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Games to Play with a One-Year Old

gamesoneyearold.jpgOur daughter turned one recently, which has opened a new world of games to play with her. No longer is she a baby, but a toddler and is capable of so much more than she was just a few months ago. She’s playing ‘peekaboo’ all the time, and enjoys waving ‘hello’ and ‘bye bye’ as well.

We work with her every night, playing games together and talking or reading to her to help stimulate her brain and development. It’s also a great bonding time for us as parents, when we both are busy working all day and don’t get as much time as we’d like to spend with her.

Here are some great games to play with one year olds — best of all, most of them are free!

  • Pass the Ball: Pass a ball back and forth, rolling it toward your toddler. Teaches: hand eye coordination, motor skills.
  • Nursery Rhymes: The singing and hand movements of songs such as ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider’ or ‘This Little Piggy Went to Market’ teach your child listening and fine motor skills.
  • Musical Instruments: Use everyday kitchen items such as wooden spoons, metal pots and pans, or plastic food storage containers to create instruments. Teaches: cause and effect, coordination, listening skills, rhythm exploration.
  • Picture Games: Read a simple story book to your child and point at the pictures while you say what they are (“dog,” “cat,” “mom,” ‘dad,’ ‘baby,’ etc.). Teaches: language development, listening, visual discrimination, visual memory.
  • Clapping Games: Clapping games such as ‘Patty Cake’ (aka, ‘Pat a Cake’) will delight your child, even before he or she can clap. Say the words while clapping your hands together or holding your child’s hands and helping him or her to clap. Teaches: listening, rhythm
  • Blocks. Children love to play with blocks. Babies will like to hold onto a soft plush block in their hand, and older babies or toddlers can carry them with them as they crawl. For toddlers, make a stack of blocks and let him or her knock them down. Teaches: coordination, cause and effect

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