The toddlers started to develop their mental leap after five to six weeks of their birth. It may last for up to 18 months or 24 months. Thus, during this period, they want to commit to many playful activities. As a parent, you’re required to arrange their playful schedules. It may help your toddlers in mitigating their stress levels.

However, playing doesn’t mean that you’ve to go outside on the ground. You can still arrange a few playing activities at your home. It can help the children to spend quality time with their parents and vice versa. Besides these, it may encourage your toddler to learn new activities, such as painting, making music, decorating boxes, etc.

In this blog, you’ll learn about 35 unique indoor playing activities for 1-year-olds.

1. Story Time

Story Time

The most significant and prime indoor activity you can conduct with your toddler is scheduling a storytime. Storytelling is one of the most exciting activities for 1-year-olds. So, read a fairytale or an adventurous story to them. If you’re out of stories, you can use modern technology. Use audio stories to improve your toddler’s imagination. It may also help them to develop their thinking, listening, and imagination skills at home.

2. Box Decoration

Box Decoration

It’s normal for a toddler to play with toys. Where do they put their toys after playing with them? Maybe in a box, a toy box. However, most toddlers don’t want to arrange their toys in that box. Thus, what about allowing them to decorate the boxes? It isn’t a bad idea. Decorating the toy boxes may enhance the creativity of your baby. It’s one of the most unique activities for 1-year-olds. Bring them a few watercolors to decorate the boxes.

3. DIY Coloring Paper

DIY Coloring Paper

Bought a few DIY coloring papers or pages for your toddler. You can find them in your local stationery or e-commerce stores. Various types of DIY coloring paper are available on the market. Bring them for your babies to play. They may use it and create a wonderful design from it. It’s also one of the most fascinating activities for 1-year-olds. They can paint it with pastels, pencil colors, or sketch pens. Besides these, they may fold them to create a paper butterfly or bee.

4. Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Indoor Scavenger Hunt

An indoor scavenger hunt may be almost the same as playing an indoor treasure hunt with your kids. However, the indoor scavenger hunt doesn’t need further preparations. It can be done with minimum and readymade requirements. Just show a few pictures of a few objects to your babies and ask them to collect them in their basket. For example, show a picture of a red toy car, a brown teddy, and a yellow spoon, and they will collect the pieces on their basket. It’s one of the innovative activities for 1-year-olds.

5. Arrange the Toys

Arrange the Toys

As mentioned, a toddler loves playing with toys. However, they don’t arrange it properly in their toy boxes. What about teaching them to arrange their toys playfully? It isn’t a bad approach. It’s one of the most interesting activities for 1-year-olds. This activity can influence the thinking skills of your toddler. In addition, it also teaches them discipline and how to arrange things perfectly. Arrange their toys in the boxes, and they will repeat you.

6. Washing the Toys

Washing the Toys

As a parent, you must concern about the hygiene of your baby. Thus, it’s necessary to wash or sanitize the toy they are playing with. If you find it difficult to bathe your toddler, wash their toys in the bathtub. After that, they might get encouraged to take the bath playfully. Apart from that, they will also learn about washing their toys. Toddler always imitates what their parents do. So, if you wash the toys, they will follow the same activity.

7. Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes

Apart from storytelling, you can read nursery rhymes to your toddler. Try to sing a nursery rhyme and add it to your daily routine. It may help your toddlers to get aware of all types of rhymes before they are admitted to an elementary school. It can help you to engage your child. Besides these, it will also develop their listening and thinking skills along with musical preferences. It’s one of the most fun and joyful activities for 1-year-olds.

8. Playhouse


Playhouse is one of the most trending activities for 1-year-olds. This activity has become popular in the last two or three decades. You can build a playhouse using DIY cardboard or pillows. A kid will love to enjoy playing with a playhouse. Nowadays, readymade playhouses are also available on the market. You can buy one that is suitable for your toddler. In that playhouse, babies can add their toys, dolls, and other playing elements. It can help your babies to grow playfully.

9. Music Making

Music Making

Who doesn’t love music? Human beings enjoy the music of their favorite artists. The same thing also applies to your toddlers. The tone of any musical instrument can influence a toddler. Thus, you can buy a musical instrument for your baby. It may include a toddler keyboard, guitar, or drums. After that, ask them to play it. It can help them to enhance their musical preferences. In addition, it may guide you to help them in developing their creative skills.

