Every day it seems as if I am getting closer to running out of things to keep my baby boy busy. He is closely approaching that 14 – 18 month stage where learning activities are a must. I will be honest there are times when we just walk around the house aimlessly looking at random things because I literally have nothing left for him to do! He has played with all his toys, I have read him all his books and he has definitely had enough snacks!
I feel like I am running out of ideas and the feeling of panic is starting to settle in.
As he quickly approaches his toddler stage I feel desperate to find some activities to keep him busy. You would think that because I have two older children I would know all about this stuff, right?
Unfortunately, I do not. My other two children are much older and it seems that I have forgotten pretty much everything. The one thing I DO remember is how active they became at 14-18 months! This is why I need some fun activities and I need them fast!
In hopes to help both myself and any other panicky moms out there I have created some learning activities for 14 – 18 month old toddlers.
There are plenty of different activities to choose from. Both indoor activities and outdoor are both here for you! Check out these great ideas!
These lists will help us keep our toddlers busy, while still learning.
Here are some important things to keep in mind for a 14-18 month old:
They are very active and curious (They LOVE sensory play)
Toddlers learn best through exploration (Play music as they explore)
They need lots of supervision
14 – 18 month old children want to explore everything
They are starting to use words and sounds to communicate
Now that we know what our little ones are like, here are some ideas to help us get through the day!
Statistics on Cognitive and Motor Skills
Toddlers between the ages of 14 – 22 months exhibit these cognitive and motor skills listed below (National Center of Education Statistics)
14 – 18 Month Old Activities for at Home
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Go on a Shape Scavenger Hunt
You can do this activity inside or outside. Simply make a list of shapes and go around your house or neighborhood looking for them. This is a great way to help your child learn their shapes while also getting some energy out!
Play with Blocks
This may seem like a no brainer but there are so many ways to play with blocks that you may not have thought of! Not only will they be using their fine motor skills to stack the blocks but they will also be using their imagination. You can have them build towers, houses, tunnels, etc. The possibilities are endless and this is such a hit with toddlers!
Again, another simple activity with so many possibilities! Your child can practice stacking the cups, knocking them down, nesting them inside of each other, etc. This is a great way to work on those fine motor skills!
This is a simple activity that you can do with things you have around the house. All you need is a container (we used an empty tissue box) and a small ball. Your child will drop the ball into the container and watch it fall out the bottom. This is a great way to work on those cause and effect skills!
A sensory bin is a great for 14-18 month olds because they are so curious about the world around them! You can fill a bin with any sensory materials from water beads, food coloring, rice, clothes pins, sand, pom poms, a toilet paper roll, shaving cream, tissue paper, pipe cleaners or masking tape. You can also make sensory bags which is super fun! The possibilities are endless when creating sensory awareness! Not only will they be entertained but they will also be a great idea for exploring different textures and materials with these sensory play activities.
Painting with Cars
This is a great activity for those kiddos who love cars! Simply put some edible paints on a piece of paper and let them drive their cars through it! Pulling toys through paint and seeing the results of cause and effect is a great visual experience for a toddler. You can do this in an empty container to keep the mess contained. This is a great way to explore different colors and textures.
Felt Board Stories
This is a great activity for those kiddos who love stories! You can create a felt board story using anything from felt to magnets to Velcro. The possibilities are endless! Little hands can be getting sensory experiences with the felt while practicing their storytelling skills. This type of imaginative play also helps their language skills.
This is a great activity for those kiddos who love music! You can use anything from pots, pans, paper towel roll and other household items to actual instruments to make music. This is a fun way to keep young children entertained as they explore different sounds and rhythms. You may even have some old toys that can be used as a musical instrument!
This is a great activity for those kiddos who love to move! You can turn on your favorite songs and dance around the house. Not only will they be entertained but they will also be getting some exercise.
Hide and Seek
This is a great game activity for those kiddos who love to play games! You can hide a toy or object around the house and have them find it. This is a great way to work on those problem-solving skills. They will think this is a great game!
Look for easy puzzles with large pieces that are easy for your toddler to handle. Wooden puzzles are usually the best choice because they are easy to manipulate with tiny fingers. This you can increase hand eye coordination. You can also make your own puzzle by cutting out pictures from magazines or old greeting cards. This wooden toy is a classic.
