Easy, Educational Activities for One-Year-Olds

No longer infants but not quite preschoolers, one-year-olds are ready to reach out and learn. Entertain while you encourage development with these easy ideas.

Parents of one-year-olds recognize their kids are in the first of several "between" ages in their lives. They're clearly no longer infants, but also not quite preschoolers. While parents need to keep their ever-more-independent one-year-olds safely occupied, they also want to seed strong skill development, mental acuity, and intellectual curiosity, so they're ready for a strong start at a great local preschool. These listed activities are fun and easy to implement, and they encourage development.

Calming and Focusing Play Ideas
Looking to settle an over-excited one-year-old? Try calming and focusing activities like picture viewing, where you and your child tour the images in your house. Show him or her vacation stills, pictures of family members past and present, and of him/herself. For an even better activity, read a book with them while they point out the pictures. 
Games for Hand-Eye Coordination 
Music soothes both parent and child, but it's also great for development-oriented play. Music play can take several forms. Play percussion party, either with toy drums or with kitchen utensils, empty boxes or cans, whatever's clever! Especially around New Orleans, having an impromptu sing-and-dance party with your favorite tunes or making music at home with toy instruments just makes sense. Music and dancing help children develop everything from body awareness and hand-eye coordination to mathematics comprehension and emotional expression, plus it's good training for Mardi Gras!
Other play ideas that promote hand-eye coordination include ball and balloon play. Both activities foster awareness of strength, direction, purpose, and accomplishment, beyond the development of basic motor skills. As your child advances, up the challenge with "go-get-it," a game where they retrieve known items from various locations around the house. Another variation on that theme, "commute," puts objects in piles at either end of a play tunnel for the child to gather and put together.
Creative Playtime
To inspire the artist in a one-year-old, commandeer a big piece of cardboard and washable paints/crayons. It then becomes a finger-painting mega-canvas or a crayon-coloring universe for endless hours of creative, disposable fun! Do the same outdoors on a patio with chalk; even make a game of clean-up afterward. 
Of course, a preschool designed to foster development at all early stages offers the ideal combination of active, entertaining education. If you think your child is ready for a preschool environment in which he or she can grow, Fontainebleau Children's Academy in Mandeville is ready for you. Contact us at (985) 276-4022 to schedule a tour of our programs for children six weeks to five years old. 

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