10. Painting or Drawing

Painting or Drawing

Paintings or drawings are one of the most popular activities for 1-year-olds. Bring a drawing paper for your kids and ask them to draw or paint anything they want. Handed them pastels, pencil colors, sketch pens, and watercolors. Then, see what they draw or paint. It may not make sense to you every time, but it may assure you that your child is learning and growing creative skills. Make this playful activity in their daily or weekly schedule.

11. LEGO Toys


Everyone has been familiar with LEGO toys since the early 1930s. Not only the kids but also adults love playing with a LEGO toy. Similarly, you can buy some LEGOs for your toddlers and arrange an indoor playing activity. They can learn so many things from this activity, such as building a model car or house. It is one of the most creative and unique activities for 1-year-olds. They not only enjoy playing with LEGO toys but also learn several things playfully.

12. Playing with Teddy Bears

Playing with Teddy Bears

Apart from toys or LEGOs, a toddler loves to play with teddy bears. Thus, you can bring a teddy bear for your baby. It may guide you to do other work while your baby is busy playing with the teddy. Playing with teddy bears is one of the most popular activities for 1-year-olds. It may help them in showing compassion and sharing emotions. In other words, it will help them to develop their interaction skills and mental growth.

13. Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is popular gaming activity among children. You can play this game both in outdoor and indoor spaces. You can try this gaming activity with your 1-year-old toddler. It can guide your child to get rid of separation anxiety that occurs frequently at that time. Hide and seek can also boost emotion and impulsion. However, don’t make it difficult; make sure your child finds you easily. This activity may make your toddler joyful and help you to connect with them emotionally.

14. Painting the Trash Can

Painting the Trash Can

Painting the trash can or basket is also one of the most trending and innovative activities for 1-year-olds. You must teach your toddler to put the garbage in the trash or bin. However, as a toddler, they may find it funny and do the opposite of it. So, allow your toddler to paint a trash can or basket made of cardboard. They may find this activity encouraging, and they will put the waste in the trash bin. Thus, your toddler learns about cleaning their surroundings and boosts their creativity.

15. Bubble Foam

Bubble Foam

Bubble foams are one of the most joyful activities for 1-year-olds. If you face difficulty during the time of your toddler’s shower, you can try this. You can blow bubbles so that your children can enjoy it. Besides these, you can use a bubble bath with water during the shower. Just make sure the ratio between the bubble bath and water is 2:1. Use your hands to mix it in the bathtub. It may encourage your children to during the bath playfully.

16. Card Games

Card Games

Card games don’t always mean arcade games. You can use flashcard games to play with your kids. It’s one of the most interesting activities for 1-year-olds. Bring a set of cards that consists of English alphabets or numbers. Apart from that, you can buy a set of cards that consists of fruit names or images. Arrange a playful activity with these cards with your toddler. It may help your baby to learn and develop their skills while playing.

17. Chalk Drawing

Chalk Drawing

Toddler loves drawing several things as, at that time, they are in the mental leap. It helps them to enhance their creativity. Just like you give your toddlers pastels, pencil colors, or watercolors to draw or paint something. Similarly, you can give your toddler a set of colorful chalk for doing the same activity. Just bring a small white or blackboard and ask your 1-year-old to draw something. It may not make sense to you, but it can boost your toddler’s creativity skills.

18. Egg Painting

Egg Painting

Painting on a drawing paper or book is normal. What about enabling your toddler to paint on eggs? It isn’t a bad idea. It’s one of the unique activities for 1-year-olds. They can enjoy painting the eggs with brush and watercolors. They can help you to set up a perfect decoration for Easter. It may boost their knowledge about designing and enhance their creative skills. You need to start the activity first, so they will imitate you and give the eggs an innovative look.

19. Build a Castle in The Indoor Space

Build a Castle in The Indoor Space

Building a castle with cardboard or pillows is also an innovative approach. It’s as simple as creating a playhouse or dollhouse. However, there are readymade toddler castles available on the market. An indoor castle may experience numerous playing activities for 1-year-olds. Toddlers can jump or roleplay their favorite fairytale characters on that castle. Apart from that, they can play with their dolls, teddy bears, or toys in the castle. A jumping castle can help your toddler to improve their physical health, which includes stamina and blood circulation level.

