For most parents, life in their childhoods meant plenty of time playing on grassy lawns or in the park, bonding with nature in a way only kids can. Thankfully, at the precious age of 1, you don’t need all that much to keep your toddler entertained when planning the perfect outdoor activities that will help get them joyfully engaged. You do need to accommodate a few changes that will help provide the most enriching experience for your 1 year old in the outdoors.
Here are 15 Fun Outdoor Activities for 1 Year Old Kids
There’s just something in the outdoors that sparks joy in the hearts of toddlers. Here’s a look at the best activities you can indulge your 1 year old in, in the outdoors.
1. Kiddie Pool
If a sprinkler isn’t quite what you had envisioned for a rainy day, try this one. Activities for 1 year olds are always fun when there’s the chance of getting wet. In this case, more like drenched!
What you need: A backyard or garden, kiddie pool from Amazon.
To do: Choose a kiddie pool from Amazon with basic play options. Fill it with water and let your child go crazy with splashing fun!
2. Little Explorer
The next Columbus is not far away! Let your child discover the outdoors and get them to imbibe some of that invaluable tactile learning. Outdoor activities are great for sharpening motor skills and learning more about the world through simple observation.
What you need: Two words. The Outdoors.
To do: Take the little explorer on a short walk around the neighborhood. Encourage their sense of curiosity in little things, like going up to the cute puppy being taken for a walk or simply picking up leaves to examine them.
3. A Day at the Beach
If you ‘like’ the beach, your one-year-old will simply ‘love’ it!
What you need: Access to a clean beach.
To do: Take your child to see the majestic ocean and have them discover the joy of playing in the sand. While you might not get so far as having them build a sand castle, you can keep them busy for hours as they trace their fingers in the sand. Outdoor learning activities like these are highly addictive. Tip: Don’t forget a dip in the water!
4. Park Play
You can never go wrong with taking your children to the park. It works. Every single time. Outdoor activities like these help sharpen the social skills of 1 year old kids.
What you need: A neighborhood park that has a dedicated play area
To do: Take your child to the play area of your local park that will give them many play opportunities like riding the seesaw. Moreover, they will interact with other kids their age, which will prove beneficial later on as they might end up planning play dates together. You will likely make new adult friends, too!
5. Plant a Tree
Your one-year-old might be too young to learn the importance of planting trees, but it’s never too early to begin!
You need your garden, some seeds, and a shovel.
To do: Plant some seeds in the ground and then allocate a patch of dirt for your kids to
plant seeds in themselves. A great fun activity for kids that will help those budding gardeners start young.
Warning: There will be dirty hands. And clothes, too.
6. Rocky Road
No, not the dessert! This fun activity entails a treasure hunt, but with something, you would normally not associate with treasure: rocks!
What you need: A bright, sunny day
To do: Take your toddler for a stroll and have them pick up rocks as they go along, putting them in a bag as they collect them. When you come home, have them take out all the rocks they have collected and explore them with their eyes and fingers. Another of those outdoor activities provides a great tactile experience!
7. Chalk Fun
Who says only teachers get to use chalk? Let your one-year-old create their own rules with chalk, but on the sidewalk, not blackboard!
What you need: A deserted sidewalk and non-toxic chalks of varying shapes, sizes, and colors.
To do: Take your child to a sidewalk where they can go crazy making designs of all kinds and colors. Ensure you clap when they come up with a cool design, thus spurring their creativity. Outdoor activities like these make it hard to get your kids back indoors!
8. A Day at The Zoo
Move over to Discovery Channel; we’re down for the real deal! Activities for kids like taking your child to the zoo only sharpen their observation skills and make them want to explore more of the world they live in.
What you need: A zoo not too far away from home.
To do: Take your child to the zoo and see them get fascinated with the mysterious sounds of exotic birds and the sights of predators that one can otherwise only experience on television. Seeing birds and animals up close makes for a breathtaking event for toddlers. You will be most enamored, too!
9. Ball Mania
Who doesn’t like to play catch? Make sure you go easy on your little one. They will have more fun dropping that ball rather than catching it. Activities for 1 year olds that are sporty are ever fun.
What you need: An inflatable ball, your backyard or any outdoor place.
To do: Go outside with your child and play Catch with a ball. When you see that this
activity is getting your toddler’s interest, make it even more interesting by getting a ball of another size and perhaps
even shape to have them play with.
Tip: Choose softer balls for this age group.
10. Play Catch, But With a Difference
This outdoor activity involves catching too, but what is being caught? A toddler or a full-grown adult! Outdoor activities for 1 year olds like this one do a great job of sharpening those motor skills.
What you need: The outdoors, yourself, and your toddler.
To do: Chase your toddler and say, ‘Gotcha!’ when you touch them. Then have them chase
and catch you in turn. Activities for 1 year olds couldn’t be cooler!
Tip: You should make catching them look difficult!
11. Nature Art
All those novice artists could use a dollop of inspiration from the greatest inspiration for art – Mother Nature herself! Outdoor learning activities like these are more mentally challenging than you think.
What you need: A bucket to collect grass and flowers, a large sheet of white paper.
To do: Help your children collect grass and flowers and place them in a bucket. Then let their imagination and creativity run wild as they make their masterpiece using those grass blades and flowers on the paper that is their first-ever canvas!
12. Bubble Mania
Blowing bubbles is one of those outdoor activities that will forever keep children entertained. Who hasn’t heard of a child who doesn’t love blowing bubbles?
What you need: A good bubble machine.
To do: Go outdoors and let your child blow bubbles. Or blow them yourself and watch them go crazy trying to catch them.
13. Hop Aboard the Children’s Train
Say ‘choo-choo’ as you hop along that children’s train and see your kids squeal with delight as you do.
What you need:A children’s train near you, in a park or at a funfair.
To do: You don’t want your one-year-old to miss out on the fun they will have when sitting on a children’s train as it makes its way on what will undoubtedly be your child’s first train ride!
14. Water Squirters and Water Balloons
It can be Holi every single day in your backyard!
What you need:Water squirters and water balloons.
To do: Fill those water guns and balloons and then go outdoors for some water fighting fun. You will have a great time yourself. Even more reason, then, to indulge in this wonderful activity.
Tip: Make sure your children have a good bath afterward and wear something warm, so they don’t catch a chill.
15. Storytime at the Park
This one’s a truly wonderful sensory experience to engage your kids‘ senses of sight and hearing.
What you need:A picture book with some great illustrations, a trip to the park
To do: Playtime in the park is not limited to that play area. Read to your little ones as they marvel at the illustrations and follow the narrated story.
Being outdoors does much more for your 1 year old than you can imagine. It helps them calm a tantrum that might be brewing and expend all their energy. That, coupled with all the fun activities listed here, makes for the perfect recipe for happy toddlers.
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