You might be wondering what activities for a 14-month-old you should do 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 🤣?!).
In this article, you will find the best ways to play with your old baby and develop their fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and cognitive skills through all kinds of different toddler activities.
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 can be done outside, and some require a special toy or equipment around the house.
While your 14-month-old is getting more independent, and some of these activities are good for independent play, you should always supervise your toddler when doing anything from this list.
Developmental Milestones For A 14-Month-Old
Before deciding on what activity to do with your 14-month-old, you might want to look at these fine motor, gross motor, and cognitive skills that children develop between the ages of 12-18 months.
This could help you pick an activity that your toddler will be able to master (if that’s the kind of mood they are in) or challenge them to reach new milestones.
Keep in mind that each child will reach development milestones at a different rate.
For example, my son started walking at 9 months (which is pretty early) but didn’t start saying words until 15 or 16 months (which is kind of late).
If you are worried that your child is really far behind developmentally, talk to your healthcare provider.
Here are the 4 categories of developmental milestones that your child might reach between the ages of 12 and 18. This chart was created with the information from Children’s Minnesota.
These activity ideas are a great opportunity and simple way to practice their brain development and motor development.
Drawing With Water Activities For A 14-Month-Old
Drawing With Water On Construction Paper
Sit your child down at a table in their high chair. Fill a shallow bowl with a tiny bit of water (just enough that you won’t care if it gets spilled everywhere).
Grab some construction paper. Note: If you have a rambunctious toddler as I do, you might have to use painter’s tape to hold down the paper so they don’t send it flying.
Experiment with different painting utensils: regular brushes, sponge foam brushes, Q-tips, cotton balls, sponges, etc.
Drawing With Water Books
I just discovered drawing with water activities, and they are the best things that I have found for my son in a while! Water Books are also a great idea for travel toys, especially for airplanes!
We have so much fun with these reusable water books. They are also great for traveling and restaurants because they won’t make any mess!
We love our Chuckle & Roar book from Target, but if you want more selection Melissa & Doug have a TON of water books like these:
You fill the pens with water and when they draw it magically appears on the board. As the board dries, the water disappears. Use over and over again!
Drawing With A Water Mat
Just like with water books, water mats are big mats that you can put on the kitchen table or on the floor for your little one to draw on. When they dry, the lines disappear and they can be used over and over again.
We love our Chuckle & Roar mat from Target because it comes with water markers, pens, and sponges to make shapes!
If you don’t have a Target near you, there are plenty of other brands that have similar kits like this one:
Playdough is a great sensory activity for baby play because it combined so many different skills all into one.
They can practice their fine motor skills with pinching, squeezing, and shaping the playdough. They can practice using tools and utensils like forks, spoons, and plastic scissors or knives (the kind made for toddlers with no serration).
Playdough is also a sensory activity that introduces toddlers to new colors, textures, and smells.
As they start to get older they can experiment with play dough and imaginary play.
Check out this whole article I wrote on my absolute favorite homemade playdough recipe. It makes the perfect playdough every time. Plus I use this 30-year-old hack to get fun colors and smells with NO MESS.
Building With Blocks
Did you know that between 12 and 18 months your toddler should be able to stack a 2-block tower?
You can practice with any kind of block. We have Mega Blocks (and of course my husband had to get the self-cleaning Mega Block wagon 😋) and our son loves them because they are the perfect size for his little hands.
Bonus, our son loves destroying our towers and creations as much as he likes building them (with our help). This can be a fun game where you interlock lots of blocks together and see if your child can take them apart.
You can also buy regular wooden blocks. We have this wooden block set with the pull cart that comes with it. These blocks are fun to stack and practice balancing.
Plus, the Melissa & Doug set has printed instructions on the bottom of the wagon with games and different activities you can do with your toddler!
These classic wooden blocks can also be used to do sorting and matching when your child is older.
Pro Tip: Are you looking for travel toys to take on a plane 🛩️🧳? Check out my full post of 50 airplane toys for 1-year-olds as well as a packing list.
Put Coins Into A Slot
This is a traditional Montessori activity. Children insert coins, or coin-shaped objects, into a box and then take them out and do it all over again.
It seems very simple, but trust me, kids love this one.
