47 Fun Activities For a 14-Month-Old Busy Toddler

Looking for activities for a 14-month-old to keep them entertained all day? 14-month-olds are young toddlers who need lots of stimulation and exposure to different things to stay busy (and happy… amiright 🀣?!).

Quality time with your little one doesn’t mean you need to buy new things or buy the best toys. Most of these activities can be done with things around your house, others outside, and some require a special toy or equipment around the house.

Pro Tip: Look for the πŸ’΅sign for free activities for 14-month-olds.

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14 month old playing with water table

In this article, you will find the best ways to play with your old baby and develop their fine, gross, and cognitive skills through different activities.

Even as your toddler becomes more independent, you should always supervise them while doing anything from this list. 

Arts and Crafts

1. Edible Paint

Edible paint is messy, so put down a drop cloth or old sheet to contain the mess. If weather permits, take your baby to the diaper for even less cleanup. 

I haven’t made edible paint yet… But if I were going to make it, I would use this recipe. I would also skip any sugar or flavoring. Just because the paint is edible, I wouldn’t want to advertise that to my little one… Or, the next time we used real paints, he would try to eat those too.

Edible paint is a great craft for fine motor skills, cognitive development, and sensory play.  

Here’s a great edible paint recipe.

2. Playdough

Toddler playing with homemade playdoh

Playdough offers a multifaceted sensory experience for babies. It hones fine motor skills through pinching, squeezing, and shaping while introducing new textures, colors, and smells.

As children grow, playdough fosters imaginative play.

For a perfect homemade recipe with vibrant colors and scents, check out my Kool-Aid Playdough Recipe. It makes the perfect playdough every time.

I love making homemade playdough, but my kids enjoy some of the unique Pay-Doh sets.

3. Water Painting On Construction Paper πŸ’΅ (Free)

Toddler in high chair painting with water on contstruction paper.

Place your child in their high chair at a table. In a shallow bowl, pour a small amount of water (enough that you won’t mind if it spills).

Get some construction paper. Try out various painting tools: regular brushes, sponge foam brushes, Q-tips, cotton balls, sponges, and more.

Tip: If your toddler is energetic like mine, use painter’s tape to secure the paper and prevent it from being flung around.

4. Water Drawing Books

I recently stumbled upon water drawing activities, which have been a fantastic fit for my son. These water books also make excellent airplane toys for one-year-olds!

These reusable water books offer endless entertainment, and they’re a blessing when you’re on the go or dining out because they keep things mess-free.

Fill the pens with water, let your child draw, and watch the magic unfold on the board. As it dries, the water disappears, allowing for endless fun!

My Favorite Water Books
02/23/2024 11:56 pm GMT

5. Drawing With A Water Mat

Boy playing with water drawing mat.

Water mats work just like water books… Just add water to see the colors appear. Our water mat came with several brushes, stamps, rollers, and pens to create different shapes and thicknesses of lines.

Pro Tip: You can also “finger paint” with water on these mats!

Favorite Water Mat
Water Drawing Mat
$37.99 $26.99
02/23/2024 09:42 am GMT

6. Finger Paints

toddler boy playing with finger paints

Speaking of finger painting… If you aren’t afraid of getting a little messy, this is an activity you’re little one will never forget. Don’t forget your high chair drop cloth and full bibs.

Music and Instruments

7. Wooden Spoon Drums πŸ’΅

Gather up your collection of wooden spoons, pots, and pans, and let your toddler have a jam session in the kitchen!

A fun sound for your child can also be banging on the lids of different-shaped Tupperware for different sounds.

8. Music Player

Toniebox music player for toddlers

Expand your little one’s sounds and vocabulary with musical toys. I love this Fisher-Price record player incorporating fine motor skills, sensory play, and music.

⭐More Activities: If you’re looking for a more advanced music player (maybe for an older toddler or something that can grow with your baby), check out my full list of my favorite music players for babies and toddlers

9. Musical Instruments

Start up your family band with musical instruments for your little one. Even 14-month-olds can learn how to play an instrument. My kids’ favorites? A guitar that strums, a xylophone, and a karaoke machine.

