Activity Ideas for 13 Month Old Babies: Week 5
I can’t believe we are at the end of our activities for 13 month old babies already. When I first planned out an activity a day for the whole month, I was unsure if I would stick to the plan. But I did and I have thoroughly enjoyed setting up, playing alongside and watching K do the activities.
We’ve had a week of mostly sunshine and hot weather here in the UK this week, so most of the activities were set up outside where possible. The activities included:
- Baking granola bars
- Water play
- Busy baskets – wooden toys, stickle bricks
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Our pouring activity this week was a bit of trial and error. We used the kitchen sink and K stood in his learning tower to play. He enjoys taking things out of containers and will often shake them until the items fall out. So I wanted to extend his learning by teaching him to pour.
I filled the kitchen sink with water. Then I added some tupperware containers and put a big empty bowl in the center. K took the bowl out immediately and shook all of the water out of the containers.
So after a while, I added in small bottles instead. These originally had food colouring in that I had washed out and saved.
They worked so well! Their small size made them easy to hold and the only way to get the water out was to pour. K played for so long and I lost count of the number of times I filled up the bottles! He even started trying to fill them up himself.
We painted in the bath in a previous activity for 13 month old babies and K spent so much time using the brushes. So this week I set up painting outside in our tuff tray.
The homemade paint was so simple to make and taste safe. It took no time at all. I made it by mixing together natural yoghurt and food colouring. Overall, I found this homemade paint recipe better than the flour and water mixture we used in our other activity. This one was thicker and better to paint with.
K didn’t paint for very long, which surprised me. He mostly sat on the edge of the tray and tried to paint the grass.
We did this outside on a warm day and it attracted a few flies after we had stopped playing with it. So I had to clear it up quickly and hose off the grass/astroturf.
This week we made granola bars. Baking with 13 month old babies can be difficult. But this recipe was so simple and didn’t have too many steps which made the process enjoyable. In previous weeks, we have baked in the morning. But this week we did it in the afternoon, once K had woken up from his nap. This worked so much better because it meant K could have a snack whilst the bars were cooking. It also gave me plenty of time to tidy up and clean the kitchen.
Before we started baking, I pulled K’s learning tower up to the work surface, so he could stand alongside me. Then I put a tray in front of him before getting out the scales, a bowl and all of the ingredients.
I started by giving K a spoon, which he loved waving about. When I was using certain ingredients, I added some of them to his tray too. Oats, seeds, honey, sugar and cranberries are some examples. Adding something new kept him interested and he used his spoon and hands to explore them. Interestingly, the cranberries were the only thing on the tray that he tried to eat.
I also gave a running commentary of what I was doing and as I weighed out the ingredients next to him.
When it was time to mix, K gave a helping hand. He also pointed his spoon over to the hob to show me that he wanted to mix what was in the pan. Although I didn’t let him, it was lovely to see him so involved.
Once they had cooled, the granola bars hardened quite a bit. I felt they would be hard for K to eat so hubby and I ate them instead!
Spaghetti sensory play was the next activity we did this week. It’s a great activity for 13 month old babies because they can taste test it as much as they like! To make the spaghetti tray, I cooked the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. Once cooked, I separated it into 2 bags and added 2 tsp of olive oil to each one. Next, I added blue food colouring in one and green food colouring in another. I then sealed the bags and used my hands to mix in the food colouring and oil. It took a while to mix but doing it this way kept my hands clean.
Spaghetti sensory play was the activity I was most apprehensive about this week. With most messy play, K will touch it once and refuse to go near it again. When I first set out the tray he did exactly that. As we were in the garden, there was also water play set out in an underbed storage container. So I decided to add a few spaghetti strands to it. This was the best way to engage K as he loves anything involving water. He was curious and didn’t mind touching the spaghetti. In the end, the whole tray of spaghetti ended up in the water.
K loved pulling out individual stands and putting them back in. He also enjoyed finding the animals. The food colouring turned the water a vibrant colour, which made finding the spaghetti more of a challenge towards the end. Overall, engaged in this activity for at least 15 minutes. I was so glad that this activity turned into something fun and enjoyable.
I created this week’s water play by adding flowers and leaves from flowers I bought from the shop and mixing in green and blue food colouring in the water.
So many of our activities have consisted of water play this week. When it got to the end of the week, I wasn’t sure if I could make it inviting or if K would be interested. However, he spent so much time playing in it.
He used the spoon to splash and stir the water. He took some of the flowers out of the water and tried scooping them up with his spoon too. It was nice to see that all that scooping practise from our activities in week 1 had paid off. This activity was set out in the morning and K returned to it throughout the day.
Busy Baskets For 13 Month Old Babies
We have spent a lot of time outside this week, so I only managed to create two different busy baskets. But we took them outside whenever I remembered. One had stickle bricks in, which were a present from K’s Nanny and Grandad. The other had some wooden toys in.
Before letting K play with the stickle bricks we took out the smaller bits and added them to a tupperware container. We left it in the basket for him to play with safely. He liked the noise they made when shaking the tub. This basket was kept mostly in the kitchen but we took it outside on some of the hotter days. K returned to it so many times and I often saw him crawling around holding a piece.
When in the garden, I added in a cardboard box too. This interested K for quite a long time. He took some of the stickle bricks out of the box and explored opening and closing the box, as well as turning it over.
In our wooden toys busy basket, I added: peg people, wooden rings, wooden blocks and the smaller parts of our wooden rainbow. This basket was kept in the hallway and K only took notice of it a few times.
However, I also took it outside with us and K played with some of the toys in the garden. I added them to a tuff tray of water and some of the objects floated. K went for the peg people and showed so much satisfaction when he was able to make the floating peg dolls stand. He did this a couple of times before shouting and knocking them over!
This week has been my favourite so far. I have discovered a new way to keep K occupied in the kitchen – playing with water in the sink. Baking our granola bars together was enjoyable. I loved watching K chat away to himself when playing with the spaghetti and throwing it all out of the water, once piece at a time.
There has been so much water play this week but it’s been hot. It’s also a favourite activity of K’s and I like to go by his interests.
Creating activities for my little one, often means I have to adapt and change things. Sometimes he will love what I’ve set up and play for ages. Other times, he will go to it once and never play with it again. However, adapting an activity, like the spaghetti, allowed K to play whilst in his comfort zone and meant, I didn’t waste my time setting up the activity.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our activities for 13 month old babies. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out the activities we did the previous week, below.