If you want to learn about the struggles of keeping a 1-year-old entertained, all you have to do is watch a few short minutes of this Mom compilation from Peachy. Many parents out there can certainly relate to the struggles depicted throughout these videos and know the difficulty of keeping young children and toddlers entertained. If this sounds like you, then we’re guessing that you are here looking for the best ways to entertain your toddler.
A one-year-old has pretty decent hand-eye coordination. To keep them occupied, you need to be a little creative, which means offering them toys that challenge them mentally and physically. A toddler’s new-found ability to drag themselves or crawl develops at an astounding rate.
From the moment they turn 12 months old to approaching 2 years, toddlers do their own thing. For them, the biggest fascination is cause-and-effect. They engage with their environment, and keeping their attention on something for longer periods can be a little challenging. A great idea is to get STEM toys that encourage your tiny human to explore, build, and innovate at a young age. The good news is that you can even invent games, but there are some ground rules to it.
- Create something that can be made easily. Your 1-year-old is probably going to play with it for a minute until the TV’s remote catches their attention.
- It should be safe. Make sure that the DIY toy doesn’t cause any harm when licked or bitten.
- The toy should be a simple one so that they don’t get frustrated while playing with it.
With that being said, let’s take a look at why STEM toys are so important for your kid’s development.
What Are STEM Toys?
Toys based on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) principles teach toddlers through play. They support their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development and improve their motor skills. The most common mechanical toys for toddlers is a LEGO set.
The key to buying or making STEM toys for kids is their size. The toy should be big enough so they don’t take it into their mouth. It should encourage counting, sorting, balancing, discovering, and putting pieces in order.
Now that you know the purpose of STEM toys, let’s share some that are ideal for your toddler:
DIY STEM Toys for Kids
A Game of Peek-a-Boo
Toddlers love opening and touching things they shouldn’t. So, why not appease their curiosity. Save the lids of baby wipes, and attach them to a cardboard sheet. Use glue to stick materials with different textures under each lid, like pom-poms, dry pasta, and felt. Watch their surprised look as they open each lid and run their hands over the material.
Knock ′Em Down
Toddlers love destroying things. They get great joy in knocking anything down. So, why not teach them cause-and-effect with this. Stack a pyramid of plastic cups in front of them and show them how pushing one makes them all fall. Let them try next and help them do everything on their own.
One of the best ways to keep your toddler occupied for hours is to give them something they can’t touch but is too fascinating to leave. We are talking about discovery jars such as those filled with glitter, textured glue, balls, colored rice, etc. Include a small object in each so that when they shake the jar, their eyes are on what’s moving in between.
The Sensory Board
Ever wondered why your toddler is more fascinated with a spatula or doorknob than the toys in their room? Well, there’s no reason for it. However, you can use this to expand their mind. Get a hard cardboard sheet, and attach all those things on it that your kid is attached to, such as keys, things that make noise, a calculator, a wheel, a chain, a lock, etc. Attach this board at eye level, where they can sit and touch the things they see.
Water Sensory Bin
Take a baby bathtub, a couple of building blocks, and sudsy water, and you’ll get the best way to let your toddler splash in the water. They’ll discover how things feel when they are wet. Add in a few other things like water toys for 1 year old that can float and help them learn other things like the concept that light objects stay above and heavy objects sink.
The Building Block Board
One of the best building blocks for 1 year old is one where they not only challenge the toddler but also make them learn something new. You can even make a building block board at home too. Simply find objects of similar shapes and sizes and show your toddler how the square blocks go over squares and the triangle blocks go over triangles.
Space toys for toddlers are great at letting them discover what other things are out there in the universe. Fill a chest with toddler-sized space toys, such as the planets, an astronaut doll, and other such objects. Sit down with your toddler, let them pull out one item after the other, and explain to them what it is. You can also create a space puzzle. Print a picture, cut it into squares, and stick them on blocks.
The Ball Drop
Have you seen videos of people building a tactical course for rolling a ball from one end to the other? This is one of the best ways of teaching your toddler physics. Build a simple course with pots and pans and Jenga blocks. Tell them to keep their eye on the ball and see how it goes. Once your toddler gets the basic idea, you can buy little girl engineering toys that are a bit more advanced.
So, how do these ideas sound? We are sure that your toddler will love playing with them! These are just some of the creative designs to get your motor running, which we know has rusted a little bit after dealing with your feisty toddler. Try these out, and let us know if you have any more engaging ideas in mind.