47 Activities for a 14 month old. Baby playing with sensory bag.

Books

10. Picture Books

If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing, simple activity, picture books are perfect for your 14-month-old.

I love these picture books with different textures for my son to feel. If you are sitting with your toddler, introduce them to new words by pointing out different objects in the books.

Picture books typically won’t hold your child’s attention for a long time, but they are great to keep your little one busy for a few minutes while you finish dinner or try to use the restroom!

02/23/2024 07:12 am GMT

11. Sound Books

Sound book board books for toddlers

Sound books can grow with your children. For babies, they might like pressing the buttons and hearing sounds. As your baby ages, you can start associating sounds with pictures (for example, what sounds different animals make).

Sound Books We Love ❀️
 
$14.99$11.99
N/A
Sound Books We Love ❀️
02/23/2024 11:57 am GMT

Social Activities

12. Go on a Play Date πŸ’΅

Two toddlers playing

Social interaction is great for your child’s social and emotional development. Not sure where to find kids your age? Try your local library for storytime. See if toddler time is at any of your local children’s museums, trampoline parks, or indoor playgrounds (bonus: toddler time is usually deeply discounted!). If nothing else, you can always take your baby to a playground and let them practice their social skills with the kids around them.

13. Nursery Rhymes and Lullabies πŸ’΅

Saying riddles and singing lullabies are a great pathway to your baby’s first words! Listen to lullabies on a playlist, get a pre-loaded toddler music player, or sing them from memory.

Bonus: I have a FREE PDF download of 16 lullabies for babies.

14. Hand-Clapping Games (Patty-Cake) πŸ’΅

Patty-Cake is a classic for a reasonβ€”it’s a fantastic activity for kids.

Even younger toddlers can enjoy a simplified version of Patty-Cake by giving a high five or clapping both hands together.

Clapping is also a subtle way to teach young children the differences between hard and soft touches. You can practice clapping harder or softer, helping them understand the concepts of “rough” and “nice” touches, which will be useful as they interact with other children as they grow.

15. Mirror Play πŸ’΅

Montessori bedrooms have low-hanging mirrors because they are great for your little one’s development of their sense of self. 

When they are teeny-tiny, they will love “watching the baby in the mirror,” smiling and making faces. One-year-olds can practice brushing their hair, wiping their nose, getting dressed, or doing other self-care tasks. 

They will love the independence the mirror brings to them!

16. Feeding Themselves πŸ’΅

Toddler boy eating broccoli

While it might not seem like an activity to us, for toddlers, feeding themselves is a cherished dream. If you have some extra time, aren’t in a hurry, and don’t mind a bit of cleanup, this can become a top favorite.

You can start this at any stage of your little one’s solid food journey. If you’re still spoon-feeding them, let them have a go themselves! If they’re into finger foods, encourage them to use a fork (preferably a safe, plastic toddler fork). 

Once they’ve mastered the fork, allow them to spread butter or jam on their toast using a child-friendly knife or spatula. I took an in-between approach with my son, using one-way valves for food pouches (thanks to TikTok recommendations!). This kicked off his self-feeding journey without the mess hazard. 😜

Self Feeding Tools
02/24/2024 07:41 am GMT

17. Dress Themselves πŸ’΅

Toddlers have a blast dressing themselves, much like feeding themselves.

Even when it’s not time for a change, a simple “dress-up” session with their clothes is a fun activity that requires minimal setup and cleanup.

Your toddler can practice pulling off socks, pulling up pants, and putting their head through shirt openings. As they dress, you can introduce basic words like naming body parts, such as “socks go on your feet.”

For a fun twist, let them choose their outfit. Lay out a few shirts, pants, and different-colored socks, and see what they choose. It’s a source of enjoyment for them and a chance for you to witness their independence.

If you’re having a great time with this toddler dressing activity, take it up a notch by having your little one help you pick your outfit and assist with tasks like putting on your socks or helping you with your shirt.

Baby playing with wooden ring stack toy. 39 Activities for your toddler. Mommy|Maker|Teacher
39 Activities For A Toddler

Fine Motor Skills

18. Toilet Paper Rolls πŸ’΅

Safety Tip: Did you know that any object small enough to fit through a toilet paper roll can be a choking hazard? That’s why it’s crucial to be right beside your little one when they’re playing with small objects, even if you’re present. Ensure they don’t put these items in their mouths. If you have concerns about this (I know I do), it’s a good idea to save activities involving toilet paper rolls for when your child is a bit older and no longer puts objects in their mouth.

