Activities for a 15 month old

I’ll be honest with you. I’m at a loss as to what to do with my toddler.  Before she learned to walk and get stuck into everything, I was able to get her to do what I wanted her to do so I could get on with what I had to do.  No more!  My little girl wants my undivided attention all the time and in order to get anything done I find myself relying on the TV.  A bad habit, I know!

In order to help me understand her more, I’ve been doing some research on the internet.  This is what a leading site in the UK, called Babycentre has to say about 15 month olds:

A new enthusiasm for game playing

By now your toddler is probably pretty good at walking, has a handful of words in her vocabulary, and likes to push and pull toys while walking. She can most likely use a spoon or fork and might be able to walk backwards. She probably likes playing games with you, like pointing to body parts or pictures when asked. She also likes taking objects in and out of containers. She’s beginning to get a sense of how things fit — she’ll try matching lids and stacking blocks.

Her individual style is developing

Every child is born with a particular way of interacting with the world. This is her temperament. As she grows, these inborn inclinations will begin to show. While one child might tend to be flexible and adapt easily to change, another prefers a more predictable schedule. Work out how your child is likely to respond and how you can modify her environment to help her succeed. Adults can seek out the circumstances that make them most comfortable, but your toddler depends completely on you. Respecting your child’s innate characteristics will help her develop her fullest potential.

Awareness of self

At 15 months, your toddler recognises herself in the mirror — no longer will she reach out and try to touch the “other” baby. She’s beginning to experience herself as an autonomous entity, not merely as an extension of you.

Just saying “no!”

Beginning as early as a few months after their first birthday, most toddlers go through a period of adamant no-saying. It’s their way of asserting their new sense of self. You might be able to reduce her “no” usage by keeping yours to a minimum. Instead of saying “No, don’t touch that,” you could try “I’d like you to play over here.”

Informative, no?  I thought so to.  While I now have a better understanding of where she’s at developmentally there is still loads of work to be done for me.

Firstly, I need to get a better schedule going for DD. Until now, we’ve had a rough schedule that has needed to be updated for a 15 month old.  She needs more stimulation and activity than she is currently getting. So I guess that’s on my list for the next week.  Work up a proper schedule – perhaps in a format that is interactive for my curious little monkey.

Secondly, I need to get some activities together that will help to keep her busy and interested but that won’t have me bored to tears.  Most of you will have read from my blog by now. I am not a natural born mom. Some gals are.  Seriously, some moms are just supermoms but me, I’m more like wing-it-and see mom then freak out when it doesn’t work.  I find myself saying ‘no!’ to my DD so many times a day because she’s getting into mischief because she’s bored.

So my next task is to find some interesting activities and gather all the necessary essentials for said activities into a central place ready to be used.

I have bought DD some good activity bits for Christmas.  Like this Tomy rainbow Aquadoodle which I think it going to be great fun.

I also raided Poundland and found some Play-doh, crayons, colouring in books, stamps and stickers that she will most likely enjoy for craft time.  Perhaps a trip into my craft box is in order to.  Oooh!  Just had a brain wave!  I’ll get hold of a large plastic box to keep all the craft stuff in so it’s all in one place and we can play with the contents on a daily basis but at least it will be packed away and out of site again when we’re done.  Brilliant!

Babycentre has these cute game ideas for 15 month olds:

Doodlebug

Now that she’s developing her fine motor skills, your little one may be ready to put crayon to paper. Her beautiful, chaotic scribbles are the first step on the road to writing.

Good for age: 15 months (but older and younger kids might enjoy it, too!)

Skills developed: fine motor control, drawing, understanding cause and effect, colour identification

What you’ll need: paper, masking tape, crayons

What to do: Tape some big sheets of thick paper onto the floor or a table and let your little one doodle to her heart’s content. Start off with just a few crayons in primary colours so she doesn’t get overwhelmed by choices. As she picks up each crayon, name its colour. (Hint: consider investing in washable crayons in case she decides to try her hand at wall murals while your back is turned.)

Shower your toddler’s creations with praise. And don’t forget to display her work! It will show her how much you value her efforts. Your toddler will love seeing what she can do with the funny little coloured sticks she used to chew on.

Let’s play! Little piggy rhymes

The nursery rhyme “This Little Piggy” has delighted kids and parents for generations. This game is a fun way for your child to work on her rapidly developing language skills. It also provides some nice connection time for the two of you, which your child craves at this age. Finally, your toddler’s sense of humour is maturing, so being silly together is extra fun.

