Toddlers love exploring the world around them, and a 15-month-old would love to accomplish something new all the time. By this age, most babies are able to walk and move around a lot, which helps to increase muscle strength, and refine balance.
With their new found mobility, they go everywhere to check out the world around them. They are able to stack relatively large blocks, hold a spoon, drink out of a cup, and make a huge mess.
Language is limited to a few key words, but they are able to understand and follow simple commands. The capacity to solve problems is evolving, and imaginative play is hugely entertaining.
This would be the best time to make a 15-month toddler’s playtime exciting, imaginative, and joyful while aiding her overall development.
Milestones Of 15-Month Old Baby
Understanding your baby’s development makes your job of picking a right activity, easy! Here’s what a 15-month-old babies can do by now.
Physical Development: Now that they are walking (even though their steps are not firm), they try different movements such as running with a wide based stance and outstretched arms. climbing, especially stairs with assistance, and jumping. The toddler tends to pull and push things, picks up objects from a standing position, and refines grasp.
Language And Cognitive Development: A 15-month toddler can attempt to speak three to six words. She can understand simple commands like ‘pick the shoes’. She can eat using her fingers, and recognize herself in the mirror. The little one can communicate by pulling you, pointing at, or by other means. Likes to watch and then imitate activities. At this age, they prefer adults rather than other children.
Imagination: The toddler’s imagination levels also continue to develop. The little one enjoys looking for hidden objects, correctly points at one or more body parts, and shows improvement in her concentration levels.
[ Read: Facts about Babies ]
13 Activities For 15-Month Old Baby
1. Laundry Basket Fun
What do you need: laundry basket, plastic containers and lids, empty cereal boxes. You could add more things that the toddler can pick up easily without hurting herself.
How to play: Put objects that your baby will love to get her hands on, in the laundry basket. Your baby will love to take out the contents from the laundry basket and put them back in. She could also put herself into the basket instead of the objects. She imagines the purpose of those objects and tries to figure out the ways to use them.
The toddler may follow your instructions like ‘come out of it’ or ‘get into it’. You may also let the baby throw balls or bean bags’ small objects into the laundry basket, as this improves hand-eye coordination. Let her stand away from the basket and practice this target throwing activity. This activity allows her to develop spatial orientation as well, and is important for the development of fine motor coordination.
Skills developed: gross motor skills, imaginary skills, balancing skills, and language skills.
2. Finger Paints
What do you need: non-toxic finger paints, paper, tray
How to play: Let the baby play with colors on the tray. The paints used should be safe if the baby attempts to have a taste of it. You may try making edible paints with fruits or vegetables like carrot puree for orange paint, strawberry or beetroot puree for red paint, and broccoli puree for green paint. Touching different colors with different textures would enhance your toddler’s senses, and a mix of those colors would enhance the sense of sight. Talk to the little one about the texture and color as she plays. If she gets bored, offer a piece of paper, and you will be surprised to see the excited and creative baby.
Skills developed: sensory, cognitive, and art skills
3. Toss The Ball
What do you need: large beach ball
How to play: If you prefer a fun outdoor activity for your 15-month-old, get a large beach ball and head to some grassy place. Roll the ball and your toddler would love to chase it. She may throw the ball and watch where it falls. If there is a gentle slope, toss the ball up the hill and teach the toddler to catch it. She may not catch it perfectly, but will have a great time!
Skills developed: physical, motor and cognitive skills
4. Fun Scarf Dance
What do you need:different music, brightly colored scarves, napkins, or handkerchiefs
How to play: Have some free space in the room and turn on the music. Your toddler will be up and moving to the music and may even pull you along. Try waving and shaking scarves to the music and let her imitate you. You may also try playing peekaboo in the middle. Place the scarf on your head and allow her to grab it. Let her put it on her head and pull it off. Keep changing the music all through. Be with her throughout and do not leave her with the scarf.
Skills developed: gross motor skills, language, rhythm, social play
5. Doodle Bug Fun
What do you need: crayons, thick paper sheets, plaster
How to play: Your little one’s chaotic, beautiful scribbles are the first steps on the road to creativity. Tape thick sheets of paper on the floor and allow your little one doodle. Give her a few crayons of primary colors and name the color as she picks each one. Do not forget to show your appreciation and shower her with praises and display her art. She would love it!
Skills developed: drawing, fine motor control, color identification
6. Rainbow Fish Handprint Cards
What do you need: painting apron, different colored paints, paint palette, black felt pen, card
How to play: This is a lovely activity that can be treasured for years and can be a good birthday gift for the toddler’s dad or mom. Put the apron on, pour the paint in the palette, and allow your baby to dip her hands into it. Help her make a hand-print on the card. Remove the card and allow it to dry. Now let your toddler mess up with the paints on the extra card. Once the paint dries, draw around it with a black pen. It would look fabulous.
