supervision is required at all times when your 1 year old is playing

Here are some easy loose parts your little one can use with play dough:

  • Puzzle pieces
  • Cars
  • Rocks
  • Sticks
  • Duplo
  • Pasta Shells
  • Toy Bugs
  • Toy Trees
  • Leaves

Check out this post for introducing loose parts to 1 year olds How to Introduce Loose Parts With Infants and Toddlers – Fairy Dust Teaching.

Mini Play Dough Aquariums – Happy Toddler Playtime

More No Prep Ideas for 1 Year Olds:

Peekaboo Boxes – Our Bold Mere Home

Easy Indoor Gross Motor – My Baby Plays

Easy Cereal Transfer – My Baby Plays

Mega Blok Rescue – Baby Belle Fun

Feed and Wash the Animals – Mama and Cub Play

Fruit Sensory Water Play – Creative_Cubs

Check out My Books, TV Show & Play Kits!

Book: Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids

Did you know I wrote a book of sensory bins? Click here for more information Exciting Sensory Bin for Curious Kids. Or grab your copy at Amazon

Boring afternoons are made exciting with awesome animal-based bins, like Salty Shark Bay or Yarn Farm. Pretend play bins like Birthday Cake Sensory Play or Bubble Tea Party encourage creativity and imagination. And your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re getting smarter with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities like Sink or Float Soup, Magnetic Letter Hunt or Ice Cream Scoop and Count.

Book: Super STEAM Activity Book for Kids

Learning all about science, technology, engineering, art, and math sets kids up for scholastic success―and it can be so much fun! Watch kids enjoy building STEAM skills as they color friendly fish, help water find its way to tree roots, solve math problems with mazes, and more. 

TV Show: Curious Crafting

I’m so excited to finally share my new crafting TV show CURIOUS CRAFTING which launched July 1 at on TVOkids and TVOkids YouTube!

This show is all about fun and easy crafts for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Set in the ultimate crafting space, Curious Crafting is a short form pre-school age series about the joy of making crafts. I lead a rotating cast of adorable little preschoolers (including my own) making magic out of common household objects.

In each episode we transform recycled items into magical crafts like a milk carton school bus, paper bag puppet or cotton pad turtle. The crafters learn and laugh their way through each activity while demonstrating what their young imaginations can create. 

Curious Crafting shares the adventure and joy of making art with takeaway lessons for creating crafts at home.

Book: Big Book of Riddles for Kids – coming out September 27, 2022

Book: STEAM Crafts for Kids – coming out November 29, 2022

The Best Sensory Play Kits for Kids

Play is at the core of learning during the early years and it can take many forms. One of the most important of these is sensory play because it engages all of a child’s senses (taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing) and has a enoumous positive impact on brain development.

Our Sensory Play Kits are some fun and easy ways to keep your child engaged while at the same time using sensory play to nurture their mind!

Shop our ready made play kits here.


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