Updated on January 4, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
No matter what your situation, we’re here to help. We’ve put together the following list of activities to help your toddler stay busy and help you stay sane. Many of these activities are ideal for independent play and often have an educational component.
Lastly, we also show free activities for 15-month-olds at the bottom or the page. And away we go!
21 Engaging Activities for 15-Month-Olds
For younger toddlers, this adorably spiky hedgehog promotes fine motor control, encourages counting, and helps with color recognition. This educational tool can help your little one towards developmental milestones and the fun shapes and colors will keep her attention.
Inspired by Montessori principles, sensory boards are ideal for stimulating independent play. With buckles, hinges, zippers, and more, there’s no shortage of ways for little ones to perfect their fine motor skills. This board also promotes techniques that will help your toddler dress themselves in the future such as tying laces and utilizing zippers.
Is your little one in that stage where they mimic everything you do? Utilize this adorable cleaning set to channel that energy! Encourage your toddler to “clean” alongside you as you tend to household chores. They’ll be excited that you’re playing together, and you’ll be able to get a few things done around the house!
Encourage your little one to explore their inner architect with these Mega Bloks. These giant multi-colored blocks can be used to build towers and castles and anything else your toddler can imagine. These blocks also help them achieve their developmental milestones and gain a sense of spatial awareness all while having fun!
The words “mess-free” always bring happy tears to my eyes. This amazing aqua-mat will spark your kiddos’ imagination while allowing you to have much-needed hands-off time to work or fold some laundry. It just requires the mat and some water. If your little spills, no biggie! It’s just H2O!
Is your little one missing the days of Chuck-E-Cheese and the McDonald’s PlayPlace? If so, they might enjoy an at-home ball pit. This ball pit pops open and is ready to use right out of the packaging. Its size makes it ideal for younger toddlers and smaller living spaces. It also comes with a super cute “hoop” for some b-ball fun. Combine with the toddler slide listed below for a whole new level of fun!
I can’t tell you how many times this year I have brought my laptop into our bathroom and gotten a solid hours work done while my little one was splashing away in her bubble bath. Bubble baths are not only soothing, and often are a great solution for toddler melt-down moments — but they are also really fun! The problem has been most bubble baths are made of ingredients I wouldn’t recommend for your baby. This brand is the one we use and not only smells yummy (coming in four natural scents) but is safe for baby, and you!
Are parks and playgrounds not an option right now? Why not bring the playground home with a toddler slide? This SUPER CHEAP easy-to-assemble slide is a great way for your little one to use up their excess energy. It’s the perfect size for little climbers and bigger kids alike. When the weather’s nice, take it outside for some fun and fresh air.
I don’t know about you, but my baby girl eats everything. I find myself more times than not begging her to take her crayons out of her mouth while she is drawing away. This is why I love these beeswax, non-toxic, crayons by Honeysticks. Unlike other competitors, this brand is handmade in New Zealand with all-natural ingredients. So rest assured when your little artist chomps… all is well. P.S. Don’t forget the drawing pad.
10. Make Some Music!
These little egg shakers are a great way for your tot to get used to making music. They are colorful and easy to hold which makes it simple for your 15-month old to get the hang of it. Just put on some dance music and watch them have a blast! If you are looking for a more comprehensive music set try this one.
Unleash your toddler’s inner artist with non-toxic, washable finger paint. These amazing eco-friendly paints are made of cellulose, plant pigment, surfactant, and pure water — so you don’t have to compromise your baby’s health while they are having fun! With twelve colors of paint, this kit allows your toddler to dive right in. This engaging activity allows for sensory exploration and can help with identifying colors and honing fine motor skills. Fair warning: your little one may need a bath afterward but these paints wash off easily, so not to worry. P.S. Don’t forget the paper!
These simple, engaging, non-toxic puzzles are a great way for your 15-month-old to begin practicing fine motor skills and understanding how objects fit together. They will feel extremely satisfied when the ladybug or butterfly appears from their own ingenuity. I love this brand because they use safe non-toxic paint and beech wood to ensure if anything gets chewed on you won’t have to worry.
This soothing cotton sensory swing is perfect for kiddos to use both indoors and out. The best part? It can be secured to a hammock stand so that you don’t have to drill a hole in your ceiling! It’s also safer than many other swings for little ones to use on their own because the cocoon design makes it very unlikely that they will fall when playing unattended. It has a comfy cushion and can be used not only as a swing but as a safe space for your toddler to rest and relax. If you’re looking for more neutral color choices try this one made of organic cotton.
I don’t know a single toddler that doesn’t love bubbles and they are a simple and easy way to keep your little one’s attention for some time. However, most of the time it is fairly time-consuming on the parent’s part which is why I love using bubble machines to keep my little one busy. It encourages active play as they jump and run to pop bubbles and mom or dad can enjoy some time to themselves.