20. Playing with Sand

Playing with Sand

Toddlers love to play with sand; you’ll notice that when you will visit a beach or a playground. However, you can still create the same vibe at your home. Just bring a large bucket with sand and water and arrange a playful environment for your child. Playing with sand is one of the most fun activities for 1-year-olds. They will create a mini sand castle or other different objects with sand and water. It will unleash their creative side positively.

21. Finger and Toes Counting

Finger and Toes Counting

Finger and toe counting is one of the most playful activities for 1-year-olds. You can arrange this gaming schedule without any further requirements. Just show your toddlers how you count your fingers or toes. After that, they will start imitating you. It may help them in learning numerics while playing the game. They will also learn about calculating before going to elementary school. This activity will improve their hand-eye coordination and thinking capability in a lively manner.

22. Play with Dolls

Play with Dolls

Playing with dolls is normal for any toddler. This is one of the most fascinating activities for 1-year-olds. If your toddler plays with dolls, it can benefit them in developing their mental abilities. They can also evolve their emotions, empathy, and impulsive skills. Toddlers may start talking to their dolls daily, which may encourage them to speak early. It can lead them to improve their imagination and thinking capacity. If you want to develop your toddler’s emotional state, don’t hesitate to bring dolls.

23. Ping Pong Balls

Ping Pong Balls

Playing with any type of sports ball can develop the fitness level of your kid. In addition, it may help them to facilitate their blood circulation level and reduce their stress level. However, a toddler can’t play with a soccer ball or basketball. For your toddler, you can bring a bunch of ping pong, aka table tennis balls. The ping pong balls aren’t small that your child can choke. Just be cautious all the time.

24. Feed Animal Stuffed Toy

Feed Animal Stuffed Toy
Adorable toddler girl eating fresh fruits and vegetables for lunch. Child feeding doll and teddy bear in the kitchen. Delicious healthy food for kids

Apart from teddy bears and dolls, a toddler loves playing with stuffed toys. It may include domestic or wild animal dolls. If you’re having a problem while feeding your 1-year-olds, you can also try this activity. Try to feed their animal stuffed toys or dolls while feeding your toddler. Apart from that, you may create a scenario where your toddler is feeding the animal stuffed toys with you. It may look like you’re feeding a real animal. It may help them in learning about sharing and kindness.

25. Blowing the Balloons

Blowing the Balloons

A toddler always loves to play with balloons. It’s one of the most enjoyable activities for 1-year-olds. Thus, you can play with your toddlers with balloons in indoor spaces. Blow a pair or two balloons, and you’ll notice your children are imitating you. They’ll start blowing the balloon too. Blowing the balloon can also benefit your toddler in blood circulation and fitness levels. It may also help them with breathing exercises. Just make sure you’re maintaining a limit, as too much blowing the balloons can create a negative impact on their health.

26. Play with Action Cards

Play with Action Cards

Aside from flashcards, you can give your toddlers a set of action cards. An action card contains several activities that your 1-year-old can enjoy. You can bring a set of animal action cards. It may include how an animal can walk or speak. For instance, it may include waddling like a penguin, stretching like a giraffe, swinging like a monkey, etc. The action cards can also help your toddler in learning so many things about animals and their activities.

27. Leaf Painting

Leaf Painting

Toddlers love painting and drawing. Apart from showing their painting skills on eggs, cardboard, and drawing books, you can bring a bunch of leaves for them. Just make sure the leaves are cleaned properly to maintain a level of hygiene. After giving them the leaves, ask them to show their creativity. If it didn’t work at first, try to paint a leaf by yourself. After that, they will follow you. It might also develop their creative and thinking skills.

28. Printable Cutouts

Printable Cutouts

What about emphasizing your toddler’s cutting skills? It isn’t a bad approach. You can buy a printable cutout and ask them to cut out the picture carefully. Hand them a scissor; if they fail to do it at first, do it yourself. After that, your child will imitate you. However, be careful while doing this process, don’t give them a sharp scissor. Instead of it, try to provide them with playful scissors. This activity can help your toddler in their concentration.

29. Toy Car Races

 Toy Car Races

It’s normal for a toddler to play with toy cars. This is one of the most joyful activities for 1-year-olds. What about organizing a race between their toy cars? It isn’t a negative approach. Take two toy cars for yourself and give your child two cars and then race them. Your toddler may find this activity more exciting, and it can be done in your indoor space easily without further preparation. This activity can also help you connect with your 1-year-old mentally and emotionally.