It also works on their fine motor skills (getting the coin in the slot, opening the box, etc.) and their cognitive skills, as the permanence of place (or learning that just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there).
You can make your own DIY coin slot box from household supplies (check out this tutorial), or buy one.
Make sure you 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 own coins much larger just by cutting out circles from cardboard.
Make sure if you are buying one that you check the age limit. The only one that I could find that is safe for children under 3 online was this one (because the coins are too small and pose a choking hazard):
Wooden puzzles are great independent activities for children.
They teach them fine motor skills, patience, and problem-solving. You can also use puzzles to introduce language skills like what sounds animals or cards make.
We have the Melissa & Doug farm animal puzzle (if you haven’t guessed, I LOVE Melissa & Doug).
They have dozens of wood puzzles for toddlers, and even storage racks or box sets to keep the puzzles stored nicely. The puzzle pieces to our puzzle are very well-made and are a perfect size.
I will say… Our puzzle also makes farm animal sounds… And sometimes it goes off by itself >:) Luckily there is an off switch when we put it away… But it scared the you-know-what out of me when it went off one evening.
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 Sorter
Pom Pom Grasp And Pinch
Tissue Paper And Aluminum Foil Great Ideas
If you have some tissue paper or aluminum foil around the house, you have several fun activities to do 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 paranoid)… So aluminum foil play is mostly for unwrapping and less for tearing.
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 that they haven’t seen in a while, or maybe didn’t like at first.
Show your child how to tear the tissue paper or aluminum foil and let them have at it!
My son spent a solid 45 minutes laughing hysterically doing this the first time.
My cheeks actually hurt after smiling so much.
Busy boards are a great way for little ones to investigate real-life tasks like zippers, switches, buttons, etc.
Busy boards are also great for independent play. They encourage your little one to problem-solve on their own. This gives them a sense of independence knowing that they can use common household items on their own.
You can make your own DIY busy board with a piece of wood and fasteners from your local hardware store, or you can buy them pre-made.
Here are a few ideas to make your own DIY busy board:
You can also buy busy boards on Amazon like this one:
Or handmade on Etsy:
Pro Tip: The Etsy busy boards have more options and variety!
This is one of my favorites because it can be thrown together so quickly with anything you have around your house.
All you need are two containers/buckets/baskets/etc. a spoon/scoop/cup and something to fill the container with.
I like to use two Tupperware containers, fill one with dried pasta (I use big noodles like penne that are easy to clean up), and have my son use the spoon to transfer noodles from one container to the next.
You could also use dried beans, pom poms, blocks, sand or dirt (if you don’t mind getting a little messy), or more. Done this way, they are practicing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
You could switch up this activity to be a gross-motor activity by getting two larger bins (like storage containers) and filling them with bigger objects like all different-sized balls. Then, have your toddler transfer all of the balls from one bin to the other.
To us, this might not seem like an activity, but to toddlers, feeding themselves is the ultimate dream.
If you have some time on your hands, aren’t in a rush, and don’t mind cleaning up a little bit, this is sure to be a favorite activity.
You can start this wherever your little one is on their solid food journey. If you are still feeding them from a spoon, let them try to do it themselves!
If they are eating finger foods, let them try with a fork (try to use smaller forks that aren’t sharp, plastic toddler forks are best!).
If they have mastered the fork, let them try and spread butter or jam on their toast with a children’s knife or spatula.
I sort of did an in-between here with my son and it was a huge success. I saw these one-way valves for food pouches on Tik Tok (we’ve all been there with the Tik Tok made me buy it 😜). This started my son’s love of feeding himself without the hazard of the mess.
Just like with feeding themselves, toddlers love to dress themselves.
Even if it is not time to change, playing “dress up” (with their own clothes) is a fun activity that requires no set-up and very little cleanup.
Your baby can practice pulling off their socks, pulling up their pants, passing their head through a shirt, and more. As they are dressing you can teach them simple words like their body parts: “socks go on your feet!”
A fun spin on this activity would be to let them pick their own outfit.
You can lay out a few shirts, a few pants, and some different colors of socks, and see what they pick. They will have fun, and you will enjoy getting to see them be their own person.
If you are really having a great time with this toddler dressing activity, you could take it a step further by having your little one help you pick your outfit and helping you do dressing tasks like putting on your socks or passing your head through your shirt.