This wooden activity cube, complete with removable bead maze, shape sorter, counting abacus, and counting numbers will keep your baby excited to learn for months. The particular brand is one of the most affordable on the market and I feel is a wonderful addition to any playroom.
This sweet little dump truck will excite your toddler’s imagination as they drop the little balls into the hole and listen to the truck count “one, two, three!” It sings songs, lights up, and can be pulled around the house. My son loved this toy. I know your tot will too.
Both my toddlers loved hiding away in their play tent starting around 15-months. This particular tent is so fun because the kiddos can pretend they are in a rocket heading to outer space. It is durable enough to go outside but a sweet enough design that any parent wouldn’t mind putting it in a playroom. It also comes with a bonus flash-light projector that mom and dad can use to impress your tots and educate them about space travel. To the moon kiddos!
Fifteen months might be a little young to fully learn color recognition, but they will quickly begin familiarizing themselves with the concept of different colors and learn the beauty of matching. Understanding the words “same” and “different” is excellent for their development.
One of the best toys I ever bought for my daughter was this very affordable play kitchen. With two different settings, it continues to grow with her as she ages. Complete with fake food and accessories, it provides the perfect setting for her to imagine baking cupcakes or making coffee. Even with the addition of several new toys, my daughter consistently comes back to this one almost every day.
As parents, we all know the dangers of too much screen time, but it’s also important to maintain your sanity. Harness the full power of screen time with this tablet. Designed specifically with children in mind, it includes a colorful protective case that will withstand the rough treatment doled out by your little one. Amazon is so confident your child won’t break it, they offer a free replacement during the first two years if your tot does manage to crack the screen.
21. Have a Baby!
Well, not really! But there is nothing that little ones love more than pretending they are mommy or daddy taking care of a little one. Asher’s mom got this for my son for Christmas and it was a hit. He’s played for hours with these babies — and even shares with his sister.
7 Free Activities for Fifteen-Month-Olds
1. Build a Fort
Now is the perfect time to pull out those extra blankets, sheets, and pillows and help your little one construct a fort in the living room. This is a great activity to do with siblings as it encourages teamwork and communication. Once the construction is complete, fill the fort with flashlights, books, toys and other ways to pass the time.
2. Create Your Own Bowling Experience
For an easy at-home bowling experience, start collecting toilet paper rolls as you go through them! When you’ve collected enough, use them to create a set of ten “bowling pins” that your toddler can then use to practice their bowling skills. This is a great way to work towards developmental milestones such as rolling a ball and understanding cause and effect. Hint: paper towel rolls work as well, just cut them down to size if needed.
3. Make Bathtime Fun Again
This particular activity isn’t suitable for independent play among younger toddlers, but if you have a few minutes to spare, bathtime can be a great way to pass some time and engage with your little one. Try adding bubbles or a bath bomb to the bath for texture and color. Got toys that are waterproof? Throw those in as well! Have shaving cream on hand? Spray some on the ledges and walls and let your little one “paint” to their heart’s content.
4. Start a Rock Collection
If you have a nature lover on your hands, take them outside so they can begin (or expand) their rock collection. Have your little one explore the area for rocks of different colors, sizes and textures. If you want, set the rocks aside in a special location so they can be used later for different art projects or put them on display somewhere where your toddler can admire their work.
5. Create Your own Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are a huge hit among young toddlers who are still learning how to navigate the world around them. Creating your own sensory bin is easy. Find a tub or other suitable container and fill it with things for your toddler to play with. Experiment with textures, colors, and sizes. Use things you already have in your home, like pastas or rice. If you have crafting supplies handy, use pipe cleaners or pom poms.
6. Have a Dance Party
This simple activity can be done solo or as a group activity. I don’t know about your little one, but my daughter will dance to the “Baby Shark” song for hours on end if I let her. Put on some of your toddler’s favorite tunes and let them dance it out. Exercise has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of releasing stress hormones that build up in our bodies, so put those work emails aside for now and join the dance party.
7. Play with Pots and Pans
One of the best things about 15-month-olds is that they don’t need the latest and greatest gadget to keep them occupied. One of my daughter’s favorite things to play with are pots and pans. It’s a noisy activity, but letting her pull them out of the cabinet and pretend play is one of the simplest ways to keep her occupied. If you’re hesitant about using your nicer pots and pans, try Tupperware instead.
Having a fifteen-month-old at home with you can definitely be a challenge. Hopefully we’ve given you a few ideas to help keep them occupied and engrossed. Babies at this age are still learning how to engage and navigate the world around them so don’t get too hung up on buying expensive toys or creating extensive play schedules. Instead, focus on getting them involved with interactive activities and educational experiences at home. This not only keeps them out of your hair, but also shapes the way they learn and grow. Keep up the great work, your little one loves you!
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