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Activities for 15 month old?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
We are stuck inside with a frigid snowy winter season and I am running out of ideas for activities appropriate for a 15 month old DD. We go to the mall, swimming, etc, but what games/activities can I play at home with her? We read tons of books and she likes to color, but lately I feel like she's bored. Any advice, links, etc?
post #2 of 34
There are lots of good websites on Pinterest if you type in toddler activities.
Does your dd like to play in the sink with water? How about homemade play dough?
How about making a couple of sensory tubs?
post #3 of 34

We used to do loads of finger painting, glitter sometimes too, tried papier mache occasionally, skittles, building with lego and blocks together, lots of dancing and singing, a bit of silly role playing, making music out of instruments and random things.  If it snows, you could let her play with it, make pictures out of dead leaves and twigs, possibly biscuit decorating.  

post #4 of 34

Since many activities differ when you have a LO that eats or at least samples everything (like ours at that age!!) I can give you things that have worked for us.


1. Water play has always been huge for DD and I would put my large crock pot (the ceramic portion) on a towel, on the tile floor, filled with water.  I'd strip her down to her cloth diaper, give her a few spoons and cups and just let her go to town, from scooping, to pouring, to climbing right on in!  Pinterest also had great ideas for edible paints that you can use in the bathtub and just wash down the drain.


2. Sensory bins with dry beans or rice, you can color the rice with food coloring if you like, and toss in a few spoons cups or dump trucks.


3. Tape off shapes on the floor and ask her to go to different ones, can do them different colors too.


4. Blocks and puzzles are always a big hit here.  We've got quite a few of the chunky puzzles that she likes to play with the pieces and stand them up.  As for blocks we've got the mega blocks that connect and then the wooden shapes which shelves building towers and bridges with.  I've walked in her room a few times to find she has sorted each of the blocks by shape and lined them on her bookshelves!


5. Sorting colored pom poms into empty water bottles or putting pipe cleaners into small holes in a jar/bottle/box.


6.  Busy boards are great and I'm still determined to finish mine but here's some examples:



http://lilla-a-design.blogspot.com/2011/03/aktivitetstavla.html  - This one is not in English but very cute board with great stuff - the sky's the limit with these things but generally it's a lot of practical stuff:  door knobs and handles, locks, latches, keys, switches, hinges....definitely a Montessori feel to it by teaching kid how to use the things they are fascinated with that not everyone wants them to really use.


7. Food play.  Either with a play kitchen and fake food or allowing her to use real things to learn how to mix or cut.  We do both.  We were given a second hand kidkraft kitchen last summer when she was about your LO's age and it has by far been the biggest hit of any toy as well as a favorite of any kid that visits!  We've also done activities with mixing water or I let her mix eggs for breakfast, and have let her use an egg slicer on hard boiled eggs.


I think the key to any activity is rotation.  You don't need a lot of "stuff" - make sure when you are done with a project that you put the stuff away so it's that much more intriguing when it does come out again.


DD is 27mos now and no longer eating random things so we've been playing with glue - I give her a pile of scrap paper, tissue paper, feathers, etc and let her us a glue stick to put them to paper or last time we used a paper plate.  Because we do a lot of Montessori styled things, I plan to get her some scissors of her own that she can cut scraps at the table.  So a lot of it depends on your comfort level and your LO's ability but I'm a pinterest fanatic for toddler activities!

post #5 of 34
We painted coffee filters last week and then I cut hearts out of them to put on the windows. You could also finger paint in the tub (easier to clean) or make some homemade play dough.
post #6 of 34

Great idea to do the fingerpaint in the tub, I've been trying to find a way to make it fun without ruining my house or having to say "no" about anything.

post #7 of 34

We have a 3 year old so she is older but here are some things we do.

Baby ballet: we pop this in and she puts on her tutu and we follow the teacher's instruction. Great DVD!
Check this out on AMZN: Baby Ballet http://amzn.com/B0002HODC2

Recycling Bowling: line up plastic bottles or toilet paper rolls and roll a ball towards the 'pins' to knock them over. Dd loved this when she was smaller.

Baking: I try to find knew recipes to try and dd loves to pour and stir. Sometimes I'll bake sugar cookies and mix up royal frosting...making it runny and add dye in little jars. Then I let her paint them with a brush!

Nature/Art: we'll go for a short walk and she is tasked to find things she wants to bring home to decorate. We've painted pinecones, rocks, shells, acorns, leaves, sticks etc.

Stationary box: dd loves to paint and 'write' scribbles but she gets burnt out when she has to help with thank you notes so I'm thinking of cutting out cards and letting her decorate, then store in a stationary box we can pull from when we want to send someone a note.

Imagination: she is super imaginative right now and I could always use more of it so when she goes into one of her moments like "mommy let's play camping" or "let's swim" in the living room etc. then I try to say "yes" in my head and go for it!