Coloring is another activity that helps with fine motor development. It is also a great way for your toddler to express their creativity. Look for coloring books with large pictures or make your own by drawing simple pictures on a piece of construction paper.
Playing dress up is a great way for your toddler to use their imagination and have fun. It is also a good way to help them learn about different people and occupations.
Listening to music and dancing are great ways to get your toddler moving. They can also help them learn about rhythm and beat.
Spending time outdoors is important for your toddler’s physical and mental development. It is a great way for them to explore their surroundings and get some fresh air.
Water play is a great way for any 14 month old to cool off on a hot day. It is also a good way to help your toddler develop their fine motor skills by putting things in and out of the water. Try filling up a sink or small pool with water and let your toddler splash around. You can also buy a water table and add some toys such as boats or plastic balls. Messy play is always fun!
Art activities are another great way for your 18 month old to express their creativity. It is also a good way to help young toddlers develop their fine motor skills by working on a fun art project. Try giving your toddler some crayons and paper and see what they create. You can also try other art supplies such as paint, markers, letter stamps or clay. This is great for independent play.
Pretend play is a great way for your toddler to use their imagination. It is also a good way to help them develop their social skills. Try playing pretend games such as pretending to be animals or cooking dinner.
Physical activity is important for your toddler’s physical development. It is also a great way to help them burn off some energy. Try running around outside, playing tag, or hide-and-seek. Play music while you do this too.
Shadow puppets is one of the great activities that help your 18 month old develop their imagination. It is also a good way to help them learn about light and dark. Try making shadow puppets with your hands or using flashlights to project the shadows onto a wall.
Playing with dolls is a great way to help your childs develop their social skills. It is also a good way to help them learn about taking care of others. Try giving your toddler a doll to feed, dress, or bathe.
Bath time is not only a great way to help your toddler stay clean, but it is also a good way to help them relax and have fun. Try adding some toys to the bathtub or letting your toddler splash around in a small pool. This is another example of sensory play.
Bedtime is a great time for your toddler to wind down and relax. It is also a good time for you to bond with your toddler. Try reading a bedtime story or singing a lullaby or play music to help your toddler fall asleep.
Playing with toy cars is a great way to help your toddler develop in creative play. It is also a good way to help them learn about cause and effect. Try letting your toddler drive the car around or push it down a ramp.
Playing with playdoh is a great way to help your childs develop their fine motor skills. It is also a good way to help them learn about colors and shapes. Try giving your toddler some playdoh to squish, roll, and mold.
Playing with food
Playing with food is a great way to help them learn about different types of foods. Try giving your toddler some safe foods to play with such as cooked pasta, rice, or beans. They will think this is a great game!
14 – 18 Month Old Activities for Outside of the Home
1. Local Park – Parks are great places for your toddler to explore and burn off some energy. This can also help them socialize with other children and practice gross motor skills.
3. Beaches – Beaches are great places for your toddler to explore, build sand castles, see sea creatures and play.
4. Zoos – Zoos are great places for your toddler to learn about animals. This is a great time to teach animal sound!
5. Museums – Museums are wonderful for exposing your toddler to things they would otherwise never see. Here they can learn about different topics. Sometimes there are areas of sensory play here too!
6. Farms – Farms are great places for your 18-month-old toddler to learn about animals and where food comes from.
7. Libraries – Libraries are great places for your little one to learn about reading and to enjoy story time. This also helps your toddler work on their listening skills. Check out some nursery rhymes books while your there!
8. Gardens – Gardens are great places for your little one to explore nature and play.
9. Waterparks – Waterparks are great places for your little one to have fun and cool off in the summer. All this fun strengthens their gross motor skills without them even knowing it!
10. Spray grounds – Spray grounds is another great place for your toddler to have fun and cool off in the summer.
These are all the best activities to keep your toddler busy and learning! Toddlers need lots of exploration and new experiences in order to learn and grow. These 14 – 18 month old fun learning activities provide a variety of opportunities for your toddler to explore and have fun.
Which activity will you try first?