One Year Body builders

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Push and Pull

NBuilds baby’s arm and leg muscles NBuilds baby’s trunk muscles

Fill a small box or plastic bin with blocks or toys. Show your child how to push it around. Tie a ribbon or string to it and your child can pull it.

If your child can easily stand up or walk, use a bigger box or bin to push and pull. Your child can choose toys or household items to put in the box to make a heavier load. A full laundry basket can be fun to push, too.

Play a game of tug with a sock or small towel. Hold one end and put the other end in your child’s hands. Let your child pull on the sock. Pull gently on your end so they feel the pressure, but not so hard that they fall over!

When you use a stroller, let your child push it a bit before they get in to ride.

Baby Activities
Baby Activities

Let’s Dance!

NBaby learns balanceNBaby learns to control their body movementsNBuild’s baby’s sense of rhythm

Put on a fun song and dance! No music? You can sing a song. Hold your child in your arms and dance around the room.

If your child can stand up, have them stand on your feet and take dance steps together. Be sure to try any special dances you learned as a child.

If your child can walk, they are ready to dance. You can hold hands to help them balance.

Your child might be able to copy some simple dance moves. Clap your hands, raise your arms, or move your hips. Ask your child to show you their dance moves.

Your child can also learn to move to music while sitting. They can clap their hands and rock their body to the beat.

Your child can try to dance even before they are able stand on their own.


NBuild baby’s leg musclesNTeaches baby common wordsNBuilds brain to body connection NBuilds coordination

Bouncing helps your child learn to jump. Hold your child’s hands. Show them how to bend and straighten their knees to bounce. Bend and straighten your knees, too and bounce together. You can say,

  • Bounce, baby, bounce! or make up a bouncing song.

Hold your child under their arms. Gently lift them up and down touching their feet on the ground. Each time you lift them up, say,

  • Jump! Jump! Jump!

You are helping them learn what it feels like to jump up and down. When your child first tries to jump on their own, it might look like bouncing. It takes time for the brain and the muscles to work together. With practice your child will soon be jumping with joy!

Baby Activities
Baby Activities

Over, Under, Around

NBuilds baby’s movement skillsNBaby learns to move in order

Make an easy obstacle course for your child to move through. Show your child how to:

  • Climb over a pile of pillows
  • Crawl under a towel draped over two chairs
  • Go around a big box
  • Get in and out of a big basket
  • Step over a scarf or a piece of paper

Use any items around the house to create obstacles. When your child has done the obstacle course a few times have them go in reverse order. Ask your child, 

  • Can you think of more ways to go over, under and around?

Your child will learn to keep trying when they run into obstacles in the world, so make it fun for them now!

Kick a Ball

NBuilds baby’s leg musclesNBuilds baby’s balance

Choose a lightweight ball so it will roll easily. The ball should be colorful and big enough for your child to see. A small beach ball is ideal if you have one.

Place the ball near your child’s foot. At first their kick will be more like a push. That’s okay! A one year old can’t balance well enough to kick a ball correctly.

Encourage your child to kick the ball and follow it. When it stops have them kick it again. If you deflate the ball a little bit it won’t go as far. This is helpful if you’re playing inside.

Ask your child to try kicking with both feet. You can say,

  • I see you’re kicking with your right foot. Can you kick the ball with your other foot?

Your child will get better at kicking as they grow.

Your one year old can learn to kick a ball with your help and have fun while doing it!

Baby Activities