When your child ages, toilet paper rolls can be used for many craft projects!

Create a fun activity for your child by sticking paper towels and toilet paper rolls to a wall with painter’s tape. Have your child drop small toys or pom poms through them and catch them in buckets or containers. Use bouncy balls, building blocks, or other small toys.

Pom Pom Toilet Paper Tube Drop

19. Building With Blocks

Toddler building blocks

As a bonus, our son enjoys building and demolishing towers (with our help). Create interlocking block structures and see if your child can take them apartβ€”it’s a fun game!

Between 12 and 18 months, your toddler should be able to stack a 2-block tower. You can use various types of blocks for practice. We use Mega Blocks; our son loves them for their perfect size.

Consider wooden blocks, too. We have a wooden block set with a pull cart, which is great for stacking and balancing. The Melissa & Doug set even includes instructions on the wagon for different toddler-friendly games and activities. These classic wooden blocks can also be useful for sorting and matching as your child grows.

Pro Tip: Are you looking for travel toys to take on a plane πŸ›©οΈπŸ§³? Check out my full post of 50 airplane toys for 1-year-olds and a packing list.

20. Put Coins Into A Slot πŸ’΅

In this classic Montessori activity, children insert coins or coin-shaped objects into a box, promoting an understanding of fine motor skills and object permanence. 

Make your DIY coin slot box from household supplies (check out this tutorial), or buy one.

Pay attention to the size of the coins.

Anything that can fit through a cardboard toilet paper tube can be a choking hazard for your little one (even the coins in the tutorial seem small to me). You can make your coins much larger by cutting out circles from cardboard.

Make sure if you are buying one that you check the age limit. These were the only two I could find safe for children under three online.

21. Wooden Puzzles

Wooden puzzles make excellent independent activities for children. They nurture fine motor skills, patience, and problem-solving abilities. Puzzles can also be fun introducing language skills, such as animal sounds and words.

We’re big fans of Melissa & Doug, and their wooden puzzles, like the farm animal puzzle, are fantastic options. They offer a wide range of toddler-friendly wood puzzles with storage racks or boxes to keep things tidy. The puzzle pieces are well-made and just the right size.

A word of caution: Some puzzles, like ours, may even make animal sounds unexpectedly. Thankfully, there’s an off switch when it’s time to put them away. It can be startling when they go off on their own, as I found out one evening! πŸ˜‰

22. Pom Pom Play

There are lots of activities and different ways that you can use pom poms! 

At 14 months, my son was very much still in the put-everything-in-your-mouth stage, so we didn’t play a lot with pom poms, but here are some of my favorite games and activities that I have seen:

Pom Pom Play

Pom Pom Sorter

Grasp and Pinch

23. Tissue Paper And Aluminum Foil Play πŸ’΅

If you have some tissue paper or aluminum foil around the house, you have several fun activities with your toddler.

Both have been huge hits at my house, but I am a little more hesitant with the aluminum foil that he might get a cut (is that even a thing? Maybe I am too anxious)… So, aluminum foil play is mostly for unwrapping and less for tearing.

  • Unwrapping: Use tissue paper or aluminum foil to wrap up your child’s favorite small toys. Let them practice their pinching fine motor skills by unwrapping them. The look on their face is precious when they reveal one of their favorite toys. Unwrapping is also a fun way to reintroduce an old toy they haven’t seen or didn’t like.
  • Tearing: Show your child how to tear the tissue paper or aluminum foil, and let them have it! My son spent 45 minutes laughing hysterically, doing this for the first time. My cheeks hurt after smiling so much.

24. Busy Boards

Busy boards offer young children a hands-on experience with real-life activities such as zippers, switches, buttons, and more.

These boards are also fantastic for fostering independent play. They inspire your child to problem-solve independently, boosting their confidence in using everyday items independently.

You can craft a DIY busy board using a piece of wood and hardware store fasteners or opt for pre-made ones.

