Keeping a 1-year-old toddler entertained may sound like a difficult task, but many household items can be used in your daily activities for fun and learning. Toddlers learn from the world around them and, with your participation, it becomes a valuable playtime. Showing cause-and-effect and helping a child develop skills naturally is an excellent way to interact with your toddler.
Provide sturdy, brightly illustrated board books for your toddler to play with, as well as for you to read from. Children this age still have a short attention span -- about 2 to 5 minutes -- but this will gradually increase as time goes by. Your toddler will enjoy hearing your voice, pointing to the pictures and turning the pages. Incorporate reading into your daily routine.
Experiment with Containers
Your toddler will enjoy cleaning out your cabinets, and the containers held inside are a learning tool of their own. Show her how to nest containers by putting small bowls into big bowls. Stacking bowls or storage containers is another idea -- take turns knocking them down and rebuilding them. Banging pots with wooden spoons is a time-honored mode of play that teaches cause and effect.
Outdoor activities are exciting for a 12-month-old child. Dress your toddler appropriately for the weather and head outside. Go for a neighborhood walk. You can "wear" him in a sling or use a stroller; either way he will experience fresh air and sunshine. Place a blanket on the ground and let him explore. You can let him decide whether or not to touch the grass, which is often a strange experience the first few times.
Mastering walking is a huge milestone in a toddler's life. First steps are often wobbly and the toddler is prone to falls, so provide common household items for her to practice with. A large laundry basket helps maintain balance and can be scooted around the room. Kitchen chairs can also be used in a similar manner. Often, 1-year-olds enjoy holding on to an adult or an older sibling as they toddle around.