Month 14: Top 10 Sensory Activities for your 14 month toddler

Playing in jelly

6 min read

As an Occupational Therapist and a Mom I have put together top activities for your 14 month toddler. They will focus on your toddlers cognitive (mind) and motor (movement) development.

Hello everyone!! It’s Josh again! I’m 14 months old now. This month has been lots of fun! I have been closely watching my parents. They have so much fun doing things around the house that I have decided to imitate them. I enjoy cooking, sweeping and vacuuming.
I also love to climb … onto things, into things and over things. Baskets, boxes, tables, chairs, cushions, couches are a few of my favorite toys. Going outside is also so much fun! I take my push cart along. It’s fun picking up rocks and sticks and taking them for a ride.
Until next month…
— Lots of smiles, Josh

I hope you enjoyed Josh’s 14th month story. I send these monthly updates to our family in Australia. Look out for more stories in the monthly activities posts.

Raking in the garden

Sensory Activities for your 14 month old toddler

With each day your toddler is becoming more independent. You can finally start being more productive during the day. Doing some of your own work. But when playing with your toddler, don’t forget to slow down and always be in the moment. Be present when playing and interacting with them. This will not only strengthen your bond but also build some amazing memories.

Here are my top 10 sensory activities for your 14 month old toddler.
As always, these activities have been tried-and-tested.

Top 10 Sensory Activities

1. Exploring the outdoors

This one is a must! So much to see and so much to do. The opportunities for sensory experiences and growth are endless. Get your toddler out from the carrier or a stroller onto the ground to explore. Whether it’s at a park, a playground or a beach. The sensory system will be fed with lots of ‘sensory food’ from the environment. Check out my post on exploring the outdoors for specific play ideas.

2. Pushing games

14 month toddler activities: Pushing cart

You might have noticed your toddler’s interest in pushing and pulling things. It doesn’t matter if it’s a stroller, a cart or a wagon. If it can be pushed or pulled then it’s a hit. For a toddler that is learning how to walk this activity can help them get steadier on their feet. If your child is a more confident walker you can let them explore pushing on different surfaces. It can range from grass, sand, tin bark or uneven dirt. Pushing will help them: scan their environment, avoid obstacles and maneuver around them.

A push toy is also great at practicing squatting. You can encourage this skill by placing motivating objects on the ground. As your child pushes their toy they can bend down and pick those items up and place them in their push toy. It can be a doll that’s picked up and placed into a stroller or a rock placed into a wagon. Follow your child’s lead and you will find out what motivates them.

 3. Pulling games

This task is more complicated than pushing. It involves your toddler holding their arm behind them. Instead of just looking forward he will also need to look back to make sure his toy is still there. There are many pull toys on the market but you can also make your own. One of our favorites in the house was pulling along a balloon on a string. My son loved pulling it along behind him when walking or crawling up onto the furniture to see what the balloon would do. The excitement was long lasting and fun to watch. Make sure you supervise your child at all times during this activity as strings pose a strangulation risk!

4. Fun with Blocks

Let’s pull out those blocks and have some fun! Bigger blocks are better, but are not necessary.

Skills developedTargeted senses
Hand eye coordination, fine motor skills & language skillsVisual, auditory, tactile, proprioceptive & vestibular (as your toddler moves from lying, to sitting, to standing positions)
How to Play

Get down on the floor with your toddler. Start simple. Build a tower or a wall. Describe what you do. ‘I’m building a tower… let’s put the yellow block on top of the blue block… going higher and higher’. Then comes the fun part – demolition! Your toddler might start on the demolition part before you get to your third block. No problem. Start the process again. As much as your toddler will love destroying your creation encourage him to also stack the blocks with you.

5. Experimenting with weight

14 month toddler activities: Carrying heavy bucket

This is another sensory activity where you can let your imagination run wild. Also follow your child’s lead as they might have some fun tips on how to play.

