This blog post is one of the oldest posts on the site, but the sensory activities for 1 year olds that we shared way back when are just as fun now! When this post was written, the babies that played with the balls and muffin tins were just 11 months and going on 1 year. Those little ones are now 11 years old! This is such a great brain building activity for babies that I wanted to reshare the idea for the latest crop of babies out there!
sensory activities for 1 year olds
This sensory activity for 1 year olds is an easy activity to set up. You’ll need just a few items:
- colorful balls
- muffin tins
You can add create another sensory activity for the babies with the same colorful balls and a cardboard box or basket. We also used an empty cereal box with hole cut into the sides.
Each sensory activity here supports development of eye-hand coordination, grasp and release, core strength and stability in dynamic sitting, positioning and seated play on the floor (floor play).
An important consideration is the use of baby positioners as they can impact powerful movement-based play in babies.
The best for sensory play for 1 year olds is just playing on the floor! There are so many benefits to playing on the floor with a basket of balls and a few muffin tins.
What do babies love to do? Take things out and put them back into containers.
We have a bunch of different colored and sized balls that are so fun to play with in so many ways. I had my nephew here one day and we needed something different to do. My nephew and my Baby Girl are both 11 months old and they absolutely loved this play activity!
I pulled out my muffin tins and they had a blast putting the balls into the tins, taking them out, putting them back into the box, and pulling them out again!
Little Guy (my 3 year old ) loved joining in too. Really, who could resist playing with all of these colorful balls???
Peek a Boo Sensory Activity for 1 year olds
What else do babies love? The peek-a-boo game!
It’s at this age (around one year) that babies often struggle with separation anxiety when being dropped off at a caregiver’s when separated from their parents or caregivers. You will even see signs of separation angst when a parent goes into another room, which can especially happen when the baby is tired.
The next sensory activity for baby was a fun one!
We had an empty cereal box that I cut circles into. They had a ton of fun putting the balls into a hole, and pulling a different one out as the box moved around…there were a lot of little hands in there moving that box around 🙂
The it’s-there-then-it’s not of a great game of peek-a-boo (or peek-a-ball in this case!) is awesome in building neural pathways of the brain.
More sensory activities for babies
Other sensory activities for 1 year olds and babies include using small baskets or boxes to transfer the balls from one container to the other.
Transferring from box to box…working those hands to pick up different sized/weighted/textured balls. Dropping the ball to see what happens is so predictable, but it is important in learning for babies. Just like when baby drops the cup from her highchair a million times…
We had a ball!
(couldn’t resist that one…heehee)
Need more sensory ideas for 1 year olds? Try these:
- Sensory tables- put interesting toys, textures, scoops, and containers on a low table like a coffee table. The new cruiser or early walker can stand at the table and explore the textures
- Messy play on a highchair- Strap baby in and encourage messy food play. Thing about apple sauce, pudding, or mashed potatoes.
- Textured fabrics- Put a bunch of fabric scraps into a box and invite the one year old to pull them out and put them back in.
- Play with cups and spoons– with supervision- This is a great activity for eye hand coordination skills.
- Use a baby gym to encourage reach and play in various positions.