Things to Do With a 14-Month-Old

By Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell
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Your mobile and inquisitive14-month-old is up for just about any age-appropriate activity that you might have in mind. Doing fun stuff with your young toddler helps increase her understanding of the world while deepening the bond between the two of you. There’s no shortage of pastimes to enjoy with your 14-month-old.

Outdoor Physical Activites

When coming up with activity ideas for you and your pint-size sidekick, keep in mind that it's important for your 14-month-old to keep his motor running throughout the day. In fact, the National Association for Sports and Physical Education says toddlers should be physically active for a number of hours every day. Take your tot to a nearby playground and walk or run together as you explore the slides, swings and other equipment. Toss a squishy ball and ask your little one to get it and bring it back to you. Get down with your toddler and push wheeled toys around the yard.

A Word About Indoor Exercise

When it's cold or rainy outside, consider setting up a makeshift obstacle course with pillows or blankets to walk over and a chair to crawl under, recommends Jen Kuchyt, program coordinator and parent educator for the Parents as Teachers Program. Moving about with your 14-month-old improves not only her motor skills but also promotes language development. Using the obstacle course as an example, use words such as "under," "over" and "climb" as you help your toddler expand her vocabulary.

The Name Game

Familiarize your 14-month-old by naming objects -- fork, lamp, table and so on -- that you come across throughout the day. Your little one's brain is processing every word you utter even if it looks as though he's ignoring your efforts, according to Place your toddler in his high chair when you prepare a meal or wash the dishes. Say something along the lines of, "Now mommy's washing the blue bowl" or "Here's the spoon I need for your yogurt." Look out the window together as you point out and name the school bus, fire engine or the big blue pickup truck.

Touch and Feel Activities

Introduce your toddler to various sounds, sights, tastes, smells and textures to enhance her sensory development. Place your 14-month-old’s hand on a blanket then let her feel the tile floor in the bathroom. Explain how one feels soft and warm while the other feels cool and hard to the touch. Let your little one have fun when you squirt shaving cream in the bathtub or make lines and circles together in a sandbox.

Book It

14-month-olds love to look at books with bright colorful pictures. Encouraging your toddler to assume the role of "page turner" can make reading time a joint effort that is both fun and informative. Finish the book even if your child's mind seems to wander, advises the Zero to Three a website, published by the National Center for Infants Toddlers and Families. When selecting books for your toddler, choose those that have few words and loads of pictures.

About the Author

Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.