Updated on April 21, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Taking care of a 19-month-old while trying to accomplish a million other things can seem impossible. What could help us? Activities that our toddlers can do that are mess-free, skill enhancing, and can be done independently while we get work done.
We also have a list of free activities for nineteen-month-olds down the bottom of the page to help you get more ideas that won’t break the bank.
21 Engaging Activities For 19-Month-Olds
If you’re working from home, and looking for something to occupy your little one, this is our go-to activity! This tent and tunnel set can occupy them for hours on end! It will allow them to play on their own, and will teach them about imaginative and active play. It’s waterproof, tear-resistant, and is easy to store and fold quickly. Also available is the 200-ball purchase option. Being a busy parent is challenging, so this activity will put your mind at ease knowing they’re practicing safe play.
This is one of our favorites at home! The learn and play food truck comes with over 20 pieces and includes a prep area, sink, light up grill, and serving bell. The cash register is able to read all food cards, and comes with learning songs your little one will love! This activity comes with 3 learning levels that are meant to grow with your child. Your toddler will learn, engage, and imagine while serving up their favorite foods!
Around this age, your 19-month-old is probably learning to doodle all over the walls. This water doodle mat is every parents dream! Mess-free and reusable, you fill the pens with water and they just doodle right on the mat. No more breaking out the magic eraser to scrub crayon off your walls. This activity will enhance your little one’s imagination, creativity, and inspire their curiosity!
Remember when you were little, and the enjoyment you found in spinning round and round giggling until you couldn’t go any further? This twirling activity is great for active play indoors and will teach your toddler balance and coordination. Watch them turn the wheel while they enjoy hours of laughter while still staying active.
5. Bubble Mower
If you’re able to work in your backyard, this bubble mower will be very entertaining for your toddler. This mower comes with different lifelike sounds that encourage pretend gardening while releasing lots of bubbles to catch your little one’s eye. This activity will encourage your toddler to help mom and dad with their yard work, all while playing independently.
If your nineteen-month-old is anything like mine, they love to climb over everything! This is the perfect beginner slide to keep your toddler entertained while getting the laundry done. It folds down and is easy to store and move, which is great for mom and dad. Your toddler will be more than occupied, while also learning to climb steps and slide!
This two-tier water table is the perfect outdoor play activity for your backyard. This pretend play activity comes with balls, hoops, spinners, gripping tools, and more! This independent water activity promotes sensory exploration, STEM learning, language and social skills, and physical and motor development.
When we went to the beach over the summer, my 19-month-old was having a BALL playing in the sand. This sand and water table comes with an umbrella and 6-piece accessory set. This activity will help your little one with their sensory exploration, STEM learning, language and social skills, and their physical and motor development. This makes for a great outdoor imaginative activity!
Pretend play is one of the greatest ways to build your toddler’s mind. This independent outdoor activity will build your toddler’s vocabulary and social skills to keep them active, learning, and continuing to have fun! Pieces are easy to grip, and easy to wash which makes less of a mess for mom and dad.
10. Matching Eggs
Around this age, your toddler’s hand-eye coordination should really be taking off! This matching egg activity is a fun teaching and training activity. The shapes will develop their recognition skills, along with teaching them how to count, sort, and match. At 19 months, my toddler was just beginning to put puzzles together on her own. It’s a perfect beginning to basic skills, and has a kid-friendly design that your child can easily grip on their own. They’ll be able to put them together and pull them apart with no problems.
Toddlers find much enjoyment with sticking things on walls, refrigerators, etc. The Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker pad comes with removable backgrounds and 200 stickers. This activity provides screen-free entertainment, as well as helps them to develop fine motor skills, communication skills, and creative expression. You may find stickers in odd places, but it will keep them occupied!
Over Christmas, we were gifted a teepee for our toddler who had recently turned 19 months. It’s one of the best gifts we’ve ever received for her. It is easy to assemble and will help you get work or chores completed around the house while they drift off in a world of imagination. It has a 100% natural, non-toxic painted canvas and is made of pinewood that is free from odors and any harmful substances. Teepees create a magical place of exploration and adventure for both the indoors and outdoors.
Ever wish your toddler could help you with chores? Well, this is the closest you may get, for now. This battery operated set comes with an iron, washing machine, ironing board, 2 hangers, and a white cloth. Our little one loves role-play and pretending like she’s helping us around the house. At this age they’re transitioning into their independent stage. This activity will create endless fun while developing their creativity and teaching them about responsibility. It’s never too young to learn!
Want another activity that could “help” you around the house? This Dyson Ball Vacuum will more than keep them occupied. It’s an amazing replica of the real thing and even has the sounds to go with it. The suction really picks up and has colored balls that spin on the inside, and even has a removable debris drawer. This activity will enhance their problem solving and motor skills.
This learning magnetic drawing board creates a fun, independent activity for your toddler. It’s a great way to get ahead with teaching them how to write using both writing and drawing activities. This will teach your toddler about letters, shapes, objects, drawing, vocabulary, and music. This independent tool will get your toddler ahead of the game!