Here are a few ideas to make your DIY busy board.

Pinterest DIY Busy Board Ideas

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You can also buy busy boards on Amazon. We have a few at our house!

Pro Tip: You can also find Etsy busy boards with more options and variety!

25. Bucket Transfer πŸ’΅

Create a simple game using household items like two containers, a spoon, and something to fill them with. For instance, use Tupperware containers and fill one with pasta. Your child can use a spoon to transfer the pasta from one container to another.

You can also use dried beans or blocks. This activity is great for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. For a gross-motor activity, use two larger bins and fill them with balls. Let your toddler transfer the balls from one bin to the other.

26. Shape Sorter

Every brand imaginable offers shape sorters for kids. It’s a wonderful, quiet activity for your little one. You can assist or let them tackle it independently to enhance their problem-solving skills. Shape sorters require a good deal of hand-eye coordination. If your child finds them challenging, you might want to try a bucket transfer activity instead.

We opted for the (you guessed it!) Melissa & Doug Dump Truck and Shape Sorter. We chose this one because it will remain an enjoyable truck for play as he grows a little older.

Kid's Favorite
02/24/2024 09:41 am GMT

Gross Motor Activities

27. Bath Time πŸ’΅

Baby playing in the bath with toy

No one said bath time has to be in the evening. Stuck inside for a rainy day? Fill the tub, add some bubbles, and watch your little one play away.

28. Balls πŸ’΅

Odds are, you have some balls in your house. Golf balls, dryer balls, toy balls, sports balls, etc. Grab a variety for your child. Play with them inside or out. Practice picking them up, carrying them, and maybe even rolling, kicking, or throwing them.

29. Tunnel

Toddler crawling through a play tunnel

My kids can’t get enough of our tunnel. They crawl through, play inside, and even use it to build forts. Tire your little one out by “chasing” them from side to side.

30. Push Toys

Toddler pushing toy shopping cart

Toddlers love to push toys. Scratch that. Toddlers love to push anything. If you’ve got a small umbrella stroller at home, that will do just fine!

I decided to invest longer in my push toy and opted for a shopping cart. I thought this would do double duty and serve as a pretend play toy when my son got older. For now, he enjoys filling it up and pushing it around our house.

We also have a lawnmower that works as a push toy as well!

31. Pull Toys

My first son loved to pull toys even more than push toys when he was 14 months old. My second isn’t as fond of them. I suggest buying the Fisher-Price Xylophone or the Melissa & Doug Wooden Blocks Cart, which can double as pull toys to see if your child likes them or prefers push toys.

Walk-a-Long Puppy
$26.99 $17.48
02/24/2024 08:47 am GMT

Sensory Experiences

32. Sensory Bags πŸ’΅

Toddler playing with glitter sensory bag in high chair

Sensory bags make for an effortless high chair activity for 14-month-olds, requiring minimal prep time. All you need is a Ziploc bag, water, and something to place insideβ€”try glitter, rhinestones, or small items from the dollar store.

For an even squishier experience, consider filling your Ziploc with gel (a tip: buy it at the Dollar Store to save on costs!).

33. Sensory Paint Bags πŸ’΅

This is a mess-free craft that your little one is sure to love. Take a Ziploc bag and cut a piece of paper to fit inside. Squirt a few drops of different colored paints on the paper. Close the paper in the Ziploc bag, and there you have it! A completely mess-free high chair finger painting activity.

DIY Sensory Paint Bags

Mess Free Painting

Pro Tip: Prefer to buy something instead? Crayola makes an awesome mess-free finger painting kit.

Buy Instead
02/23/2024 06:57 pm GMT

34. Sensory Bottles πŸ’΅

Like sensory bags, sensory bottles are a perfect last-minute activity, especially on a rainy day. Get a bottle of any size or shape. Fill it with water, glitter, food coloring, or other liquid.

Add your sensory objects like beads and small toys. Close the lid (tightly!!). Let your toddler shake the bottle, turn it, or let everything settle from one side to the other.

If you want to make a lava lamp-style sensory bottle, fill the bottle with 50% water and 50% oil (canola or vegetable works best). Your child will have a blast shaking it up and repeatedly watch the water and oil separate. To make it different colors, add water-based food coloring to the water and oil-based (or gel) food coloring to the oil before adding it to the bottle.

