Play Ideas for 12 Month Old: Fun and Engaging Activities for Your Little One



Play Ideas for 12 Month Old: Fun and Engaging Activities for Your Little One

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Are you a new parent looking for fun and engaging play ideas for 12 month old little ones? Look no further! There are many simple and creative activities you can do with your little one that will help them develop important skills while having fun at the same time.

Musical play is a great way to engage your 12-month-old’s senses and promote their cognitive development. You can sing songs, play simple instruments like shakers or drums, or dance together to your favorite tunes. Interactive play is also important for your child’s social and emotional development.

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You can play games like peek-a-boo, pat-a-cake, or hide-and-seek to help your little one learn about cause and effect and develop their sense of humor.

Another important aspect of play for 12-month-olds is motor skills development. Encourage your child to crawl, walk, and climb to help them develop their gross motor skills. You can also provide them with toys that promote fine motor skills, such as stacking blocks or shape sorters.

Sensory play is also important for your child’s cognitive development. You can create sensory bins filled with materials like rice or beans, or let your child play with different textures like playdough or finger paint.

Play Ideas for 12 Month Old: Key Takeaways

Musical Play Ideas for 12 Month Old

At 12 months old, your baby is likely starting to show an interest in music and sounds. Incorporating musical play into your daily routine can help develop their cognitive, language, and social skills. Here are some fun musical play ideas for your little one.

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Using Toys for Music

Toys that make noise or play music can be a great way to introduce your baby to different sounds and rhythms. Here are some ideas for using toys for musical play:

  • Musical instruments: Give your baby a toy drum, xylophone, or maracas to play with. Encourage them to explore the different sounds they can make by hitting the drum or shaking the maracas.

  • Toy piano or keyboard: A toy piano or keyboard can be a fun way for your baby to experiment with different notes and sounds. Show them how to press the keys to make a sound, and encourage them to try it themselves.Also great for hand eye coordination

  • Singing toys: There are many toys available that sing songs or play music when you press a button. These can be a great way to introduce your baby to different songs and melodies.

  • Dancing toys: Some toys, like stuffed animals or dolls, are designed to dance or move to music. Encourage your baby to dance along with the toy, or hold the toy and dance together.

Singing and Movement

Singing and movement can be a fun way to incorporate music into your baby’s playtime. Here are some ideas:

  • Nursery rhymes: Singing nursery rhymes is a great way to introduce your baby to different songs and rhythms. Try singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

  • Freeze dance: Play music and encourage your baby to dance along. When you pause the music, say “freeze!” and see if your baby can stop moving. This is a fun way to work on listening skills and following directions.

  • Musical chairs: Set up some chairs and play music. When the music stops, everyone has to find a chair to sit in. This is a fun game to play with older siblings or friends.

Incorporating musical play into your baby’s routine can be a fun and educational way to help them develop important skills. Try some of these ideas and see which ones your baby enjoys the most!

Interactive Play Ideas for 12 Month Old

Playing with your 12-month-old can be a lot of fun and is also an important part of their development. Interactive play is a great way to engage with your little one and help them learn new skills. Here are some interactive play ideas that you can try with your 12-month-old:

Dolls and Teddies Play

Playing with dolls and teddies is a great way to encourage your 12-month-old’s social skills. You can use pretend play with dolls and teddies to teach your little one about emotions and feelings.

For example, you can show your child how to give a teddy a hug or a kiss, or how to comfort a crying doll. You can also use dolls and teddies to teach your child about body parts. For example, you can point to the doll’s nose and ask your child to do the same.

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High Chair Games

High chair games are a great way to keep your 12-month-old entertained while you are preparing their meal. You can play peek-a-boo with your child by hiding behind a towel or a piece of paper and then revealing yourself.

You can also blow bubbles and watch your child try to catch them. Another fun game to play is to give your child a spoon and a bowl and let them practice scooping and pouring.

Remember, interactive play is all about having fun with your 12-month-old and helping them learn new skills. Use your imagination and have fun!

Fine and Gross Motor Skills Development Play Ideas

At 12 months old, your little one is developing their motor skills at a rapid pace. Simple play activities can help them improve their movement, balance, and physical development. Here are some ideas for playtime that will help develop your child’s motor skills.

Hand and Finger Play for Fine Motor Skills

Playing with small objects can help develop hand and finger coordination. Try giving your child a set of blocks or stacking cups to play with. Putting in and taking out toys are also great for fine motor skill development.

Encourage them to stack the blocks cardboard boxes or cups on top of each other. You can also play simple games with your child, such as “pat-a-cake” or “itsy-bitsy spider,” which involve hand and finger movements.

Ride On Toys and Balance Bikes

Ride-on toys and balance bikes provide essential benefits for the development of gross motor skills in children. Riding these toys requires coordination, balance, and control, which in turn strengthens core muscles and improves overall physical stability.

