Updated on April 13, 2020 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
Does your fifteen-month-old have so much energy they could paint all the walls in your home? Have them try their hand at window art instead. The squeezable paint is designed specifically for use on glass. Your tot can squeeze paint into the sections of the included plastic suncatchers or directly onto the glass of a window or sliding door. Once the paint has dried, use the cords and suction cups to showcase your child’s art.
Is your local pool closed? Are bathtubs just not big enough for your toddler to have adequate fun anymore? This splash pad works as a great outdoor alternative. Simply hook it up to a garden hose, turn the water on, and here come the waterworks! This splash pad is more engaging than a simple kiddy pool and is suitable for a range of ages.
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 that aren’t work related.
When it’s time for some fresh air, switch to a fun outdoor activity like coloring with chalk. Patios, sidewalks and driveways are blank canvases just waiting to be colored with your child’s imagination. If your tot has excess energy, use the various colors of chalk to draw a hopscotch path and encourage them to get active. Toddlers at this age are great at mimicking, so feel free to show them how it’s done.
A few months ago, you were thrilled to see your little one take their first steps. Now, you’re likely tired of chasing them around the house as they explore their boundaries. This set of interconnecting panels can be used as a baby gate to section off certain areas that aren’t baby-proofed or can be linked together to create a play pen. Keeping your tot safely contained is especially useful when those work emails demand your attention and your baby is not due for a nap.
One of the best toys I ever bought for my daughter was this 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.
Are parks and playgrounds not an option right now? Why not bring the playground home with a toddler slide? This 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.
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. Combine with the toddler slide listed above for a whole new level of fun!
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!
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.
“Cause and effect” is a concept that toddlers will become more and more familiar with as they age and certain activity centers are a great introduction to the concept. This Montessori style toy encourages your child to hit the balls with a hammer and watch them traverse a zig-zag path on their way down.
As parents, we all know the dangers of too much screen time, but it’s also important to maintain your own 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. In fact, 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.
For the littlest toddlers, this shape sorter is great for both interactive and independent play. The pieces are shaped like a star, circle, plus sign, square and triangle. This bundle also includes a set of different sized rings to stack. These iconic toys help the littlest of toddlers develop spatial awareness and improve gross motor control.
Unleash your toddler’s inner artist with non-toxic, washable finger paint. With four colors of paint and 10 sheets of painting paper, 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 afterwards!
Is your little one a fan of Baby Shark? This kiddy tablet comes with large buttons and six different settings to help toddlers learn about numbers, colors, letters and more. Baby Shark and the rest of his family keep your little one engaged with over 300 sounds, including, of course, the full Baby Shark song, doo doo doo.
This stationary bounce and spin toy is perfect for your overly energetic toddler. With a learning mode, your little one can engage in educational play as she listens to the ABCs, numbers 1-10 and color identification. Switch things up and set it to music mode so your toddler can enjoy kid-friendly tunes while they bounce and spin their energy away.
If the weather is nice in your neck of the woods, consider getting this water table for your little one. The design is great for 360 degrees of play, making it a great option for independent fun or fun with friends or siblings. With a variety of included accessories and quick set-up, this is an awesome activity right out of the box.
Most 15-month-old toddlers are testing their boundaries and independence more and more each day. A ride-on toy like this adorable toddler tricycle not only helps with coordination and gross motor control, but helps your little one feel like the free spirit they are. Great for indoor or outdoor use, this tricycle ride-on toy is stable enough for little ones as young as 12 months.
Sports are a great way to help your little one improve coordination, motor control and teamwork. This Little Tikes 3-in-1 sports set comes with everything your toddler needs to play soccer, basketball and bowling! The basketball hoop comes with adjustable height settings that can be altered as your child grows. Multiple sound and light settings on the backboard encourage your little one to move, sing, and learn.
This Montessori-inspired matching game includes a dozen eggs that twist apart to reveal different colors and patterns. Take all the eggs apart and encourage your toddler to match the colors and patterns in order to put the eggs back together. Once the eggs are whole again, arrange an Easter Egg Hunt! Whether or not Easter is near, your toddler will enjoy the challenge.
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!