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This complete musical instrument comes with 22 musical toys. Your toddler will have the chance to choose from shaking, tapping, and blowing instruments. It comes with a tote bag that makes for easy cleanup and storage making it more convenient for you and your little one. It’s CPC approved and made from non-toxic material. It may drive you crazy, but just know your toddler is developing his/her little mind by learning to groove and studying beats!
17. Baking Play Set
Whenever I’m cooking dinner seems to be the time when my 19-month-old is interested in what I’m doing the most. This 20-piece baking set will be sure to have them pretending to bake anything they can think of! All pieces included are BPA-free plastic. They say the best tools are the ones that encourage interaction. The baking set will help develop your toddler’s imagination, all while teaching them to play independently.
This Montessori activity for your toddler will be sure to get them learning in no time. This 30-piece set comes with bushels of produce that look just like the real thing. This activity will develop their color recognition, sorting schools, vocabulary, and teach them about new foods. This also makes for the perfect homeschooling activity!
Another Montessori activity includes this toddler busy board to develop basic and fine motor skills. During nap times, I’ll come in to find my daughter awake with the zipper of her sleeper half way unzipped. One day I noticed her just zipping it up and down for at least 20 minutes. This sensory board comes with 9 buckles, ties, buttons, and 1 zipper. The buckles include different levels of challenges and can be used as a repetitive soothing activity.
My nineteen-month old daughter is in the stage of hitting things. Not in a bad way, but in a way of discovery. This activity requires them to pound 4 balls through the holes to see where they will end up. The balls are easy to whack down with the also easy to grip hammer and are perfect for little hands. This activity will teach your little one about cause-and-effect concepts, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.
This LEGO train set is a great educational toy for toddlers. While perfectly safe, this LEGO set will teach them fine motor skills, language development, and how to count. They can sort each animal into colors while pretend playing. The LEGO train set comes with an elephant, crocodile, lion, giraffe, and a white bird. For easy clean up and storage it also comes with a storage box so mom and dad won’t have to spend hours hunting missing pieces!
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The perfect independent activity to help mom and dad do laundry, dishes, or work from home. This sensory bin includes scoops, tongs, and pots that help develop fine motor skills and sensory play. This hands-on activity will familiarize your toddler with the feel of wooden toys.
Note: bin and other materials are not included, but are recommended pairing with this activity.
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7 Free Activities For Nineteen-Month-Olds
1. Bean Bag Toss
Since we’ve been limited on places we can go, we’ve been finding ways of doing fun and free activities at home. Beanbag toss into our laundry baskets has been one of our favorites. Not only will this be fun for your toddler, but older kids may also enjoy it. A fun-filled activity that will enhance motor skills and mimic arcade games makes for a great time!
2. Pour and Scoop Pasta
If you have any pasta to spare for your toddler to play with, this activity will definitely keep them occupied, although it could be messy. We’ve tried this with our daughter and she loved it. Sure there was pasta all over our kitchen floor by the time it ended, however it gave her an opportunity to partake in a sensory activity. Sensory activities are more important than some adults realize. All you need is a bowl, pasta, and something to scoop it with.
3. Make a Tower Out of Pantry Foods
My 19-month-old does this on a daily basis. Her new favorite thing to do is stacking cans of cat food into a giant tower. In the midst of all of the chaos, we as parents forget that when our toddlers are getting into things and creating messes, it’s actually teaching them and making them smarter. My advice is to let them get into the pantry and stack those cans of cat food or corn. Just know that little brain of theirs is taking in all of the benefits!
4. Watch a Movie
Now I know what you’re thinking, why is she letting her toddler watch television. To be honest, we allow her to watch one movie each day. Her favorite movies are Frozen, Toy Story, and Brave. For Toy Story we bought all of the action figures for her to set up when she’s watching it. When she sees one of the characters in the movie, she will immediately go over and pick them up because she recognizes they are the same.
5. Mess-Free Finger Painting
This is another favorite of ours because it promotes color recognition. All you have to do is fill a Ziploc bag with paint then seal it. You lay it flat on the table or floor and have your little one use their fingers to create different colors. Just be sure that you don’t fill the Ziploc bags with too much paint or it won’t be mess-free. Make sure to tape all of the edges to the surface to keep the bag in place.
6. Bubble Wrap Stomp
This activity may seem a little distracting at first, but it’s actually quite beneficial for your toddler. If you have any lying around, put it across the floor and tape the edges so it doesn’t slide. They will jump, stump, and hop right on the bubbles and get a big giggle out of the noise!
7. Cardboard Box Houses
When we moved last year, we had tons of boxes just lying around. To our surprise, our daughter found much enjoyment playing in the big box that our trash can was delivered in. She would crawl in and out closing the flaps to peek-a-boo. She kept herself occupied for 2 hours straight just playing in a single box. If you have any in storage, they’re worth pulling out if you need to get some things done around the house.
Keeping your toddler happy and engaged is important for healthy brain development and boosting their moods. These at-home activities can help create less stressful days when we’re feeling overwhelmed or overworked as parents. Whether it’s a weekday or the weekend, a mess-free activity on a rainy day can be the perfect medicine for a hectic day. You’re doing great work Mama and Papa!