So I actually have two 12 month old twins, a girl and a boy, who are the light of our lives. But they are also super busy!! They are curious and energetic and love to explore and that is soo amazing!
They are also amazing at playing independently for short periods of time. I have set aside a play area that is closed off and is safe and I filled it with all their favourite toys. When I need a break or need to finish up a few (or a lot!) of dishes I will place them in there and know that they are safe.
I would recommend to anyone who is struggling to get things done with a baby around to set up a similar type of area for safe solo play for short periods of time.
This type of safe play area is also a great alternative to screen time for little ones. Now, I am not advocating for no screens, if it works for your family than more power to you! But if you are looking for a way to avoid using them try setting up this type of play area for your little one.
Now, my twins do not always like being in there, and they will complain, but they are safe and it allows me to get the things done that need to get done so that our home runs smoothly.
In addition to solo playtime I also do 9 other things with my 12 month old twins everyday that they love and that help to make our day go by smoother!
Here is my list easy things to do with your 12 month old!
1. Play with a Ball
Whether its playing with a rubber ball or a toy that has balls or a ball pit, ball play is a fun and engaging activity all babies will love.
Grab a ball and sit in front of your baby. Pass the ball to them and then show them how to pass it back to you. I create a little triangle with my 12 month old twins and we pass the ball back and forth. When the ball gets tossed out I encourage them to go and grab it!
2. Play with Blocks
Playing with blocks is a great brain building activity that will foster problem solving, hand eye coordination, fine motor skills and more! Whether you are playing with Mega Bloks, wooden blocks or soft blocks, spending a few minutes of each day building with your little one is a great way to keep them occupied.
Count anything! Absolutely anything at all. We will count stairs, birds in a book or peas on their tray.
Reading a story is a great way to change your little one’s mood fast. I like to read when things are getting a bit nuts in our house, when they are cranky or when I need things to quiet down. I keep a basket of books in the family room so that my 12 month olds can choose a book to look at anytime.
5. Sing a Song
I generally like to sing to my twins. Most days you will find me singing to them while changing diapers or brushing teeth as a way to help keep them happy. So my little guys love music. I will put on a children’s CD or children’s music on our music streaming service after dinner in order to avoid turning on the TV.
Need I say more. Sometimes a little snuggle from you is all they need to start playing on their own again!
7. Sensory Play
Whether its playing with cereal, oats or peas, I always have a sensory bin on the go for my 12 month old babies. It is always simple and taste safe. Add a few toys like animals or stacking cups and you have a great sensory play activity.
8. Play Peekaboo
Playing peekaboo with toys or yourself is another great game my 12 month olds love. It does not matter what they are doing my twins will stop and giggle whenever mommy plays peekaboo with them.