The Games that a One-Year-Old Baby Needs

Do you want to know what games a one-year-old baby needs? Here are some ideas to help you find the best game for your child.
The Games that a One-Year-Old Baby Needs
Mara Amor López

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Written by Mara Amor López

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Playing plays a very important role in children’s development, which is why it’s important to know what your one-year-old baby needs in order to start discovering all that they can do. This way, not only will they have fun, but they’ll also learn a great deal.

At this age, the neurological development of the little ones occurs at a speed incomparable to that of other stages of life. At this time, children are very curious about the environment, everything interests them, and they’re capable of discovering what’s around them. Parents should be attentive to their child’s initiative and encourage them to interact with the objects around them. Below, we’ll tell you how to make the most of your intervention. Don’t miss it!

The games that a one-year-old baby needs to experience

It’s important that we know how to choose the right toys for little ones and that they’re suitable, both in terms of functionality and safety. Also, special care must be taken with the elements of the environment where the playing takes place, such as ornaments, furniture, and plugs. At this stage, babies are very curious explorers, which can favor the occurrence of accidents.

How can parents act to promote learning?

Although it’s important to promote movement and free play from early childhood, adults must supervise children at all times to prevent them from getting hurt. Keep in mind that they lack risk awareness and that everything new captures their attention and they’ll seek to touch it.

Take note of everything you can do to help your child awaken their curiosity:

  • Keep an eye on them, but give them their space. The child must be able to experiment, so we must allow them to discover which games they like or are most interested in.
  • Involve them in the family routines. For example, you can teach them to pick up their toys through thematic songs or make a game to help them take the lighter products out of the shopping bag.
A mother and her baby boy playing with toy trucks.
Toy cars and toy trucks are ideal for entertaining children. They’re even better if they have a back to load with objects and then tip them over.

Toys that a one-year-old baby needs to have

Children not only like toys that move and make sounds, but also those that allow them to move around the environment, such as riding toys. Therefore, we can encourage some activities that involve this new skill, but always under our supervision. Some of the ideal toys or games for this purpose may be the following:

  • Trucks or cars in which they can load other pieces and tip them over.
  • Wooden pieces of different sizes, shapes, and colors, either stackable or nestable, for them to build their own buildings.
  • Four-piece puzzles with eye-catching pictures to encourage fine motor skills, visual-spatial coordination, and problem-solving.
  • Pushing toys. These games must have very stable wheels so that the child can propel himself without slipping. They should always be used under supervision. Remember that the use of walkers is not recommended.
  • Bath time games. These are ideal for entertaining little ones while they wash themselves. In addition, they allow them to discover how water slips through their fingers and the sensation it produces when it slides down their body. Water books, submersible rubber dolls, or small cups of different sizes for pouring are some good options.
  • Large cloth or plastic balls. With these elements, the child is encouraged to move around the environment and even to take their first steps. They can go after them, observe how they move away if they push them, and how they come back when someone else tosses them toward them.
  • A variety of musical instruments. Trumpets, drums, xylophones or tambourines, or any sound element will surely capture their attention. Remember that they must be adapted for a one-year-old child in order to avoid accidents.
  • Plasticine, finger paint, crayons, or fine sand. These elements will help them develop their psychomotor skills and strength.
  • Dolls, puppets, and stuffed animals. These toys are excellent for stimulating symbolic play.
  • Buckets, shovels, rakes, and molds. These are ideal for use with sand, whether at the beach or in the park. These toys will help improve their hand-eye coordination.

Games without toys that a one-year-old baby needs to know

At this age, children don’t need a large number of toys, as they can have fun with any object. In addition, the play time shared with an adult is more important than the material elements themselves. Here are some ideas to stimulate their development without the need for toys.

The dancing game

If they like to sing and dance at home, this game will be one of their favorites. You can use traditional songs, such as “Pop Goes the Weasel” or “ Apples and Bananas”. While singing, you can hold hands, twirl, and jump.

A mother dancing with her 1-year-old.
Singing, dancing, jumping, and twirling are sure to delight your little one, especially if they do it together with their mom or dad.

Sound Hide and Seek

In this game, you just have to hide a toy that makes noise, which can be a radio or a doll that makes sounds. Then, encourage the baby to look for it. Once they manage to find it, it will be their turn to hide it.

This way, their auditory and attentional abilities and sense of direction are encouraged.

Sorting colored balls

On the floor, place three balls of different colors and some plastic containers that are the same colors as the balls. The game consists of placing each ball in the container of its corresponding color.

Adventure games

Adventure games are suitable for children who are starting to stand up or who have already started to walk. You can prepare a tour around the house in which they’ll have to pick up different objects. In addition, place furniture so that they can support themselves if they’re not yet able to balance very well. The goal will be to reach mom or dad, who will be waiting for them to give them a big hug and a kiss.

About the games that a one-year-old baby needs we can say…

A one-year-old baby needs games and toys to learn more about the world around them. But more than objects, they need time shared with their main caregivers.

At this age, children’s curiosity is very big, so it’s important to look for activities and suitable elements to encourage their correct neurological development.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ferland, F. (2005). Jugamos?: El juego con niñas y niños de 0 a 6 años (Vol. 52). Narcea Ediciones.

  • Grellet, C. (2000). El juego entre el nacimiento y los 7 años: un manual para ludotecarias. Sector de educación, monografía14, 2000. En internet:

  • Zamorano, M. M., Abad, M. E. M., Hernández, M. J. H., Herrera, C. Q., & de la Fuente, E. P. (2019). La importancia del juego en los niños. Canarias pediátrica43(1), 31-35.En internet:

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.