Skills developedTargeted Senses
Strengthening of upper body, including shoulders, arms and handsWhile using objects of various weights their proprioceptive sense gets a workout
How to Play

Filling buckets with water or sand and carrying them from one location to the next. You can get your toddler to help you out with your groceries. My son loves picking up bags of potatoes and relocating them to another location in the house. Pushing or pulling a full laundry basket is another one. Maybe filling an empty box or carrying those massive body wash bottles around.

6. Mirror mirror on the wall who’s the funniest of them all?

Skills developedTargeted senses
Body awareness: Knowing where our body is in space
Motor planning: Planning what to do with your body & how to do it
Visual, auditory, proprioceptive & vestibular senses
How to Play

This is an imitation game. Best to play when you are sitting opposite each other (high chair or floor), or in front of the mirror. Take turns in imitating each other. You can start by sticking out your tongue or raising your hands high above your head. When they copy you cheer them up. The possibilities are endless. Have fun with it, be silly! Your toddler might end up just laughing but that’s ok. Then you swap and copy him. They might be quite surprised to see what you are trying to do.

7. Ripping games

Skills developedTargeted senses
Fine motor skills, strengthening hand muscles, hand eye coordination, bilateral coordination (ability to coordinate both hands)Visual, auditory, tactile & proprioceptive senses
How to Play

Let your toddler free and allow them to rip paper. Any paper will do: construction paper; tissue paper; magazines; newspapers. Anything goes. If you toddler is having a hard time you can help them out by starting a small rip and then letting them follow through to the end. You can then have fun picking up the pieces and throwing them into the trash.

8. Bubble Fun

Who doesn’t love bubbles. They are so much fun!

Skills developedTargeted senses
Hand eye coordination, foot eye coordination, balance Visual, tactile and vestibular senses
How to Play

You can start blowing bubbles and have your little one pop them. They can use their finger or their hand. Also encourage them to use their feet to stomp them. This will also help with their balance. While popping bubbles you can sing songs or play music. If you are outside they may need to do a little more chasing around.

9. Messy Play

Playing in jelly
Playing with noodles

The main goal of this sensory activity is to explore different textures and stimulate the tactile system. Textures can be soft, hard, slimy, slippery, wet or dry. Your toddler can explore with their hands or even feet. Stomping their feet through mess can be fun. They may even try putting things in their mouth. That is why I would recommend playing with only non-toxic items. Edible items are best.

Ideas for messy play can include jelly, flour, noodles, quinoa, soft foods (avocado, banana, sweet potatoes), pudding, cheerios etc.

How to Play
  1. Choose location and container. The mess can be spread through a bathtub, a plastic container or a small plastic kiddie pool.
  2. Choose the ‘messy’ item. You can pick from any of my ideas listed above or come up with your own.
  3. You can add to the fun by giving them cups or spoons. They can fill and dump. You can also hide things such as small plastic animals and they have to dig through to find them.
  4. Clean up. Try to involve your toddler in the process.

10. Bath time fun with sponges

Skills developedTargeted senses
Strengthening small muscles in their hands, hand eye coordinationTactile, visual, auditory & proprioceptive senses
How to Play

You can use kitchen sponges for this activity. Cut them into halves or into different shapes (circle, square or a triangle). Show your toddler how to sink them, watch them fill up with water and then use those hands to squeeze the water out. You can vary the activity by squeezing the water out and letting it flow into a container. They can squeeze the sponge against the wall and watch the water flow down.

Summary: Activities for your 14 month toddler

There you have it. My top 10 Sensory Activities for your 14 month old toddler. Many exciting activities you can do today to help your child develop better.

These are a few activities that are bound to spark other ideas. Just remember that every new sensory experience is helping your child’s growth and development.

Remember: Each toddler develops at their own pace. If your child is not ready or not interested in this months’ activities, just try them again in a few weeks.

For feedback or further questions please leave a comment below.

~ Urszula

Disclaimer: The activities in this blog are intended for sensory play. They are not a replacement for treatment of children with Sensory Processing Disorder, are not medical advice and should not be used in place of the care of a medical doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. These activities should be facilitated and supervised by an adult. All activities are to be performed at your own risk and in no event shall Sensory Lifestyle be liable for any damages.

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