Skills developed: color identification, cognitive skills, art skills, sensory skills
7. Dough Play
What do you need: play dough, apron
How to play: Play dough could be fun for babies as it is a new concept for them. It is a sensory material that can have a distinctive smell. Set up a table with a clump of play dough. Your baby would love to squeeze it and mold it with her little hands. Toddlers tend to show a lot of concentration when at it. As she plays with the dough, you may attempt to add more action words to her vocabulary like ‘twist’, ‘pull’, ‘push’, and so on.
Skills developed: sensory and cognitive skills
8. Enjoy Simple Catchy Rhymes
What do you need: yourself, your toddler
How to play: Rhymes and childhood go hand in hand. They have fascinated both kids and parents equally for generations together. Rhymes drastically help your baby develop her language skills in a fun way. Sit together and sing the rhymes. You could enact as you sign! Your little one would enjoy looking at you and might even try to imitate you. Traditional lyrics are great but don’t miss the fun factor.
Skills developed: cognitive skills, sense of humor, language skills
9. Book Reading
What do you need: Books with interesting pictures, stories, or textures
How to play: At 15 months, your baby will develop an interest in a variety of picture books, books with different textures, or story books. Try reading out while she is playing and not necessarily when she is sitting on your laps. Let your kid explore the pictures and pages all by herself. You may find her patting the pictures in the book, which you could name for her.
Skills developed: language skills, cognitive skills, sensory skills
10. Imaginary Food Play
What do you need: small cereal, plastic/non-breakable containers
How to play: Put some edible items like rice krispies into a container and demonstrate ways to transfer them into the other tubs. She would love to transfer the contents and may find innovative ways to do so. She might even change the quantity that she is moving from one tub to another. This activity improves your baby’s pincer grip. You may also play a meal time game by giving a spoon and bowl to your little explorer, while she pretends to eat with the spoon. Do not be surprised if she feeds you too! It would be one of the funniest games for 15 month old baby.
Skills developed: fine motor skill, concentration, hand-eye coordination
11. Fun time With Activity Walker Toy
What do you need: Activity Walker Toy
How to play: Your little explorer may be walking by now, but she may have to practice more of balancing and walking. Encourage her to bring a new toy towards you by pushing it. It gives the toddler confidence to walk until she can balance more securely. Point out how the speed and sound of the toy can be changed. Give her commands like ‘push slowly’, ‘come forward’, etc.
Skills developed: Physical and cognitive skills
12. Blowing Bubbles
What do you need: Bubble blowing toy
How to play: Blowing and playing with bubbles is always one such fun thing to do with 15 month old! The activity helps the baby concentrate and communicate. It builds curiosity as the little explorer gets fascinated when the bubbles float and burst. The entire family can get involved in bubble blowing to lighten up the mood.
Skills developed: Sensory and cognitive skills
13. Catch Me If You Can!
What do you need: you and your toddler
How to play: This simple play idea for a 15-month-old requires no preparation at all. Your little one will have a lot of fun! Play ‘chase’ with your toddler around the house, in a garden, or any area that is safe to play. Keep your chase in lines with the running skills of your little one. Have fun!
Skills developed: Physical and Imaginary skills
All these activities would allow your baby to reach milestones quicker and strengthen the already initiated ones. Make their fascinating world more interesting!
11 More Tips for Parents
Being a parent for this age is a balancing act. It is essential to give your child freedom to explore safely. Below are more useful tips to follow during your baby’s activity time.
- Encourage the toddler to use her imagination.
- Infants learn as they interact. So spend a good amount of time every day talking, reading, and playing.
- To improve cognitive skills, try to teach her more body parts during play time.
- Never forget that it is important to listen to what the little one is saying (even if you do not understand). They understand more than they can express, it is important to engage in conversation even if its sounds like babble.
- Encourage her communication with you by responding, commenting, questioning and so on. It will motivate her to try more and would give her a sense of security.
- Avoid using baby-talk. It can confuse your little one.
- Cut down screen time for your toddler, like TV viewing, mobile phones, and other gadgets. It can interfere with the brain development of young kids, as well as both coarse and fine motor development.
- Get a set of plastic keys or other things, which resemble the one you use. Toddlers show more interest in things used by adults.
- Toddlers love to test their environment. Let them experiment, become strong, and improve coordination and senses.
- Remember that at times it is important to stay away rather than interfere with their activities. This would support their growth and development.
- Let your toddler struggle as long as she is safe. It will enhance her problem-solving skills. Support and encourage in toddlers as they try and offer help when they ask for it.
** Each child is unique and may develop at a different pace. If you think your child is showing development issue signs or is not ready for above-listed activities, do not force. Wait for more weeks and then give it a shot again.
Have you tried any of these for your baby? If yes, share how you and your toddler enjoyed!
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