I am always on the hunt, or the lookout, for activities to keep my 12-month-old interested and engaged for more than 30 seconds. I love getting on the floor and playing with her, but let’s be real, there are times that I need a few minutes.
It always seems like when I need those few minutes to make a phone call, pick up the kitchen, or even take a shower, is when she needs the extra attention or something to stimulate her brain. If you take care of a 1-year-old, I know you understand. This rubber band activity has been the answer for us lately!
Be sure to check out my Sensory Play For 1 Year Old’s Ideas + Activities as well!
Rubber Band Activity For Kids
This rubber band toy save is not only an attention keeper but super simple to prep too! Another thing that is fantastic is that the versatility of this activity is beyond.
It’s fun for the kids to feel and pull and great for being a holder of their toys, too!
- Container (I used a bread pan)
- Toys, Trinkets, Etc.
I mentioned that this activity is versatile. Well, let me explain. To start, you need a container. The only stipulation is that the rubber bands have to fit around it in both directions.
I like to cross the rubber bands in an X or + shape, so make sure your container can accommodate this.
You can add some variety with the rubber bands as well. They can be of different thicknesses or colors.
Now for the main event, the toys. You can go completely random like we did, or you can mix it up with a theme. Some that I thought of are:
- Food from a play kitchen
- Cars and Trucks
- Characters (Disney, Paw Patrol, Pixar, etc.)
Preparing The Rubber Band Activity
Fine motor activities are front and center for younger kids. The elastics of the band are a fun way to create fun activities for the kids. Please be aware that adult supervision is needed.
- I like to cross the rubber bands in an X or + shape versus just going in one direction. This increases the challenge.
- The amount of rubber bands that you add is up to you and how much of a challenge your child needs.
- The number of toys that you use can be dependent on your child’s needs.
Start by putting the rubber bands onto the container, do this in alternating directions. Start with one going across, then one going up and down, then across, then up and down, and so on until you have put on all the rubber bands that you would like to.
Next, grab the toys that you would like your child to play with. Set the toys next to the container.
How To Play With This Simple Rubber Band Activity
Children will start by grabbing one toy and squeeze it through the rubber bands. Pick up the next toy and follow the same process. They will do this until all of the toys are inside the container.
Once this is done, they can pull them out. One by one. Then start all over again. This can be done for toys and is a great activity that is a fun idea.
Why I Love This Activity
- The prep time for this is literally 1 minute if you know where the supplies are.
- I was able to use toys and supplies that we already had. You can literally use anything.
- My daughter LOVED it. Even my older kids wanted a turn too. It’s perfect for fine motor practice!
- This kept my daughter busy for longer than I thought it would!
- Fine motor skills are strengthened.
- This can be done anywhere. At home, in the car, in a restaurant, in a waiting room and more. It’s also perfect for rainy day fun or a way to work in more simple fine motor activities.
- Cleaning up is quick as a flash.
Fine motor skills are strengthened when using this activity. Children have to pick up the toys and possibly, depending on skill level, could pinch the rubber band and move it so the toy can go in easier.
Hand strength is also exercised. While this is not a difficult activity, it does require some hand strength. Children will push the toy through the rubber bands. This is a great way to help strengthen hand muscles for children.
I love the ease of this activity and I love it even more than my daughter will sit and play with it for a while. I can have a few moments to check something off my to-do list before I get back on the floor and play with her.
Did you love this stretched rubber band idea? Here are some other cool things and a fun experiment or two that the kids are sure to love!