As children propel themselves forward, they enhance their leg strength and fine-tune their ability to navigate their environment, setting the foundation for more complex physical activities and fostering healthy gross motor skill development.

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Play Mats, Tummy Time Toys and Baby Walkers for Younger Babies

Play mats, tummy time toys, and baby walkers offer significant benefits for the gross motor skill development of younger babies. Play mats provide a safe and comfortable space for babies to explore and practice rolling, reaching, and eventually crawling, promoting overall body movement.

Tummy time toys encourage babies to lift their heads and strengthen neck muscles, crucial for later skills like sitting and crawling. Baby walkers, when used under supervision, can support babies in developing leg strength and coordination as they begin to bear weight and take their first steps, fostering early mobility and gross motor skills.

Cognitive Skills and Language Skills

Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes play a significant role in fostering speech and language development in children. The rhythmic patterns, repetitive sounds, and melodic structure of these rhymes create an engaging auditory experience that captures a child’s attention and encourages them to imitate sounds and words.

Singing nursery rhymes helps children learn about phonetics, intonation, and pronunciation, which are essential for clear speech. Additionally, the use of rhyming words in these verses enhances vocabulary and comprehension skills, laying a strong foundation for effective communication and language acquisition.

Stacking and Sorting Toys

Stacking and sorting toys offer valuable cognitive benefits to children. As kids manipulate and arrange objects based on size, shape, or color, they engage in critical thinking and problem-solving, honing their spatial awareness and logical reasoning.

These activities also promote hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, as children carefully place each piece. Furthermore, stacking and sorting toys encourage attention and focus, fostering patience and persistence as kids experiment and achieve various arrangements, enhancing their overall cognitive development.

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Counting and Problem-Solving Games

As your child approaches their second year, they will start to develop problem-solving skills. Counting games can help with this development. Try counting objects with your child, such as blocks or toys. You can also play simple matching games, such as matching socks or identifying colors.

Other Play Ideas for 12 Month Old

Other active play ideas that can help develop your child’s motor skills include:

  • Playing with balls

  • Crawling through tunnels

  • Walking on uneven surfaces

  • Dancing to music

  • Playing with bubbles

Remember to always supervise your child during playtime, especially when they are playing with small objects or climbing on objects. With these simple play activities, you can help your child develop their motor skills while having so much fun together.

Sensory Play Ideas for 12 Month Old

At 12 months old, your little one is growing and developing at an incredible rate. Sensory play is a great way to help your child learn and explore their senses while having fun. Here are some sensory play ideas that your 12-month-old will love.

One-year-olds are curious and love to explore their surroundings. Sensory activities are a great way to engage their senses and promote their development. Here are some fun and easy sensory activities for your little one.

Top pick

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Made By Me-Explore & Create Sensory Bin

These vibrant sensory kits come in a range of themes and include everything you need to create an exciting sensory experience for your little one- even a case to pack everything back in to!


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Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table

Complete with accessories, this water table provides ample opportunity for sensory fun as well as STEM learning. A firm favourite for toddlers!

Mess Free Sensory Fun

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Learning Resources Sensory Fidget Tubes

Sensory fun needn’t be messy! These fidget tubes are perfect for on the go sensory pay, stimulating your little ones senses

Arts and Crafts

If you’re looking for play ideas for 12 month old toddlers, arts and crafts are always a popular choice.

Arts and crafts sensory activities engage children in a multi-dimensional learning experience. Through tactile exploration of materials like paint, play dough, or textured paper, kids refine their sensory perceptions and develop fine motor skills.

Creating visual and tactile art stimulates creativity and self-expression, while the process of manipulating different materials promotes cognitive development, problem-solving, and sensory integration, making arts and crafts an enriching way for children to learn. Sit back and watch your child explore through creative play!

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Bath Time Fun

Bath time is a great opportunity for sensory play.

Fill the tub with water and add some toys like rubber ducks, boats, or cups. You can also add some paper to the water for your child to crumple and play with. Encourage your child to splash and play with the water. You can also add some bubbles to the water to make it even more fun.

Outdoor Sensory Play

Going outside is a great way to get some fresh air and explore the world around you. There are plenty of sensory play ideas that you can do outside.

Take a scarf and let your child feel the different textures of grass, leaves, and flowers. You can also listen to the sounds of birds and the wind blowing through the trees.

Another fun activity is to fill a container with rice or beans and let your child scoop and pour them with wooden spoons. You can also introduce play dough when you are confident it won’t pose a choking hazard to your little one.

Liquid sensory play is also great for outdoor play. Fill a container with water and add some toys like boats or cups. You can also freeze some toys in ice and let your child play with the ice as it melts. This is a great way to teach cause and effect as your child watches the ice melt and the toys become free.

Sensory play is a great way to help your child learn and explore their senses. With these ideas, you can create a fun and engaging environment for your 12-month-old to play and learn.

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