36 Activities for a 12 Month Old at Home

I am always looking for new activities for a 12 month old – Kids at this age are learning so much! This is a great time to teach them new things. Or repeat the same game over and over- that is how they learn. Honestly, I get bored playing the same games over and over, so this list is as much for me as it is for my daughter!

Of course, supervise your child while doing any of these activities!





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Four Talking and Language Activities for 12 month olds

activities for 12 month olds - language activities for 12 month olds
  1. Animal sounds: Teach your toddler about different animals and the sounds they make
  2. Body parts: Show your child different parts of their body.  This is your ear. Here’s your nose. And practice with your own body or their stuffed animals!
  3. Read a book. While you read, point out other things in the book.  Or ask your child to point them out. Change things up by counting stuff on the pages. Or find and name the body parts of characters in the book
  4. Take a tour of your house! Look at family photos, decorations, and paintings around your home. My 1 year old’s favorite book is a photo album! And she loves pointing out everything on the walls and shelves while I tell her about the colors, shapes, and sizes she’s seeing!

Six walking and crawling things to do with 12 month olds

fun and simple crawling and walking activities for 12 month olds

Your child may be anywhere from crawling to cruising to walking, but they will love these fun games! 

  1. Stand. Have your child practice standing while they hold onto the couch, play with toys, or while you read them a book. 
  2. Cruise. To practice walking, have your baby start by standing up and holding onto the couch. Then put toys or other fun stuff a few steps away so they walk to it. Start with short distances as your baby learns! 
  3. Kick a ball. While holding onto the couch or something, put a small ball by your child’s foot so they accidentally kick it. Or show them how to kick it. I highly recommend a small, lightweight ball that can’t cause much damage! 
  4. Racing. Have a walking, crawling, or cruising race! Or chase your little one around the house- and tickle them when you catch them! 
  5. Animal tape rescue. Tape some of your child’s plastic animal toys at standing height along a wall or hallway. They will love feeling the sticky tape! (BusyToddler has more fun twists on this idea too!)
  6. Paper tube drop. Tape some leftover toilet paper or paper towel tubes to the wall at different heights and find some toys that are the right size to fit inside. Show your little one how it’s done and watch them go! (Happy Hooligans has some great ideas for toys for the tube drop!

Nine Motor Skills Activities for Twelve Month Olds

motor skill activities for 12 month olds
  1. Peekaboo: Of course, you can give your baby a blanket and they can hide. Or hide toys or stuffed animals under the blanket. Or hide something besides your face. Where’s daddy’s leg? Where’s mommy’s foot? 
  2. Stacking and nesting blocks, cups, and containers is tons of fun as your child figures out what fits inside something else. 
  3. Containers. At this age, children are fascinated with putting stuff in and out of contaiers! Whether they are moving blocks in and out of a box, or Cheerios in and out of a bowl, they’ll intently work on their task. One of my daughter’s favorites is actually putting the lids onto Tupperware and bottles. 
  4. Puzzles are great for the same reason! Your baby will like a simple puzzle with shapes, and they might just have fun taking the pieces out and not putting them in yet. But you can help them learn and understand! 
  5. Play with a ball. Roll a ball between the two of you! Try playing outside. Or sitting on the couch. Sometimes my daughter sits on the couch and I sit on the floor and she tosses the balls to me. If you want to be silly, put a small ball in your pocket, blow on it to make it move, or put it down your child’s shirt! 
  6. Finger painting can be fun for a wide range of ages! At 12 months, my daughter mostly was interested in eating the (nontoxic) paint. At 16 months, she would rather smear it all over herself, so we paint in the bathtub! Some parents also put the paper and paint in a plastic baggie to keep it neat!
  7. Play Dough.  Whether you make or buy your own nontoxic dough, kids love squishy stuff! 
  8. Magnets! Put some magnets towards the bottom of your fridge and you might get a few minutes of quiet while you cook! My daughter loves the colorful letters and numbers and photo magnets I buy.
  9. Color with crayons!
My daughter loves to play with her fridge magnets… and her plates and silverware!

Related post: Having fun finger painting? Make some nerdy Game of Thrones handprint art with your toddler! Learn how here!

Three “Chores” for 12 month olds

  1. “Cleaning” with water in a spray bottle. Give your child a spray bottle with water and let them spritz the bathtub, stuff outside, or whatever you don’t mind getting wet. 
  2. Wipe surfaces with a damp cloth. Your child may mimic you and try to help clean! 
  3. Water plants. Give your kid the right amount of water in a cup and let them pour. 

Three Activities with Water: Things to do with a 12 month old

  1. Play with water. Try the bathtub or a kiddie pool. Put different toys in the water, like Duplo blocks. Or throw in a scrubby brush and some soap and show them how to wash the toys.
  2. Painting” with water on construction paper or concrete is a great way to have fun without too much of a mess
  3. Squeeze a sponge with water. It’s an interesting texture and sensation! 

Eleven other activities

other activities for 12 month olds
  1. Flying and zooming! Kids at this age love when you pick them up and fly them like an airplane, spin in a circle, or even hold them upside down! Sometimes I sit my daughter in my lap facing me, hold her hands, and lean her backwards so she hangs upside down! 
  2. Music. Dance, clap and sing to the music. Try kids songs or play your favorite tunes, or introduce them to classics, like Frank Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles…
  3. Blow bubbles. Make or buy bubble soap and have a blast watching your little one look at and chase them. 
  4. Make a shaker. Fill an empty water bottle with beads, dry rice, beans, popcorn kernels, glitter, rocks… you get the idea!  And let your baby shake it up! They will enjoy the sound, seeing it roll around, and looking at the stuff inside. 
  5. Sticky notes and tape make great toys at this age and the possibilities are endless! Stick a large piece to your baby and make sure they don’t eat it, of course. They’ll be intrigued by the texture. Use sticky notes to make any book into a lift-the-flap book. Or see Animal Tape Rescue above for more ideas!
  6. Sock puppets. Take old, clean socks, draw a face on them, and talk in a silly voice! 
  7. Play with kitchen utensils. Forks, spoons, spatulas, bowls, colanders are lots of fun! And they might keep your baby busy while you’re doing something in the kitchen
  8. Build a blanket fort and play peek-a-boo with your child, watch them climb in and out, and play with their toys in it!
  9. Musical hide and seek. Use a phone or toy that plays music. Hide it somewhere, and have your child find it when it makes noise! (thank you for the great idea, Lucie’s List!)
  10. Play I Spy… A toy, a rock, whatever your child can find and have fun with!
  11. New smells: Show your child a spice container, a tube of toothpaste, lotion, or something with an interesting smell, and sniff it. Then let them have a turn!

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