Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

For free parenting resources please check out the Early Years Alliance's Family Corner.


How to keep my 1 yo entertained?

19 replies

Forosu · 29/06/2019 07:48

I was just wondering what everyone does to keep their one year old entertained. I haven’t recently bought any new toys for him so I’m thinking he’s getting bored of the ones he does have. I could buy more but space is becoming an issue and also what do I get?!? He currently just wants to walk about going through drawers and cupboards. I feel like I need to stimulate him a bit more but I’m not sure how and what’s suitable for his age. Any suggestions would be welcome.

OP posts:

sar302 · 29/06/2019 08:13

Honestly, I have to get mine out of the house every day. He gets bored at home quite easily. We do a baby group, or activity everyday - even if it's just going to the shops or the park.
I also switch his toys around. Hide stuff for a while and then bring it out again.


Kiki92 · 29/06/2019 08:19

My 1-year-old DS has an absurd amount of toys, so I tend to have them on a rotation. He has several toy boxes scattered around the house, so I change the items around daily, otherwise he gets bored.

Yesterday in the lounge I had a selection of musical instruments in his box, so we had a music day. We did singing/signing, danced to a couple of CDs, played with the instruments together. Music is so so good developmentally! Today in the box are a big pack of megablox, a wooden 'tool kit', a couple of books, and his wooden car set.

He has a ball pool that I get out a couple of times a month. I have a little teepee that I put up every now and then, and we make a den... He's really into playing pretend at the moment, so I bought him this little tea set, and plastic food that we get out sometimes. They were super cheap, but he loves them.

We paint quite a lot too! I make homemade paint using food colourings, water and flour. It's edible.. I just lay a big waterproof sheet down on the floor, strip him to his nappy, place blobs of paint on scattered bits of card and let him so his thing.. There are recipes for homemade clay and playdough online too if messy play is your thing.

Honestly though, I find going out with him is more stimulating than anything else, even if it's just to the park or swimming.. Toddler groups are good too. We go a sensory one each week and he gets so much from it.

Sorry for ranting. I hope something I said helps.


Ilovewillow · 29/06/2019 08:41

Mine are very much older now but we used to make sure we went out everyday even just for 30 mins. We had toys on rotation and a sensory basket was a big hit! You can boy them but we made ours - essentially a basket of bits like you would fine in a cupboard so small boxes, spatula, shakers made from bubble pots filled with rice, different types of fabric, washing up brush etc! Homemade play doh is great, making cookies, mud kitchen!


Forosu · 29/06/2019 17:21

Oh wow thank you all for your suggestions really given me some ideas that il try. I do take him to the park and we go out for walks but il probably have a look for more groups in the area.

OP posts:

Winsomelosesome · 29/06/2019 17:28

Waterproof mat on kitchen floor, basin of water and some Tupperware used to keep mine amused for a while, as did jigsaws though probably from around 18 months. If you've got a garden/patio get some washable paint and let him go to town, sand & water table/paddling pool. Anything messy at that age is usually a winner!


OnlyFoolsnMothers · 29/06/2019 20:14

Soft play was/is my life saver. I would read things about 1yr olds plying with toys and think there was something wrong with my child. There wasn’t she just was/ is very active. At 1 especially she just wanted to walk and climb and explore!
I’d say c. 18months she started playing with toys more.
My advice get out of the house and explore the farm, the supermarket, the park etc


moreismore · 29/06/2019 20:17

Have a look at play.hooray, loads of great ideas using stuff you probably have already. Wish I’d found it sooner!


Ricekrispie22 · 30/06/2019 05:39

Have fun playing with shaving foam in the bath tub!
Make dens and tunnels and tents with sheets and furniture
Blow bubbles for her to pop
At that age, my dc loved printing - hand printing, potato printing etc..
Make a drum kit with upturned pots and pans and wooden spoons!
Roll balls down ramps!
Hide small objects (we used to use clothes pegs) round the house and go hunting for them.
Make a washing line indoors and hang up anything you can find - pieces of paper, hats, gloves, empty cereal boxes!
Stack and unstack paper cups
The VTech pop and drop digger was a huge success with my dc. The wooden click clack track also occupied them for long spells.
Wrong time of year, but a paddling pool and sand pit in the garden would probably be successful. I used to hide toys in the sandpit.
Bouncing a balloon around and on their head! This used to send my DS into fits of laughter.
Blowing on their arm/legs/feet/tummy etc... with hairdryer.
You can also use the sandpit or sandpit lid for messy play with shaving foam.
Once I had shown my DS how to rip paper, there was no stopping him. He loved the sound it made and I'd give him an old magazine and he'd happily tear it to shreds.
Cook up a big saucepan of porridge and let it go cold. Add some food colouring and it turns into a fantastic squelchy messy play activity, especially with little toys hidden! I do the same with custard and with mashed potato using a packet of instant smash! Polenta works well too, as does cooked couscous or cooked spaghetti.


