When my son went from infant to toddler, I found it challenging to keep him stimulated, especially when he became mobile! By 14-months, he was into everything, constantly exploring his surroundings, and I needed new activities to promote his development. I wanted a variety of things he could do independently as well as activities we could together. So naturally, I scoured the internet and collected the thirteen best activities and toys to keep him engaged.
In general, the best types of activities for a 14-month-old toddler are scavenger hunts and water play, which give children different textural experiences. The best craft activities are making pasta necklaces, which give them opportunities to make creative choices. These activities allow them to explore with their senses and express their creativity. The top 13 activities below are a fun way to support the development of a 14-month-old.
- Developmental Milestones
- Sensory Play Activities
- Arts and Crafts
- Developmental Toys
- Final Verdict
This article from Pampers.com has some great insight into the milestones of a 14-month-old. At this stage, their language comprehension is improving. They’re beginning to understand simple directions and recognize familiar objects and people as well as becoming more independent. If they haven’t started walking already, this is about the time when they start.
Sensory Play Activities
At 14-months, children are all about exploring their surroundings. Everything is new and exciting, especially if they’ve recently become mobile! Sensory play includes any activities that engage the five senses – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell – as well as movement and balance. These types of activities have many cognitive benefits, including improved motor and language skills and problem-solving. For a 14-month-old explorer, sensory activities are a must.
You can have sensory play inside or outside. In fact, it’s best to have both options to keep your 14-month-old’s attention span engaged. For outside sensory play, the activities can be a little messier and, when appropriate, should include elements of nature. Below are some activities for both indoor and outdoor sensory play.
1. Scavenger Hunts
Explore the backyard or the park with your child. Let them touch all the different textures of nature and point out things they can’t reach. Pause together to listen to the sounds and identify them. You can even create your own scavenger hunt seek-and-find game so your child can scout objects for themself. There are also many pre-made options on Amazon like this one.
Who doesn’t love bubbles? Playing with bubbles actually promotes hand-eye coordination in toddlers. Blow some yourself for them to catch, but also give them a chance to try for themselves. Don’t be afraid to let them get messy. Many DIY bubble recipes are made with items you probably already have at home!
3. Ripping Games
Give your child a piece of paper – any kind you have – and let them rip it into pieces. It’s a simple activity, but it’s one that will help develop their fine motor skills. The bigger the paper the longer they’ll stay occupied. To contain the mess, have them sit in their highchair or in their booster seat at the table.
4. Painting With Water
This is another fun activity your child can do independently, and as a bonus, it’s mess-free! Get any color construction paper and give your toddler a paintbrush and a shallow bowl of water (to avoid big spills). Instruct them to “paint” the water onto the paper and watch them go! This is another activity that will work their fine motor skills.
5. Sensory Bins
These are a great way to introduce your toddler to different textures. The beauty of sensory bins is you can use whatever you have laying around the house. Simply get a tub of any size and add items of different sizes and textures for your toddler to play in. Think rice, oats, sand, pasta, leaves – whatever.
Then, give your child smaller containers or cups and spoons, shovels, sifters, etc. to dig and explore. Just make sure to keep an eye on them if the items are inedible. You can also check out these ideas for edible sensory bins. If you’re including inedible or non-perishable items in your bins, you can put them in tubs with lids for easy storage.
6. Water Play
Most water tables are for 18-months and up because children have much more balance at that age. But that doesn’t mean your 14-month-old can’t play with water. You can create water bins for your child to play in and explore when the weather is calling you outside.
A water bin is essentially a sensory bin but with water as the main element. You can add ice cubes, leaves, flowers, or toys that float like plastic balls. Just like sensory bins, what you add is up to you so be as creative as you want. You can also give your child different containers and water toys to use in the bin as vehicles for exploration.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are a wonderful way for your 14-month-old to express their creativity. Because they are just starting to gain independence and develop their fine motor skills, they will most likely need your help when doing arts and crafts. Below are some easy activities you can do together.
7. Pasta Necklace
All you need is some yarn and a bowl of uncooked pasta. Then, have your child string the pasta onto the yarn to make a necklace. You may have to help them with the first few pieces.
You’ll want to use pasta with a wider opening like rigatoni or penne to avoid frustration when stringing. If you’re really in a crafty mood, you can help your toddler add some color to the pasta with markers or paint. Just make sure whatever you use is washable because it will definitely be messy.
8. Windsock Craft
This is a super easy, relatively mess-free craft you and your child can do together. All you need is a piece of white paper, streamers, tape, and dot paint markers. Your child can express their creativity by choosing whatever colors they want for the dot markers and the streamers.
Once they’re finished dotting the white paper, they’ll need help taping the streamers and rolling the decorated paper into a tube. Check out this link for more in-depth directions on how to complete this craft.
It’s no secret that children love stickers. Let your 14-month-old express their creativity by giving them a page (or a book) of stickers and a piece of paper, and they’ll decorate to their heart’s content. It can really be that simple.
You can also use stickers to begin practicing color recognition with your child. Give them different pieces of construction paper and solid-colored stickers that correspond, and help them match the stickers to the paper.
At 14-months, your child is probably ready for some new toys to keep their developing minds and bodies stimulated. There are a lot of reasonably priced toys on the market that will help your child through all stages of development.
Remember, 14-month-olds are interested in using their hands and exploring through their senses, so you’ll want to find toys that meet those needs. Check out some of our favorite options below.
14-months is a great age to start introducing your child to puzzles if you haven’t already. Puzzles help with a variety of cognitive developments such as shape recognition and concentration as well as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
To maximize their sense of accomplishment, try to get them puzzles with chunkier pieces or jumbo knobs like this one from Melissa and Doug. At this stage, they’re probably only ready for single-shape puzzles as opposed to jigsaw puzzles.
11. Matching Easter Eggs
This set of twelve eggs promotes shape and color recognition as well as fine motor skills. Each egg splits in half to reveal a shape and color that is unique to itself. Your child will have fun trying to match the shapes and colors together, and after they get the hang of it, this activity is one they can do independently.
12. My First Library Board Book Block
Your 14-month-old’s language skills are developing rapidly. This set of twelve books from Baby Einstein is a great tool to help grow their language skills further. The books are small enough for little hands to turn the pages with content that includes colors, shapes, letters, and seasons.
13. VTech Musical Rhymes Book
This book from VTech is another good product for language development. Nursery rhymes teach children the structure and cadence of language as well as help to increase their vocabulary. This book also introduces instrument sounds and music, which studies show has many benefits to a child’s development.
These are just some of the many ideas for activities you can do with your 14-month-old. With many of them, you can vary the activity slightly to keep it interesting for your little explorer. As my son has grown, I’ve even taken some of these activities as adapted them further. Let us know if you’ve tried any of these activities and how they worked for you!
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I worked in the accounting field. I am also a Certified Food Handler. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to mom’s life and homemaking.