Playing house: good ol fashioned play. She loves to care for her babies so we do a lot of that.

Music: we are taking a Music Together class and she really responds to the music so we pop in the music at home and have a collection of 'instruments' (yogurt container, shakers, clickers) that we store in a bin. We pull it out and bang away and dance.

Can you do this?: this just started but it is fun. Do something weird and ask if she can do it to and she does something I have to try.

Reading: sometimes I'll try to make up an activity based on a book we've read.

That's all for now! Looking forward to having more ideas in the arsenal. Great thread!
post #8 of 34
I know that when it comes to such activities I have to " let go " sorta speak. Like my ds loves to play on the kitchen floor with flour and and his trucks. I prep as much as I can then I just tell myself" it's just flour" today he actually used his little broom to help sweep it up smile.gif
When my son was 15 months we bought a learning tower which allowed him to play in the kitchen sink all the time or play
with the homemade playdough on the counter with me and see me make it!
post #9 of 34
Love this thread! Thanks for all the great ideas...wish I had more to share!
post #10 of 34

When I just had my first child, I really loved the book "The Toddler Busy Book" by Trish Kuffner. For the most part, the ideas were really simple and not super original, but it was a good source of inspiration for me. There are lots of clever crafty ideas like no-mess paint in a ziploc bag and recipes for making craft supplies yourself (like soap crayons to use in the tub). One of my favorite ideas from that book was to take like a coffee can or a formula can (we used a rice cereal can), cut a hole in the plastic lid the size of a ping pong ball and let your kid push a bunch of ping pong balls into the can (supervised of course). My son loved the sound it made and was OCD about putting all the balls back in the can.


One of the other things we did that he really liked and was inspired by that book was to make him his own personal "picture book" (photo album). I printed out pictures of all our extended family, took pictures of his toys and things around our house and neighborhood (i.e. flowers, trashcan, pine cones, bird feeder, washer/dryer, daddy's truck, etc.). I also cut out magazine pictures of animals and other things he would recognize. We put it all in a photo album and he would spend like an hour at a time flipping through it and pointing out all the things he knew. (It's how I survived a 5 hour plane ride with him when he was 16 months old.) He liked it so much (especially the family pictures), that I made a tiny one to fit in my purse for restaurants and stuff.


My last bit of advice is just to let him do whatever you do. We loved doing laundry (he put clothes in, put the soap in, pushed the buttons, helped take everything out, and "helped" (yeah, right) sort all the clothes after). We cleaned quite a bit (he had his own squirt bottle with (very little) water, cleaning rag, cleaning toothbrush, sponge, mini dustpan and broom -- our baseboards were always super clean when he was that age). Similarly, as a toddler he liked helping me run the dishwasher, mix ingredients for baking, garden, feed our dog, even help me push the foot pedal with his hands to sew simple things. He loved helping his dad shovel the driveway when it snowed.  


I will say that I didn't need to work anywhere near as hard to keep our second child occupied. She mainly spent her entire toddlerhood following after her brother.

post #11 of 34

I was just online looking for some ideas for things like this and randomly decided to rejoin here at MDC...and bam, this was on the front page!  Guess it was meant to be :).  When I go home I think I'm going to set up recycled bowling and also let him play with water in the kitchen.  My youngest is almost two and a half, so not 15 months, but he loves to paint with watercolors as well.  When he was at the age he tried to eat them we just made edible "paint" (yogurt and natural food dye) and he loved it!

post #12 of 34
I'm going to throw in some energy burners because after the third storm in two weeks finger painting is just not cutting it in my house.

If you have a stairwell, take a large flatten (you need it two thicknesses so don't open it up) and duck tape it to the stairs...pile every cushion and pillow and maybe stuffed animals down at the bottom and presto slide. I used one of the flap side to go up under the railing so legs wouldn't get stuck in the spindles. The duck tape residue comes off with a little goo gone but it hasn't been a problem for me so far. I find that three or four steps is plenty long and Dell computer box from my husbands work did the trick. Rule number 1. Always on your bum...no face dives...rule number 2. One at a time.

Cafe rods in the hallway (2 or 3) with a sheet and you have a puppet theatre, fort, castle, balloon tennis (cereal box paddles)

I second the recycling bowling, pots and pans rock band, and recycling blocks. If you get a good size box you can make a car, boat, submarine, train, rocket, house in a few (10-25) minutes.

Match the socks for laundry basketball...into the laundry basket. Also do not underestimate the joy of sorting laundry...clean and dirty! I made my piles on opposite sides of the room so they had to run back and forth.

If you are crazy like me you can screw an eye hook (large) into a ceiling joist or just flat out get the rainyday indoor swing bar (which i love and is the best $90 ever) from which you can do rings, bar, swing.

Two sheets tied tight (like prison break tight) then looped over the dining room table makes a good hammock but not a good swing.

