Updated on January 4, 2021 by Lyric Fergusson
Whether you’re a stay at home mom, working from home or just needing to keep your seventeen-month-old engaged on the weekends, having activities that will keep your toddler occupied long enough can be a huge luxury. Not only is it a big stress reliever, but can also help with completing chores around your home.
Check out our free activities for 17-month-olds at the end of the page for extra ideas.
21 Engaging Activities for 17-Month-Olds
My seventeen-month-old daughter received these building blocks as a Christmas gift and she plays with them almost every single day. We love this set especially because of how big they are. I always worry about her sticking things in her mouth, but these blocks are big enough that you can let them sit and play without the worry. This set includes 81 pieces that have pictures of animals and letters of the alphabet. This set will build their creativity and enhance building play. Sit back, enjoy your morning coffee, and watch your little one build away!
This Montessori matching egg set comes with 12 eggs in a variety of colors and shapes. This sensory activity will help with your toddler’s development of logical thinking, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills. This set is very affordable and would make for the perfect gift for your little one’s Easter basket! Even if they can’t match the eggs yet, they’ll still have tons of fun playing with the eggs alone!
The best quiet time activity your toddler will partake in, this coloring book comes with 40 pages along with a set of crayons. The crayons are non-toxic and handmade from using 100% pure New Zealand beeswax and food grade pigments. The shape of the crayons is easy to grip for smaller hands, and harder to break, so you won’t have to worry about broken crayons all over your floor. Your little one will become an artist by using the 12 different colors to create eye-popping images while you’re finishing up the dishes or sending a work email.
My 17-month-old loves using this magnetic drawing board to draw. The little drawing pencil is just small enough for her to grip and actually helps her hold a pencil properly for her age. This drawing board comes with stamps and alphabet learning cards that will give them the best educational experience. It’s very easy for your little one to use and has a built in eraser on the bottom that they would just slide over to start a new drawing. My favorite part about this activity is that it’s a great independent learning activity, it’s non-toxic, and mess free. I like to say, “less mess, less stress.”
This stacking ring is your classic, non-toxic activity. It comes with 5 textured rings that your little one can stack anyway they like. The best part about this activity is that it’s great for small hands and is very lightweight, so they won’t become frustrated and need your assistance. This activity will help develop their curiosity, help with problem solving, and enhance their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Have a seat, fold your laundry, and watch them stack away!
When it comes to activities in our house, I like to make sure my daughter is getting the most educational experience out of it. Whether it’s imaginative play or other skills, it’s so important at this stage in your toddler’s life. This activity is great for smaller babies as well, but it encourages your child to strengthen their hand-eye coordination. As the wheel continues to spin, it teaches them to enhance their ability to visually track the wheel, and strengthen their fine motor skills. You can suction cup this wheel to any surface making it frustration free for your toddler. The colorful beads inside will also help them compare the sounds to what they are actually seeing.
The laugh and learn pull wagon is a great hands on activity for your toddler at 17 months. Perfect for up to 36 months, it has different stages of learning that will grow with your child to get the maximum use out of it. They can roll the wagon or press the buttons to hear different music and phrases. This wagon includes a shape sorter lid, puzzle play, and other toys to bat at. This activity is great for their development as it introduces them to the alphabet, colors, counting, and different shapes. In addition, it also helps develop their fine motor skills and thinking skills.
8. Baby Toy Car
My daughter LOVES this toy train. Anything having to do with dropping balls into things she’s automatically hooked. Great for both boys and girls, this toy is perfectly safe and the balls are big enough that they can’t swallow them. Your toddler will drop the balls into the train and watch them spring around and come out of the back door. The train can move forward, lights up with music, and provides tons of fun for your toddler. This activity helps develop their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and cognitive ability. Perfect for either independent play or parent-child interaction!
9. Music Piano
If music class is on your agenda for your toddler, this is the perfect activity just for that. Keep in mind that it may be loud, so if you have any plans that depend on concentration, I would just put it to the side. This piano is BPA free and non-toxic to protect your toddler’s hands. The lights are created to be soft to protect their eyes when pressing the mini piano keys. This is a great learning activity to teach your toddler about rhythms and music. They’ll be dancing in no time!