DIY Sensory Bottles

35. Sensory Bin πŸ’΅

Toddler playing with sensory sand bin

Sensory bins can range from very extravagant to very simple.

Take a storage bin and fill it with some sensory material (grains like rice or quinoa, pasta, sand, water, etc.), then find toys and objects to manipulate the sensory material with (spoons, scoops, forks, spatulas, cups, etc.). Then, allow your child to do some sensory exploration with the materials you gave them.

You can do themed sensory bins or keep it simple with whatever you have.

Safety Tip: Most–if not all–commercial sensory bins will not be suitable for 14-month-olds. Instead, opt to make your own with age-appropriate objects and sizes.

DIY Sensory Bins

36. Ball Pit

Baby playing in ball pit

A ball pit is a fun way for toddlers to develop gross motor skills. Combine it with sorting exercises by color or catching and throwing the balls for fun.

My son’s ball pit started as a baby gym. When I saw this, I knew I wanted it on my registry because it was a toy that could transition to many different stages.

Water Play and Outdoor Play

37. Bubbles

At 14 months old, your baby likely can’t blow bubbles yet. That shouldn’t stop the bubble fun! Try a bubble maker, or blow the bubbles yourself and let your child catch them!

38. Messy Play and Play in the Rain πŸ’΅

Grab your raincoat and rainboots and head outdoors for some fun in the rain, mud, and, of course… puddles! You don’t have to wait for a rainy day… Take some pales and shovels and dig around in the garden instead!

39. Water Table

Toddler playing with Little Tikes water table

Pro Tip: If your child loves their water table, bring it indoors to the living room during the winter and fill it with toys for year-round enjoyment.

Water tables are one of my favorite outdoor toys for toddlers. One of the best advice I ever received for toddler play is to get a water table.

We have two water tables: the Sense 2 Play, which is well-made and sturdy, and a pirate-themed water table with many exciting features. My son loves splashing around in both equally. Water tables offer endless fun and can double as activity centers or sensory bins, even without water.

40. Water Bottles, Pumps, and Funnels πŸ’΅

Water bottles, pumps, and funnels offer enjoyable water activities that can be used with a water table, pool, sensory bin, or even during bath time.

Let your little one explore various water bottles by filling them and pouring them out. Spray bottles are another fascinating option.

Kids have a fascination with pumps. It’s hard to pinpoint what makes them so intriguing, but next time you run out of hand soap, don’t toss the bottleβ€”let your child practice pumping water with it instead!

Funnels are captivating for little ones. You can demonstrate how to use them to fill buckets and bottles or let them observe the water flowing through.

41. Sprinkler

Some of my fondest memories as a child were running through a sprinkler.

When you first introduce the sprinkler to your toddler, they might not like the water squirting on them in an unpredictable pattern.

Try getting a sprinkler set in one stationary position, and turn the water on REALLY low. Let your child get used to the sprinkler this way by putting their hands through it or running over it.

42. Hose πŸ’΅

Toddler playing with hose and watering flowers

Maybe my child is a little strange, but he is SO fascinated with our gardening hose. He loves just holding it and watching the water come out. Our spray nozzle can be turned on SUPER low to avoid wasting too much water.

If you want more outdoor toy ideas, check out my guide to the best outdoor toys for 2-year-olds

43. Gardening and Watering Flowers πŸ’΅

We began involving him in other gardening tasks when we noticed our son’s fondness for the garden hose. He enjoys filling pots with topsoil and watering the flowers in pots and flower beds. If your child struggles with the hose, you can provide a small watering can with some water.

Watering flowers is also a Montessori activity. It gives the child some responsibility for the well-being of the plants and teaches them how to care for something. I also encourage my son to touch the plants gently as part of practicing his delicate touch.

Household Tasks

44. Cooking In The Kitchen πŸ’΅

Toddler standing on a learning tower

Let your little one join you in the kitchen. They can play with dried pasta or mash tomatoes and avocados with their hands.

Consider a learning tower, a versatile piece of furniture that helps your toddler reach counter height while you cook.

