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  1. #1
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    Activities for One Year Olds

    I'm looking for some ideas for craft activities for one year olds. We go outside everyday, and play with our toys where I try to teach them different concepts. We also read a lot and I sing to them and put on puppet shows (huge hit). I'd love to start doing some crafts with them, but tried painting last week with homemade paint and it went straight into their mouths. I'm afraid that sensory tubs filled with rice or pasta or lentils would end in the same way and pose a choking hazard. Also, I loathe the idea of wasting food.
    Any ideas for little crafts that I can engage these little ones in without it becoming a meal or snack for them???
    Thanks!
    Last edited by gravy_train; 12-02-2012 at 08:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    I love washable markers and they wash off of faces and hands but I try to watch the babies so that they don't end up in their mouths. Parents love it when I print up pictures that indicate my themes like the ocean or snow or cowboys, you name it, and their children bring them home. After they colour the pictures we sometimes glue on or tape on different media like feathers, beads, cotton balls, or other things that can give the pictures an extra ooomph. I think it's important for the children to learn about glueing and taping too.

    I make my own thick fingerpaints with a bit of flour, water and food colouring which is safe if it ends up in the mouths but I have them fingerpaint on special shiny 'fingerpainting' paper. I tell the parents that it's important that the children learn the difference between eating and crafting at at the same place (their booster seats) at my house and that's the first step to learning about crafting.

    We go to our local parks and I bring the magnifying glasses so the children can be 'detectives' and look for tiny things in nature. We bring home collections and make a little collage or statue (with my hot glue gun) with leaves, pinecones, maple keys, etc.

    I have to admit that I don't like the 'sensory bin' idea and only have one shoebox filled with different things that I pull out now and then when we are having a day to pass activities around the dining room table. In my opinion, everything in the world, inside and outside is 'sensory'!

    Anyway, just a few of my opinions and ideas!
    Frederick Douglass
    It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

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  4. #3
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    I love the "toddler crayons" that have the big plastic character and the crayon is inside it. It make sit easier for toddlers to grasp and I find they are less likely to put the crayon in their mouth because only a small portion of it sticks out pf the character!

    For sensory I am a HUGE lover of Sensory Bags!!!!!! Seriously, just make them lol!!!!!!! I have a dozen and growing They are great for one year olds because they still get to explore the different textures but it is contained in zip-lock bags! I zip them shut, fold the end and tape it down to make sure it is closed well. You have to watch that they don't bite on the bags but usually after telling them a few times that the bags are for touching with our hands and not putting in our mouths they get it! I have found for me it's only taken a few practices with the bags before they got the point!
    "If we all could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything!" - Chee Vai Tang

  5. #4
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    Personally I let one year olds just be one year olds. They get enough sensory, tactile, etc from interacting with the environment and do not yet have a creative side so to speak. Being creative is based on knowledge and experience. Do not be in a hurry to rush one year olds to do organized activities. Keep everything very open ended. The fact they are eating the crayons tells you that they have not reached the maturity required for the activity. This is especially true if you have them in their high chairs. An orange crayon looks like a carrot stick. How are they to know the difference.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by playfelt View Post
    Personally I let one year olds just be one year olds. They get enough sensory, tactile, etc from interacting with the environment and do not yet have a creative side so to speak. Being creative is based on knowledge and experience. Do not be in a hurry to rush one year olds to do organized activities. Keep everything very open ended. The fact they are eating the crayons tells you that they have not reached the maturity required for the activity. This is especially true if you have them in their high chairs. An orange crayon looks like a carrot stick. How are they to know the difference.
    I have to say, I agree that one year olds get sensory/tactile experience from interacting with the environment as well as they may get confused doing art in their highchair.

    However, I totally disagree when it comes to them "getting enough from interacting with the environment" and not having a creative side so to speak. Place a one year old at a small children's size table, give them red and blue paint on paper and just watch the excitement in their eyes and how "amazed" they are when they push the paint a certain way with their fingers that it bulges into one area or smooths out into a thin layer. The feeling they get from exploring the paint in their hands, on their fingers and when the two paints mix together and make purple, an entirely different colour than the two they were given!
    "If we all could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything!" - Chee Vai Tang

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    my little ones love stickers! when im doing a more indepth craft with older ones, they all sit around with their big crayons and stickers.....i try and engage them in any craft we are doing otherwise how else can they learn?

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  9. #7
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    Each age has skills that they need to learn. While they might enjoy the paint, etc. they also need to be using the toys that will teach them the fine motor skills for doing crafts.

    I guess too it depends on what we are talking about when we say one year olds - 12 -15 month olds and 20-23 months olds are all one year olds.

    I just see too many people trying to make the babies - under 18-20 months tag along with the big kids instead of getting to do the learning that is important to them.

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    I am talking about 12-15mths, 16-19mths, 20-23mths even younger! Of course they need to learn while playing with toys but the art/crafts don't have to take a long time. If they only want to sit and paint for 5mins that's fine. If they don't feel like painting at all that's also fine! It's all about variety. I'm not talking about having a one year old sit down with three year olds and be forced to do the same craft as the older children, not at all. Even if they DID do the same craft that would be ok just at their own level. For example, I am doing a shaving cream and glue 3D snowman today. Older children would paste the snowman circles "as a snowman" and then paint the snowman. I plan on handing my one year old daughter the snowman circles with glue on them and I totally expect for her to have the three circles all over the page. And then I will be allowing her to finger paint the "snowman" and page as she likes and stick the eyes, carrot nose, mouth, hat and arms wherever she pleases. I LOVE abstract art and this will be the most special abstract masterpiece ever!!! <3
    Last edited by BrightEyes; 12-03-2012 at 01:11 PM. Reason: spelling!
    "If we all could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything!" - Chee Vai Tang

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  12. #9
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    Thanks for the ideas LittleFeet. We're starting our Christmas crafts tomorrow and I spent a lot of money at Dollarama on the weekend. But we're ready to create.

    When you were talking about ziplock bag activities I remembered the best way to paint. Mess free painting. Someone I know found it and shared with us, probably from Pinterest. Put a few squirts of differen colours of acrylic paints in a big ziplock bag with a few tablespoons of oil and the paint and oil won't mix. The children can push the paint around through the bag. I used little ziplock bags for the babies. They LOVE this!

    My opinion of sensory is that no matter what we do, what the children touch or look at or smell, it's ALL sensory. So if it's a baggie or box full of different things for them to look at, yes that's sensory, if it's crawling on the rug, that's sensory, smelling a flower, playing with leggo, and so on and so on. Everything they eat, touch, play with is all different. I like to make sure I have a good supply of different kinds of toys and crafting but I wouldn't want a bin full of sand or water or rice in my house. Outside, yes, inside no!
    Frederick Douglass
    It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

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  14. #10
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    Oh yes Momof4, the ziplock bag painting sounds like an awesome idea. I haven't given that a try yet. I have put two colours in sensory bags which make the third colour when the children play with it but I am sure adding oil would make it more interesting and really get the children's minds going!
    Last edited by BrightEyes; 12-03-2012 at 07:25 PM. Reason: spelling
    "If we all could see the world through the eyes of a child, we would see the magic in everything!" - Chee Vai Tang

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