What are some ideas on what to do with a one year old? I want to get some variety in during the day, besides the typical reading, music, crawling/cruising time, etc. Also, if anyone has any advice on how to create more of a schedule for her, that'd be great, as well. We usually go with the flow, but I feel that now that she is older, she needs a better routine. Thanks!
things to do with a one year old..
I had a great time with my son at this age. They are really into exploring everything and can be occupied by lots of things that are new experiences to them.
Some things I did with my son at home: fill his baby tub with water and throw in some cups and toys and let him sit outside it and splash around (this is messy so I did it in the kitchen with towels on the floor). Same thing with a big bucket of dried beans and scoops and cups. I had a whole wall covered with paper in one part of the house and he could scribble all over it (better if yours is walking and standing). Also I put together some "busy baskets" of random things that he didn't get to play with all the time so he was always intrigued when I brought them out. These were easy to fill- egg cartons, toilet paper/paper towel rolls, balls, ribbons, bubble wrap...anything interesting.
All of these activities require supervision of course.
We also went on outings that are more suited to older kids but that DS seemed to enjoy just fine- zoo, library/book store, aquarium shop, playgrounds etc.
As for a schedule- we always had (still do) a pretty rigid one because DS just operates much better that way. So we had set times every day for outings/errands, outside time, play groups- and I found it easier to just do some things at the same time every day- reading and snacks before naps, outings at the times he was rested and fed etc.
Oh I miss those days- everything seemed so much easier than it is now! Enjoy!
Household items are great at that age! Wipe out Pringles cans or yogurt containers and let them sort things into them (straws, beans, noodles, walnuts, onions, etc.). Mine loved the muffin tin, placing a potato in each well, or filling them with beans. While I was showering, he'd empty out my toiletries bag (safety-checked by me ahead of time, of course) and sort out the items. Cotton balls and q-tips were also fun. I also made him some play-dough, which he still loves, even though I have to do most of the molding for him. Also, you would be amazed at how early they can start helping with things around the house, like throwing away garbage, filling the washing machine, or mixing muffin batter.
As for a schedule, I found it difficult to be rigid, because I never wanted to wake him if I didn't have to. So I just tried (and still try) to have a routine, so that everything takes place in the same order each day. This works really well, and at 21 months, he so clearly knows what's next that he runs to the bathroom to brush his teeth after we put him in his pjs, and after that he runs to the bedroom for story time. So cute!
I found cute projects on pintrest and just did one the other day with DD. Take a piece of paper, squirt some paint on it, and slide it into a ziplock bag then tape to a table - finger painting without all the mess! She's 14mos and still puts everything in her mouth so we're not quite ready for real hands on paint or crayons here, but this was cute and fun for her to smudge the colors around. Empty boxes are always a big hit as she likes to put everything "IN" and narrate to me every time she does it :-)
Sassyfirechick- The finger painting sounds like a great idea! I can't wait to try it, as my child tends to put everything in their mouth, as well. As for boxes, she always like to take stuff OUT of them! Same thing with bags. I am trying to get her to put things IN them. Hopefully, soon! :)
You've had lots of good ideas already! There are a lot of ideas on the web -- you could get lost just clicking through googling crafts or activities for toddlers. Here are a few I used often:
I also used this book a lot with both of my kids:
The Toddler Busy Book by Trish Kuffner. Maybe it's at your local library?
Wake up, breakfast, playtime
Out of house activity (signing class, park, Gymboree type class, etc)
Craft/ stories/ numbers or shapes or colors
Indoor playtime (cars, play kitchen, crawling around) while I fixed dinner and did housework
Evening indoor playtime with daddy
Obviously we didn't stick to it perfectly but generally it worked