I struggled with my son constantly at my legs or grabbing things off the counters while I cooked. However, once we got the learning tower, this behavior stopped. It turned out he just wanted to see what I was doing. Now, even if he isn’t actively helping, he enjoys watching and learning from what I do in the kitchen.

Our Learning Tower
02/24/2024 08:37 am GMT

45. Cleaning Tasks πŸ’΅

Encouraging your toddler to help with cleaning tasks is a great way to develop their fine and gross motor skills and teach them how to carry out small real-life tasks. Simple chores like taking laundry out of the washing machine, wiping small spills, sorting clothes, sweeping, dusting, and throwing out the trash can be a good start.

However, it’s important to be supportive and patient as they learn. Eventually, they’ll master these tasks, and the sense of accomplishment on their face will make it all worth it.

46. Cardboard Washing Machine πŸ’΅

Speaking of fun cleaning tasks, DIY cardboard washing machines are SO much fun for little kids.

They can practice putting their clothes into the wash and taking them out, and I have even seen videos of little ones trying to fold and put their clothes away!

You can make your own DIY cardboard washing machine with a large cardboard box, markers, and construction paper, or use these full tutorials!

Here are a few pictures for inspiration!

Play Washing Machines

DIY On Pinterest:

DIY On Pinterest:

Buy Instead: Little Tikes

Pretend Play

When you think of your childhood, you probably look back on all the imaginative play or pretend play you did (dress-up, house, dolls, cars, etc).

Toddlers typically don’t start imaginative play until they are around 18 months old, so don’t worry if your child doesn’t know what to do with these toys yet. 

47. Play Tents and Forts πŸ’΅

As your child grows, tents become a crucial part of imaginative play.

At this stage, tents can provide your child with their own space, which they control and oversee. You’ll see their faces light up with joy when they realize this is their personal area.

Guide your toddler on making their space cozy by bringing in pillows and blankets. Additionally, show them they can engage in activities inside their tent, like reading picture books or playing with a shape sorter.

Pro Tip: Having a tent could also help your little guy if they struggle with separation anxiety. By going in and out of the tent, they can see that they can be physically separated from you but still be in control of the situation.

Shop Our Tent
02/24/2024 08:52 am GMT

Developmental Milestones For A 14-Month-Old

When planning activities for your 14-month-old, it’s helpful to consider the fine motor, gross motor, language, and cognitive skills that typically develop between 12 and 18 months. 

Knowing these will help you pick age-appropriate activities to help them master or reach new milestones. 

Remember that every child develops at their own pace. For instance, my son began walking at nine months–which is early–but didn’t start speaking until 15 or 16 months. 

Consult your healthcare provider for concerns about your child’s developmental progress. 

Here are four key categories of developmental milestones typically observed between ages 12 and 18 months, based on information from Children’s Minnesota.

Developmental Milestones For 12-18 Month Olds
Developmental Milestones For 12-18-Month-Olds

1. Gross Motor Skills (Big Movements)

  • Walking independently (forward, sideways, and backward).
  • Crawl upstairs.
  • Go up and down stairs with help.
  • Pull and push toys.
  • Sit in a chair.

2. Fine Motor Skills (Small Movements)

  • Build a 2-block tower.
  • Turn pages in a book.
  • Drop small objects into a bottle.
  • Explore holes.
  • Scribble.
  • Place large coins in slots.

3. Cognitive Skills (Brain Development)

  • Look at picture books.
  • Identify themselves in a mirror.
  • Know some body parts.
  • Follow simple directions.
  • Match and sort objects.
  • Know animal sounds.

4. Language Development and Self-Help Skills (Becoming Independent)

  • Use a fork and spoon.
  • Drink from a cup.
  • Take off socks and shoes.
  • Put arms and legs in clothes.
  • Wash face and hands.
  • Help put toys away.
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Jacqui

Author

Hi, I'm Jacqui, founder of Mommy Maker Teacher and mom of two toddlers. With a degree in education, 12+ years of experience as a K-12 teacher and curriculum developer, and courses in childhood psychology and language acquisition, I share research-backed parenting tips and advice. I provide helpful content for moms on all stages of motherhood - from trying to conceive and pregnancy to postpartum, breastfeeding, and parenting.