The 9 Easiest Ways to Entertain a One Year-Old this Summer

It is amazing to watch your child learn and grow and be curious, and also exasperating. I mean, we bought or received a bunch of baby toys. There they are right there, and it seems that they can only capture their attention for a few moments. There she is again, with that look in her eye and emitting those whiny grunts that tells you she’s had it with toy number one AND toys number two, three and four.


A toy made for an actual baby has to be really doggon interesting to keep their attention for a long time. I have been blessed with a boy that loves things that spin, cars and this magical wonder called a gumball surprise or something. I admit, this glorious item is not on my list and maybe it should be, but I wanted to tell you about easy things you can do right now if you want to. If you want to purchase it, you may do so here.


These are the easiest ways I have found that enthrall my one year-old for sometimes up to a half an hour. Moms with one year-olds (or close to that age) know how relaxing it can be to sit down for a half an hour and not worry about when baby will start tugging on your pant leg again, babbling about how they’re bored, presumably, because babies don’t speak.


The Breakdown

  1. Pan of water and some tub toys. This is a no-brainer. Grab a tin cake pan, fill it with water, throw some water-friendly toys in there, set baby on the lawn or on the deck and watch her go to town. This proved to be a winner for my baby boy for two separate half-hour sessions. On the same day!
  2. Tub of water and some toys. I sound like a broken record, but the difference would help baby cool down by being able to sit in the water. Although, the smallish pan didn’t stop my boy from diving in.
  3. A more complicated toy. I mean a toy that possibly wasn’t made for babies, rather for a 2 or 3 year-old. They have more parts and functions than baby toys do. I would suggest one eye casually peeled on this one, or opt for items that don’t have smaller parts that could break off. My son is enthralled with a big ol’ tow truck that his cousin, 3, got at Goodwill. It has little buttons, big wheels, and the famous tow trucky winch.
  4. Something in a bottle or Tupperware. I said you could do these now if you wanted to. Put something hard (my go-to is q domino piece) into a bottle or a Tupperware. Rattles were made and sold via mass production yet children still get more enjoyment out of everyday objects.
  5. Strategic kitchen chairs. This is for kiddos practicing the art of walking. Stringing them close together gives them a little race track. Place toys on each chair so they can play as they go, and are always tempted to move to the next!
  6. Reaching for strategically placed objects.
  7. Cheerios. Put them in a cup or a dish and they can dig them out. Even if they go flying, I find that usually they are picked up off my (clean) floor within a few minutes.
  8. Baby discovery jug. Put smaller objects and baby toys in an upcycled milk jug that encourages sensory play and can go on for many minutes.
  9. Give them a plastic cup and some dominoes. This is different from the bottle because the recipient is open now. This is for practicing putting things in and taking things out of the cup. Great for teaching vocabulary!

Mom, I hope you’re enjoying baby as much as I am! Please share your ideas for easy playtime activities, we are in this together.





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