Good for age: 15 months (but older and younger kids might enjoy it, too!)

Skills developed: language, sensory awareness

What you’ll need: yourself, your toddler and his feet!

What to do: Sit on the floor or sofa with your little one. Point to, touch, or wiggle his big toe while you chant the first line. Move to his second toe for the second line, third toe for the third line, and so on. When you chant the very last line (wee, wee, wee), give him a little tickle, or cover him in silly kisses. Repeat the whole process with the other foot.

Here are the words:

This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed at home
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none
And this little piggy went
Wee, wee, wee, all the way home!

The traditional lyrics are great, but don’t let the fun stop there. Your 15-month-old is learning words for all kinds of things so take advantage of this and give him a thrill by putting familiar words into the rhyme.

For example, try making the little piggies eat the foods your toddler eats, as in the following:

This little piggy ate broccoli
This little piggy ate cheese
This little piggy ate bananas
This little piggy ate peas
And this little piggy went
Yum, yum, yum, all the way home!

Or have the little piggies do the same activities that your child does, such as:

This little piggy had a bath
This little piggy went to bed
This little piggy woke up
This little piggy ate bread
And this little piggy went
Play, play, play, all the way home!

Be forewarned: once you start making up Little Piggy rhymes, you may find it hard to stop. Then again, your toddler probably won’t complain!

Let’s play! Play that funky music

You don’t need amplifiers or strobe lights to put on your own show. Actually, you don’t even need instruments, at least, not in the traditional sense. You can make music with all sorts of everyday objects from around the house. It’s easy, noisy, and fun!

Good for age: 15 months (but older and younger kids might enjoy it, too!)

Skills developed: imagination, gross motor control, a love of music

What you’ll need: a cardboard tube from a toilet roll or paper towel roll, saucepans and lids, wooden spoons

What to do: Join your toddler on the floor with all your “instruments” and just have a go! Show your little one how to blow the cardboard tube, er, trumpet, and bang the wooden spoons on the saucepans (drums). If you have kind neighbours, or better yet, no neighbours at all, play the cymbals by clashing the saucepan lids together.

Enjoy the cacophony, your toddler certainly will! It might not be rock ‘n’ roll, but it’s definitely good fun.

Let’s play! Scarf dance

Dancing with your toddler is fun and adding scarves to the mix brings the entertainment to a whole new level. This game will be a hit with your 15-month-old, who’s in a “milestone period”, a time of very rapid development, and is particularly interested in moving in new and different ways.

Good for age: 15 months (but older and younger kids might enjoy it, too!)

Skills developed: gross motor skills, social play, language, colour identification, rhythm

What you’ll need: A variety of music and several scarves. But save your woolly winter scarves for bundling up; light, brightly coloured scarves work best (your local charity shop might be a good source if you don’t have any). You can also use handkerchiefs, cloth napkins, or bandanas.

What to do: Clear some space, turn the music on, and join your toddler on the floor. Drop the scarves at her feet, keeping one or two for yourself. As your child watches, make your scarf “dance” in time to the music. She might just observe for a while, or she may join in by shaking her own scarf.

As you dance with your scarves, try playing peekaboo in time with the music. Place a scarf over your head and let her grab it. Or drape one on her head and let her pull it off.

Change the music so that you can try different tempos. Float your scarves gracefully for slow music and jiggle them jauntily for quicker music. Work on colours by saying, “Do you want a turn with the blue one?” or “Is Mummy under this pink scarf?”

Finally, try a little teamwork by letting her hold one end of the scarf while you hold the other, and dance in place or around the room. You can also hold her in your arms while you dance with a big scarf, swirling it back and forth around the two of you.

When you’ve finished, encourage your child to help you put the scarves in a bag. And keep the bag in a handy place (but not one where your toddler can get to it). As your child continues her rapid growth, she’ll enjoy playing this game again and again, and she’ll find all kinds of inventive ways to dance with the scarves.

Note: scarves and other long, string-like objects pose a strangulation hazard, so watch your child carefully and never leave her alone with them.

There are some lovely ideas here that I’m sure will keep DD busy for a while.  I’ve taken to baking with her which she loves. She especially likes cracking the eggs on the side of the bowl.  With my help of course!

Here are some other resources I came across that I know will help me and hopefully you too!

Activities for 16 month olds

What it’s like to be a 15 month old and growing games

Another useful article on development

Bright blessings,

Mama R

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