Seniorschoolmum · 30/06/2019 06:18

Take him on different walks - my ds liked the woods, the marketplace with buskers, the park/swings, car boot sales, allotments. He was very nosey Smile


BendydickCuminsnatch · 30/06/2019 06:26

How 1 is he? There’s a massive difference between 12 and 24 months. My 19 month old has been obsessed with stones for the past few months so every day he spends about half an hour looking through our gravel for the perfect round,smooth stone and puts the contenders into a truck 😄 he also loves dancing and drawing which is so different to his big bro.
Toys are tricky at this age as they all seem too grown up or too babyish! He loves his car track thing, let’s see if I can find a link... this sort of thing: and he also really like the IKEA kitchen.

Also endless books! And TV - Blippi and The Wiggles 😄


Sunshine1235 · 30/06/2019 06:31

By that age I had to go out every day with my son or we’d both go crazy. I’d go out every morning either to a friends house, group, the park or food shopping. Then home for lunch and naptime. Toy rotation is a good way to keep their toys interesting, also get them involved when you’re doing daily jobs like laundry, cleaning etc. Yes it makes it take longer but they’re entertained at the same time


donkir · 30/06/2019 06:44

Have a look at behavioural schemas. It sounds like he's doing a transportation schema (he likes transporting things) give him his own boxes that he can empty. I've found a bag of Pom poms and kitchen towel tubes are great. Little ones love posting too. An old shoe box with holes cut in the lid is also great. Lids from jars, bottles etc posted in the different size holes.


BendydickCuminsnatch · 30/06/2019 07:26

More ideas from watching DS this morning!

Toy buggy and baby

Pom Pom through the hole - get a tub, cut different size holes in lid (craft knife), get him to push Pom poms through

Also I’ve made an interactive board thing - didn’t cost me anything, large box opened out, loo rolls to make Pom Pom run, shiny card like a mirror, boxes stuck on to open/fill, some cool wrapping paper to add some colour, corrugated card which makes a good noise and rubber bands stretched over lolly sticks to make a guitar type thing. Stuck together with glue gun and mounted on wall with command strips. 4 year old likes it too!


Yogurtcoveredricecake · 30/06/2019 07:31

We go out twice a day! My 1yo is big into posting things and filling and emptying so he's got some wooden lollipop sticks and some containers to pop them in set up, we get the pompoms out for him to put in things, if I'm feeling brave we play with lentils (I do this before naptime so I can clean up). Toys wise he really likes those awful toot toot cars, Shape sorters and that pig money bank that sings counting songs.


Forosu · 30/06/2019 14:31

Thank you everyone for your suggestions has given me lots of ideas that I will definitely try. He’s just turned 13 months and only started walking recently so I think right now he’s just trying to master that skill. He has a vtech sports centre which he loves and probably plays with the most. I will definitely be trying out some messy play and the other ideas that seem so simple yet entertaining.

OP posts:

Mishappening · 30/06/2019 14:41

Pots and pans and colanders, wooden spoons, tins from the cupboard to roll about the floor, "helping" you (getting stuff out of w/machine; washing veg etc.), empty salt plastic containers to stand up and knock over, kitchen roll to rip up, bog roll innards to send little cars down, water play (have you got a bidet? - my DGC love this but a few towels on the floor are needed), spinning coasters and splatting them down......


theruffles · 01/07/2019 13:10

My almost 1 year old likes her ball pool (though we fill it with other things like bath toys, musical instruments, soft toys for her to dig through and find). We've recently got her a walker and she likes to pull all the bits off that and hear it make noises/sing the alphabet. She's not toddling yet so is quite entertained sat in front of it at the moment. The Tomy Toomees squeaky eggs are a big hit with her -

I stole this idea from a baby group we go to but a treasure basket filled with lots of different natural textures and things she can explore. I just found things from around the house; a cardboard toilet roll tube, a cork, some ribbon and lace, a pinecone (big favourite), big flat rocks, some felt, a wooden car, a shaving brush, a wooden dish, a metal spoon, etc. She quite enjoys looking through all the different things and having a chew/explore. It keeps her busy for a good 30 mins or so.

We go out to the park because she likes the swings a lot or even just to a cafe. She's very nosey and likes to see what's going on around her.

I'm planning on doing some water/messy play with her because she seems to be very interested in the taps at the moment and splashing at bath time. I also want to make her a board with different zips, latches, locks and similar on it because she seems to be very into investigating things and seeing how things work.


MrsXyzAbc · 01/07/2019 13:16

Wow some brilliant ideas here that I'll have to steal😉. I literally have zero imagination


WhiskersPete · 01/07/2019 16:48

Agree! Shameless place mark for future inspiration.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?