30. Popsicle Bath

Popsicle Bath

Having a problem as your kids are refusing to take a bath. However, there’s a solution. Try to arrange a playful activity so that they find it encouraging to bathe. Give them popsicles while bathing or after the bath. After that, your toddler may feel happy and won’t create any difficulties for you. The popsicle bath activity may help you to wash your toddler’s hair and body easily. Just ensure a limitation, a popsicle may make your 1-year-old happy, but too much popsicle can cause a cold.

31. Pouring the Water

Pouring the Water

Another simple, playful activity that you can arrange for your toddler is water pouring. All you need is just a few glasses or bottles and a jug. Give them a small jug or jar full of water and ask them to pour them on glasses and bottles. It may help your child to learn about discipline. In addition, it may assist them in developing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Your toddler may gain concentration abilities while performing this activity.

32. Buy Clay Dough

Buy Clay Dough

Clay doughs are also popular, playful elements for a toddler from the past few decades. Like drawing and painting, a toddler finds it interesting to play with clay dough. It’s also as enjoyable for them as playing with LEGO blocks. Your toddler can create amazing and simple sculptures and designs. This activity may enhance their creativity and artistic skills. In addition, your child may improve their imagination and concentration skills. Besides these, this may assist your child to boost their hand-eye coordination and fine motor activities.

33. Match the Bottle Lids

Match the Bottle Lids

Matching the lids of bottles is as playful as pouring the water. Your toddler may also find this activity encouraging. It may improve your kid’s concentration skills. Aside from that, it may develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Give your child three or four empty bottles and their lids separately. Ask them to match the lids of the bottles. This is one of the innovative and fun activities for 1-year-olds. It doesn’t require numerous requirements and can be played in an indoor space.

34. Teach them to Water the Indoor Plants

Teach them to Water the Indoor Plants

Watering the plants is as simple and similar as pouring the water into bottles from a small jar. Generally, parents do this activity with 2 to 5-year-old babies. However, you can try this with your toddler. At present, it’s one of the most trendy activities for 1-year-olds. Teach your kids to water the indoor plants at your home. Display the process, and they will imitate it. This activity can teach your toddler about caring for the environment.

35. Allow them to Play Volleyball with Baloon

Allow them to Play Volleyball with Baloon

Toddlers enjoy playing with balloons and balls. They love blowing the balloons and playing with a ping pong ball. Have you noticed that they also love volleying several things, such as pillows and toys? It’s not appropriate to give a volleyball to your 1-year-old baby. So, in this case, you can give your child a balloon and allow them to play volleyball with it. This activity may immensely bring joy and pleasure to a toddler.

In Summary

All in all, you don’t have to go outside to arrange a playful activity with your 1-year-olds. You can create the same environment in the comfort of your home without any excessive preparation. Give your toddler dolls and toys to play with. Besides these, you can read stories or rhymes, which may improve your kid’s listening, thinking, and imagination skills.

These indoor activities can enhance the creativity of your 1-year-old toddler. Bring pastel colors, watercolors, pencil colors, and sketch pens for them. Then provide them with a drawing book, leaves, cardboard, trash cans, or toy boxes where they can show their creativity.

In this blog, you’ve acknowledged about 35 indoor playing activities for 1-year-olds. Which one is your favorite?

Let us know in the comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Benefit of Doing These Activities with 1-Year-Old Toddlers?

There are several benefits associated with these indoor playing activities. It can help your toddlers to develop their thinking, listening, and creative skills. In addition, it will also help them to reduce their stress level and separation anxiety.

Which Indoor Activities Are the Best Choice for a Toddler?

Allowing children to make music is one of the best choices. Besides these, drawing, painting, and creating models with clay dough are also innovative activities. It can improve your toddler’s creativity and hand-eye coordination.

Sarah Nguyen

Sarah Nguyen is a passionate advocate for early childhood education. She holds a Master of Education from the University of Manchester. Sarah's career has spanned over two decades in various roles, including preschool teacher, curriculum developer, and child development researcher. She is an acknowledged figure for her practical insights and evidence-based approach through her writing and has helped parents and educators understand the crucial stages of early development. Outside her professional life, Sarah is an avid reader and enjoys exploring the British countryside with her family.

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