Hand-Clapping Games (Patty-Cake)
There is a reason that we all know Patty-Cake, and it is because it is a great activity for kids.
Even younger toddlers can enjoy a simplified version of Patty-Cake by just doing a high five, or maybe doing both hands at the same time.
Clapping is also a way to teach young children about hard and soft touches.
You can practice hitting harder, and softer.
This will help them as they are getting older and interacting with other children to know what (as my daycare calls them) are “rough” touches and what are “nice” touches.
Every brand imaginable has a shape sorter for kids. It is a great activity for your little one to work on quietly. You can sit and help them, or let them work on problem-solving by themselves. Shape sorters take a lot of hand-eye coordination, so if your child is struggling with them, a good idea would be to do a bucket transfer activity instead.
We have the (you guessed it!) Melissa & Doug Dumptruck and Shape Sorter.
We chose this one because it will grow with him to be a fun truck to play with when he is a little older.
Looking for the best toys to keep your little one busy? Check out my post on The Best Baby Toys And Gift Ideas For 9 To 12 Month Babies For Learning And Development.
Sensory bags are an easy DIY high chair activity for 14-month-olds that don’t take a lot of time to prepare. All you need is a Ziploc bag, water, and something to put inside (try glitter, rhinestones, little things from the dollar store, etc.
If you want even more of a squishy-fun experience, try filling your Ziplog with gel (pro tip: buy this at the Dollar Store to save on cost!)
Sensory Paint Bags
This is a mess-free craft that your little one is sure to love. Take a Ziploc bag, 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.
Just 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 any 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 watching the water and oil separate over and over. 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.
Sensory bins can range from very extravagant, to very simple.
Take a storage bin and fill it with some type of 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, just 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 on hand.
A ball pit is a gross motor giant sensory bin for your toddler to play in.
You can use the ball pit and combine it with one of these activities for even more fun.
For example, take all of the balls from the ball pit and put them in a bucket. Find and sort all of the balls by color into different bins.
Practice other gross motor skills like catching and throwing the balls.
My son’s ball pit actually 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 for many different stages.
Expand your little one’s sounds and vocabulary with musical toys. I love this Fisher-Price record player that encorporates fine motor skills, sensory play, and music all in one. 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 article of my favorite music players for kids.
The best tip for toddler play that I ever got was to buy a water table.
Water tables can serve as fun activity centers or sensory bins even without the water.
Pro Tip: If your child loves their water table, move it inside to the living room in the winter and fill it with toys for year-round fun.
We actually have 2 water tables, one at my house and one at my in-law’s house.
The Sense 2 Play is well-made, sturdy, and has been outside all summer with no signs of cracking or rust. My son loves splashing around.
The only downside to this particular model is that the mechanics to make the water table spray water require you to fill water in the central tubes. My son is too short to be able to reach these tubes so I have to do it for him.
We also have this pirate-themed water table from… It has many more components that we like: toys and accessories that come with it, buried treasure and slides for imaginative play, and a wave-maker with a pirate wheel to make it work.
My son loves and plays with both water tables equally. When it comes to water tables I don’t think you can go wrong.
Water bottles, pumps, and funnels
Water bottles, water pumps, and funnels can be fun water activities to use with a water table, in a pool, a sensory bin, or even the bath.
Let your little one experiment with different water bottles (filling them up and dumping them out), spray bottles (they might need help pulling the trigger unless your child also has–what my dad calls–freaky baby strength.
Kids love pumps. I don’t know what it is about the mechanism, but the next time you run out of hand soap, don’t throw out the bottle. Let your baby practice pumping water with it instead!
Funnels are fascinating for little ones. Show them how to fill buckets and bottles with funnels, or just let them watch the water flowing through.
As a child, some of my fondest memories were running through a sprinkler.
When you first introduce the sprinkler to your toddler, they might not like the water squirting on them in what seems like an unpredictable pattern.
Try getting a sprinkler that can be 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.
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. We have a spray nozzle that 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.
When we realized our son loved the gardening hose, we started doing other gardening tasks with him. He likes filling pots with topsoil and watering the flowers in the pots and flower beds. If your child has a hard time maneuvering the hose, you could just get them a small watering can and fill it with a bit of water.
