Activities to Do With Your 13 Month Old: Week 1
How have you been keeping your 13 month old toddler entertained at home? I have set up odd activities here and there and also joined in with K’s play.
But I am finding that I really miss having a structure to our day. So I’ve planned a month’s worth of activities for my little one.
For most of the activities, I give my toddler time to explore and use the things I’ve set out in his own way first. Once I see that he is losing interest, I will then get involved.
The activities don’t often last very long, which is to be expected at this age. Did you know that the normal attention span of a child is 3 to 5 minutes per year of a child’s age?
Therefore, a 1 year old is most likely to only to engage in an activity for a maximum of 5 minutes. This is why I also set up toy baskets around the house to keep him occupied too. You can read more about this below.
Here are the activities and things I set up for my 13 month old this week.
- Foot painting
- Water play with lemon and limes
- Toy baskets around the house
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Scooping With 13 Month Olds
Scooping is a practical skill that little ones need to be able to do in order to feed themselves.
K has been showing more interest in doing this lately.
So setting up a focus activity that gives him the opportunity to practise this will help him to develop his fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It also helps him to gain more independence.
According to the OT Tool Box
Quinoa is a grain you can cook like rice. I used uncooked quinoa and provided some spoons and a small pot for K to scoop with.
It’s such a nice texture and it’s easy to scoop because it’s small. I had this leftover in the cupboard but other dried foods such as lentils and rice also work well. I used the word scoop quite often to try and help him understand this.
As this was the focus of the week, I tried to look for daily opportunities that would help K to learn this skill. Some of the ways we found were:
- Scooping seeds (I had taken out and washed) from our butternut squash – a great highchair activity whilst I was cooking.
- Scooping sweetcorn out of the water using a slotted spoon
- Using a spoon to scoop up mashed up water beads. These were leftover from last week and were about to get thrown away.
- Scooping during meal times – mashed up banana, yoghurt, oats and Weetabix stay on the spoon for longer. I find K is more willing to feed himself once he’s over his initial hunger
Painting with their feet is a great activity for teaching your toddler about cause and effect.
Feeling the paint on the soles of their feet and in between their toes is a great sensory experience for them.
K isn’t walking yet but I think he’s close! So I thought painting with his feet would be a good way to help him gain confidence and encourage walking. I set out a roll of paper with plates with paint on either end.
I then helped him to dip his foot in the paint and held onto his hands as he walked on the paper.
I’ve put off baking with K for a long time. I worry that I’ll get halfway through a recipe and have to stop.
However, this blog post really gave me the confidence to try.
I found a healthy flapjack recipe that is relatively straightforward and thought I’d give it a go.
This activity was mostly for me because I like baking and am trying to be a bit healthier.
Although ours didn’t turn out very nice, it wasn’t a complete disaster. K enjoyed watching me and loved taste-testing some of the ingredients.
One of the biggest things that helped was having everything set out before we started.
I used our learning tower so that K could see everything I was doing. I also found that letting him try some of the edible ingredients like dried cranberries and apricots helped.
He also got involved in other ways by helping to mix the ingredients and playing with the scales. I did put some oats in one of his bowls for him to play with but he wasn’t interested.
Rice is an easy sensory play activity idea that you can do with 13 month olds, older toddlers and preschoolers. It can be as easy as just adding rice to a tray for your little one to explore.
I dyed our rice different colours to make it more appealing. It’s a perfect way to teach different colours and capacity for older kids – full, half full and empty.
For our rice play, I used
- A tuff tray
- Coloured rice. I just added food colouring to the rice but there are better ways to dye rice. I’ve saved them on Pinterest board so I can try them eventually.
- Stacking cups
- Wooden letters. I had these saved from my teaching days so I’m not sure where they’re from.
I let all of the rice dry out and then placed a hoop in the centre of the tuff tray.
This gave me the circle shape. I then put all the different coloured rice in and spread it out, making sure it stayed inside the hoop.
This was a great opportunity for K to practise scooping again. He spent a good 5 minutes playing by himself, grabbing all the different spoons and the rice. I then modelled scooping the rice and filling one of his stacking cups.
I also used the words from earlier on the in the week – mix and scoop. Once all of the rice had been mixed up, I hid bottle lids in it which kept K interested for a bit longer.
Water Play With Lemons and Limes
Cutting up lemons and limes and adding them into water play encourages children to use all of their senses.
They smell great once they’ve been in the water a while. I also added in scoops to this activity to help him work on this skill.
A fun way to extend this with older toddlers would be to blindfold them and do a taste test to see if they can tell the difference between a lemon and lime.
There’s nothing more K loves than splashing in the water. It was funny watching him taste the sourness of the lemon and limes.
He kept tasting them over and over and eventually got used to the taste, which surprised me.
As mentioned previously, I also set out toy baskets around the house, in addition to the activities.
I used an old wallet and cards for the next tray.
The last basket had a couple of teddies, spoons, bowls and cups to encourage pretend play and holding a spoon.
I usually set up toys on our shelves in the living room and rotate them every so often. But K never stays in one room. He’s often crawling about exploring the house.
So I placed the baskets around the house instead. It keeps him occupied and out of mischief when I’m tidying or doing the housework.
The baskets also help with the mess. It means I can throw all the toys back in the basket ready for the next day. Rather than having lots of toys all over the house.
I can really see the difference that all of the scooping activities have made this week. K is more successful in scooping his food and is a step closer to becoming independent at feeding himself. We still have a long way to go though!
Out of all of the activities with my 13 month old, the quinoa was the one that created the most mess but it was one we returned to quite a lot. It kept K busy whilst I was cooking dinner on a few occasions.
The water play was a favourite of K’s. It doesn’t matter what I put in water, it’s always a winner. The rice also kept both of us occupied for a long time too!
Don’t forget to check back for next week’s activities. They follow a similar theme of sensory play, baking and water play.
I would love to see any activities you do with your little one. So please tag me on Instagram.
What activities have you been doing with your toddler this week? Share your ideas in the comments section below.