They have these exercise balance pod things that are semi spheres, spikey on one side, flat & smooth on the bottom work great! The large is good for balance but the little ones are good for all sorts of games (although dont fall in the lava is prime right now)

BLOCKS but get the super big ones not the little ones. The bigger ones can be strung together for a balance beam.

Did you see entrapment with Catherine zeta jones? Strip with painters tape (so the line breaks easily) and thicker acrylic yarn or better yet streamers makes a good maze.

Painters tape on the kitchen floor or rug makes a fine hopscotch board. You may also want to just get a small painters canvas and use that.

Bean bags (we made first...or old socks filled with...beans) for underhand toss into boxes, or a board for tick tack toe.

Take a hanger and suspend it from the top of doorway or ceiling at their height. String two yogurt or smallish plastic planters to the loopies and you have a balance scale. How many Legos equals one car?

Pom poms, tongs, spoon, ladle, bowl...pick up.

Tape a car track that goes all over the place...even up on the sofa. And or the brio train tracks and yes, girls too.

And the soundtrack? The Laurie Berkner band!

Also...yoga! Works great.

Hope this helps...it has made the last two months of my life breathable.
post #13 of 34
We brought some snow into our tub and used, cups etc and spoons to scoop build etc. Play doh, finger painting! My 19 month old daughter likes to help cook and clean. She "made" my husband lunch the other day. We made pig in blankets. She rolled the hot dogs in dough and sprinkled on parmesean. She was so proud! She wanted us to eat them raw! Lol
post #14 of 34

Is se interested in dolls and/or stuffed animals? If so what abut playing mommy? All you need is as many stuffies as you want, if you want some doll clothes, and a good imagination!

Hope this helps! XOX 

post #15 of 34

Well, this has been a hot topic at our house lately since we've been housebound with all this SNOW!!  I'm always looking for ideas to keep my toddler busy so that I can help the others with schoolwork.  Sad to say, he has watched too much Netflix this winter :(

Here are some of our favorites:

Building a fort with furniture and blankets draped over them, or if you have a king-sized sheet/blanket, you could do it under the kitchen table.

Tea party...because some of my kids are big, we have an actual tea party, learning to use the good china safely and carefully.  We make small cookies and practice good manners.  But you could always have a pretend tea party, with plastic or wooden kitchen toys.

Sitting in the bathtub and blowing bubbles.  Usually I say bubbles are an outside toy, but sometimes you have to improvise!  I just let him sit in the tub in his diaper (no water, unless it's bath time) and we take turns blowing.  If it spills, we just rinse it away :)

Marching band...everyone gets an instrument and we march around the kitchen island.

A friend just sent me a link to a blog where one of the posts was about keeping toddlers busy, it looked really cute:



Happy playtime, and only 31 days til SPRING!

post #16 of 34
A 15-month-old who is being included in everything you do is probably not going to be bored. Make sure he is helping with chores and your activities instead of just being escorted out of the way. There are always little things he can do to help, and at this age he doesn't see the difference between work and play, so as long as you're not being lazy or boring, he should be just fine. He can do all sorts of things such as help load or unload dishes or laundry, feed the pets, sweep or mop or vacuum with a parallel toy, color and read books while you do computer/office activities.

Some things to break up the monotony for you (because that is probably more likely the problem) could be to pack away some of the toys and rotate them on a bi-weekly basis. Build a fort in the living room using chairs and blankets. You can leave this up for days at a time, and he will really enjoy doing his regular activities in there. Turn on some music and dance. You can buy little bells or make homemade shakers (rice in an old pill bottle) as a craft and use these for music time. Go for nature walks and pick up little trinkets to play with throughout the week. 15-month-olds love pinecones and rocks. Let him play dressup with old hats and gloves and slippers.
post #17 of 34
My friend shared this suggestion with me, and it is a lot of fun: buy a few cans of Barbasol and put your naked baby in the tub and have fun playing with the mousse. Not only is the texture fun and messy, but spraying the can is exciting, too.

I do think that sometimes a little boredom encourages toddlers' imaginations. Don't be afraid to see what it is your child comes up with if you let them have some independent play time. My eldest cracked me up with her games, one of which was simply running through the house with a piece of string while yelling, "RUNNING!" That would keep her busy for a good half hour.
post #18 of 34

Oh, I just thought of another one!  Blow up a couple of balloons and play "keep off the floor".  My kids all LOVE that one...even the big kids!

post #19 of 34

How about getting a small handheld paintbrush and a small plastic bowl or pail with a little bit of water it in....and let your bored one....paint away on an empty wall. It is just water....no harm!

post #20 of 34
Indoor Surfing: I did a Costco run yesterday and got a big thing of toilet paper. She laid it flat and stood on it then asked DH to push her around so she could surf.

Going to add new things as they happen so I can come back to this thread for inspiration!
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