Watering flowers is another Montessori activity. It gives the child some responsibility for the wellbeing of the play and shows them how to care for something. I also like to have my son touch the plants to practice his gentle touches.
Edible paint is a messy activity, so make sure you put down a drop cloth or old sheet that you won’t be needing anymore. If weather permits, diapers-only attire for your baby is the best for this activity.
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 else the next time we used real paints he would try to eat those too.
Edible paint is a great craft for those fine motor skills and cognitive development, but also a fun sensory activity at the same time.
Let your little artists express themselves, and get precious artwork that you can save to keep the memories forever.
Here’s a great edible paint recipe.
Toilet Paper Rolls
When your child gets a little older, toilet paper rolls can be used for so many craft projects!
When they are still in the 14-month-old range, I would use paper towels or toilet paper rolls and stick them to the wall with painter’s tape. Then, I would get some small toys like pom poms, bouncy balls, blocks, etc. that my son can drop through them and into different bins.
Pom Pom Toilet Paper Tube Drop
Mom Tip: Did you know that any object that can fit through a toilet paper roll is a choking hazard? So make sure that you are right beside your little one when you are using the small objects. Make sure they don’t put them in their mouths, even if you are right there! If you are worried about this (I’ll be honest, I am) save the toilet paper roll activities for when your child is a little bit older and no longer puts things in their mouth.
Wooden spoon drums
Gather up your collection of wooden spoons and 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.
If you are looking for a quiet, relaxing, simple activity, picture books are the perfect activity for your 14-month-old.
I love these picture books that also have 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 are finishing up dinner, or just trying to use the restroom!
Seeing Self In The Mirror
Montessori bedrooms have low-hanging mirrors in them 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!
Imaginative Pretend Play
When you think of your childhood, you probably look back on all the imaginative play or pretend play that you did (dress-up, house, dolls, cars, etc).
Toddlers typically don’t start imaginative play until they are around 18 months old.
So, imaginative-based activities are probably more confusing than fun before this age.
Cooking In The Kitchen
Let your little one help you cook in the kitchen. Even if they can’t really help with many tasks yet, allow them to play with dried pasta, or mash the tomatoes or avocados with their hands.
A learning tower is a really versatile piece of furniture for your toddler that can help them be at counter height with you while you are in the kitchen.
I spent so many evenings wanting to pull my hair out while I was cooking dinner because my son would constantly be at my legs wanting up, or trying to pull things down off the counters.
I thought it was just a cry for attention, but to my surprise, once we got to the leaning tower, the behavior completely stopped. SO I think all he really wanted was to see what I spent some much time doing each night.
This is the learning tower we have (you can see him playing in it with the playdough):
Now, even if he isn’t helping me in the kitchen, he loves just watching what I am doing and soaking it all in.
As your child grows, tents become an important part of imaginative play.
For now, tents can serve as your child’s own little space. A space that they control and are in charge of.
Their little faces light up with so much joy when they realize this is their own little area.
Show your toddler how to make their space comfy by bringing in pillows and blankets.
Also show them that they can do activities inside their house 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 being able to go 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.
Pretty soon your toddler will stop associating chores with fun, but for now, enjoy that they enjoy cleaning tasks.
A toddler can help you take the laundry out of the washing machine, sort clothes, wipe up small spills with a cloth, dust, sweep and throw out the trash.
This is another one of those activities that doesn’t sound like much fun to you or me, but help your child develop their fine and gross motor skills, and teach them to accomplish small real-life tasks that they are very proud of.
My son gets a huge grin on his face when I ask him to throw away a piece of trash for me.
I also invented a great game called putting all of the toys back in the toy bin 😂. That is a real crowd-pleaser at my house.
Don’t be too judgemental on your little one though, they might make more mess than help when they are learning how to clean, but be a positive guide for them, and eventually, they will master a task, and the sense of accomplishment that you can see on their face is worth the trial and error phase.
Cardboard Washing Machine
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, taking them out, and I have even seen videos of little ones trying to fold their clothes and put them away!
You can make your own DIY cardboard washing machine with a large cardboard box, some markers, and construction paper, or use these full tutorials!
Here are a few pictures for inspiration!