When my eldest son was young we lived in England where it rains – a lot!
That meant rainy day activities for 1 year old were essential if I wanted to keep him entertained and keep myself sane.
Hopefully the activity ideas below will be as entertaining to your children as they were for all of mine.
22 Rainy Day Activities for 1 Year Old
So without further ado, here’s our list of play ideas that won’t break the bank.
1. Bring Outdoor Toys Inside
While it might not be practical to bring the giant trampoline into your living room there are certain other toys which are great indoors too such as slides see-saws and even scoot along cars (provided they’re not too dirty).
2. Build a Fort
If there’s one thing that I still fondly remember about rainy days when I was younger it was my mother pulling all the cushions off the sofas and giving us some old blanket to make a fort with.
Once constructed, it’s also a great location for other activities such as…
It doesn’t matter if your 1 or 91, there’s honestly something magical about reading or being read a story inside a cushion fort.
4. Get The Activity Table Out
If you’ve read our best play table for a 1 year old then you know we’re huge fans of activity tables. Rainy days are the perfect time to dig them out and help baby learn some new skills.
There’s something about baby massage that creates a magical bond between you and baby. During a calm moment, take time to practice with little one.
Turn the rainy day into an opportunity to develop their motor skills.Practice passing baby a wide range of items with different textures, shapes and weight as this will really help him or her to develop hand eye coordination.
Around a year baby will often start to boogie when a familiar song comes on and listen when they hear a new a new sound. Whale sounds, pop music, and nature noises are all likely to be a hit.
While baby might be slightly less hands on at 1 year old it’s still fun to bake with them, passing them spoons, rolling pins and even dough to help them feel like they’re joining in.
A piece of paper and a set of crayons can provide little one with hours of fun.
A Parenting Click tip here is to buy wallpaper backing paper as it’s cheap, stores away nicely and can be ripped off once your little one has finished.
10. Movie Day
At 1 year old baby is unlikely to sit through the whole film but putting something on, making popcorn can be a fun distraction.
11. Puzzles and Cards
Never underestimate the amount of fun even the youngest of babies can have with a puzzle or set of play cards.
12. Messy Play
If you’re not afraid of a little mess then shaving foam (fragrance free and for sensitive skin), corn flower and pasta and play doh are all excellent forms of tactile play for tot.
There’s just something wonderful about seeing the joy in baby’s face when they see you blowing bubbles. Again, this is one for those who don’t mind a little cleaning up afterward but can provide baby with endless giggles.
14. Build A Tower
I can’t begin to tell you how many hours I’ve spent stacking blocks only to let my daughter knock the tower down and then doing it again. So simple but baby loves it.
15. Play The Drums
Okay so this is another straight out of my own childhood but one that all of my children have enjoyed over the years.
Pull out all the pots and pans and give baby a wooden spoon.
Instant drum kit!
16. FInger Painting
Another activity designed to help baby understand new sensations, finger painting isn’t just a fun activity for a rainy day but it also gives you something for the fridge once little one is done.
It’s crazy the amount of fun that baby can have with an old phone when you pretend that the call is for them.
18. Tea Party
Invite all of baby’s favorite teddy bears and stuffed animals, grab some paper cups or even little ones old bottles and play tea party.
For added bonus fun make some sandwiches and let baby self feed to help develop their skills.
I don’t know what it is but babies love to help you clean.
Pretend your cleaning and let little one help and develop some critical skills along the way.
20. Nursery rhymes with actions
Whether it’s head, shoulders, knees and toes or itsy bitsy spider your baby will love when you sing nursery rhymes and do the actions.
21. Bath Time (with bubbles)
Okay so we felt lazy putting this on the list but an easy way to pass some time on a rainy day is to run baby a bath with bubbles and let them splash about.
It’s amazing how much more enjoyable bathtime can be when there’s not a rush to get baby bathed, changed and ready for bed!
22. Sensory Time
We love this tip that we saw on Pinterest – buy some cheap LED rope lights and a spinning night light, draw the curtains and turn them both on and let baby enjoy the changing colors.
Bonus points here if you can combine this with a fort.
The Bottom Line
So there you have it, our list of rainy day activities for 1 year old children that are the perfect way to pass the day and make some memories!
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.