10. Play Tunnels
This activity is great for both indoors or outdoors. We sometimes like to set this up in our backyard if we’re outside working. These toddler crawl tunnels help develop muscles in their arms and legs, along with their gross motor skills. If you have a little one that suffers from sensory processing disorders or ADHD, this is a great activity for them. The Hide-n-Side Trademark also provides a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the product, which a company doesn’t always provide, which is great!
My seventeen-month-old loves water and sand so when I saw this and how affordable it was, I didn’t think twice. This water and sand table is a great backyard activity that will encourage your toddler to build sand castles and dig for treasures. Along with sand is a side for water play that will encourage sensory development. What I love about this is that they won’t be directly in the sun because it also comes with a beach umbrella to put over them while they’re playing. Not only does it promote sensory exploration, but also it encourages STEM learning, language and social skills, and physical and motor skills. If you can’t get your little one to the beach, this is the next best thing.
Another great backyard activity is this spiraling water table. This play table will allow your little one to drop balls down the spiral and watch them spin all the way down until they hit water. They’ll then be able to turn the Ferris wheel around to scoop up the balls out of the water. This one activity alone can keep them occupied for hours! A perfect backyard activity when you’re cooking out in the summer.
A #1 best seller, this activity is ideal for both boys and girls. You can set this up in your backyard or indoors. This role-playing activity will help develop your little one’s fine motor skills and coordination by learning how to hold the golf clubs and swing. It comes with 2 golf clubs and 3 golf balls. The little golf cart will hold both the putter and the driver. Mom Tip: buy more golf balls because you’ll probably lose some with all of the hitting they’ll be doing!
There are so many fun parts to this activity I don’t even know where to start! The many features on this playhouse will encourage your little one to learn about cause and effect, along with building their fine motor skills. On the outside they can put the balls on the roof and watch them fall through the maze. On the inside they can put the balls on the counter and watch them zigzag. My favorite part of this activity is that on the bottom it comes with storage so you can easily store the balls when you’re finished. This set comes with 22 pieces, 20 balls, pouring pitcher, and boiling pot.
15. Bowling Set
This durable toddler bowling set is made with safer plastics creating a hygienic choice for your little one. This material makes it easier to clean and doesn’t give off a smell like some plastics do. This is one of the things I worry about so I’m glad this activity doesn’t have that. This bowling activity helps with developing motor skills, hand-eye coordination, observation, and thinking abilities. The thing I love most about the company that makes this is that two moms who wanted safe toys for their kids founded it, which I know every mom here can relate to.
This activity is great for both indoors and outdoors at your home. Your toddler will be able to climb and slide with Buster the Bus for endless fun! What I love most about this is that the slide is durable and safe. You don’t have to worry about it being too high for your little one. It has a gentle slope that will give them a soft landing unlike a lot of other slides on the market. The dashboard of the bus is an interactive dashboard that comes with a working horn, ignition, and gear shifter to enhance your little one’s imaginative play. What is so great about this activity is that it not only gives them physical development, but it teaches them about the alphabet, counting, and animals. There are many different fun features in this one activity to keep them going.
This Wooden Lacing Apple activity is one of my favorite Montessori activities. This activity will enhance your toddler’s concentration, hand-eye coordination, thinking level, cognitive skills, and color perception. It’s made from 100% natural wood and is a great activity if you’re working from home and need to send a few work emails to keep your little one occupied. The thing I love most about this activity is that it’s a traditional activity. No extra gadgets, lights, or sounds, just something simple with all of the benefits of learning.
This activity has a five star rating and lives up to every bit of it! It’s also one of the most affordable activities out there! This activity will give them practice on their fine motor skills, as it comes with 9 shapes that will go in the different shape slots. This shape shorter has a texture that will help your toddler match each shape to its corresponding slot. Another great thing about this activity is that it makes for easy clean up. The side of the cube opens up and you can just toss the shapes right in the cube for storage. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
In the event you do happen to give your 17-month-old a little screen time, this plush animal chair is a great chair for them to sit and relax in. You’ll have 7 different options to choose from, and this chair is so comfortable and soft! One of our favorite educational programs for our daughter is ‘Word Party’ on Netflix. Sometimes right after her breakfast while I’m having my morning coffee, she’ll sit in her chair and watch an episode. Sit them down, cover them up with a blanket, and they’ll be good to go! The covers on the chairs are also machine-washable!
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For those of you with toddler boys, you will LOVE this! When my son was younger, he was so into tractors. I wish they would have had these when he was this young. These push and go tractors will help learn about colors, shapes, and their functions. The great part about this tractor is that it comes with a 4WD system. When they push the tractor, it will go fast for a long distance. They’ll also learn the difference between car models and patterns. These tractors make for a great Easter basket stuffer, birthday, or Christmas gift. They’re also made of high-quality plastic, and are 100% safe and Eco-Friendly.
This activity is great for both toddler boys and girls. You’ll have the option to choose from either a blue or purple elephant. My mom is a big leapfrog fan so she purchased this for my daughter for Christmas and she loves it. The elephant comes with five different colored rings that your toddler can stick on the trunk. As they stack the rings on their trunk it will introduce new numbers, colors and shapes. My daughter gets a kick of the tail feature especially. When you press the tail of the elephant, the elephant will sneeze and send the rings off the trunk.
7 Free Activities For Seventeen-Month-Olds
1. Baking Soda and Vinegar Experiment
Even though you don’t need to get into the science of it since your little one is still young, this is an eye-popping experiment that is fun for kids of any age. We’re actually doing this today in our home. Taking a container bin, put in 3 glasses, fill each with water, then put different colored food dye in each glass. In a separate bowl, mix baking soda with water. Have your little one sit in front of the container, add the baking soda to each cup, and watch the different colors foam up. This is a great hands on activity that will keep your toddler interested and teach them about different colors.
2. Explore the Backyard
If you have a backyard or front lawn, taking your 17-month-old out to explore can be a great activity. We do a lot of yard work at our home, so we’re always going out back to plant flowers, dig for worms, and just play in the dirt. My daughter will get excited if she sees a squirrel climbing the tree and she also loves to pick up and collect the leaves that have fallen. There are so many opportunities to explore outside. Adding a toddler swing can be a great addition to backyard play and your little one will squeal with delight as the swing through the sky.
3. Zippers Play
Around 17 months, I started practicing with my daughter zipping and unzipping her jacket. It will take a little time for them to catch on, as it’s a difficult activity. This is a great skill to practice, but around this age just remember that they will probably only figure out how to unzip for now. Funny part about this is that now I can’t put my daughter to bed in a sleeper, or even on her during the day because she unzips them and takes them off.
4. Pinch Pot
We call this activity “Pinch Pot” in our home. If you have any pom-poms lying around, this is a perfect independent activity. Take a pot and fill them with pom-poms. Give your toddler a pair of tongs and watch them as they pinch the pom-poms to lift them out of the pot. This activity develops fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
5. Art With Contact Paper
I’ll let my daughter do this activity in her high chair while I’m cooking dinner to keep her occupied. Place contact paper on your toddler’s table then tape the sides down. Give them different materials like pom-poms or noodles to stick on there. This will give them a nice independent activity to do while you’re cooking dinner without having the background meltdowns.
6. Pack ‘n Play
When I first introduced my daughter to her pack n’ play, she wasn’t a fan of it. We still don’t use it that often now, but sometimes if we need to do a thorough cleaning of one of our rooms, we’ll sit her in it with some toys like stuffed animals and books. It’s a perfect way for your toddler to play independently and quietly while you clean.
7. Pom-Pom Tubes
We did this activity just last week. Take a paper towel roll, tape it the way, and give your toddler a bag of pom-poms. It’s such a simple activity that will allow them to play quietly even while they’re learning. As much as I love this activity, I’ll have to be really honest and say in the beginning my daughter wanted to rip the paper towel roll off of the wall. Once she was used to it, it became a lot easier for her to play independently.
Activities like these are so important in this stage of your little one’s life because they not only promote learning, but also teach them how to play independently. Hands on activities are important for establishing connections with parents, but activities at home help develop their imagination and independence. Activities are more than just fun for toddlers, the development of their thinking, language, literacy, and physical and social skills are taking off, and it’s great that you as a parent can provide them with endless resources at home for learning.
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