Thursday, February 27, 2014

18 Easy Play Ideas for Kids Ages 9-18 months

My youngest turns 16 months old today. Crazy! Although the majority of the activities we do are more for my preschooler and kindergartener, we've been trying to find activities that our baby/little toddler likes to do too.

I've been compiling several easy play ideas for 9-18 month olds so that I have a "go to" resource when I need a quick idea for my little guy. I like really simple activities that use very few materials because I don't usually have very much time to prepare anything. 

These 18 easy play ideas for kids ages 9-18 months are ones that I have tried or plan to try with my son... and they feature awesome ideas from many of my favorite bloggers... and a few from me too.

If you have a child in the 9-18 month age range, check these ideas out and see if any might work for your child. All kids are different and are also at different developmental stages so make sure you only do the activities that your child seems ready for... and then try any others in a few weeks or months. It is amazing how one week kids aren't interested in something or can't do it... and the next week all they want to do is that activity and it is easy for them.

Just click on the links below to get more details on these 18 easy play ideas for kids ages 9-18 months...

Do some ball and Tube Play via Octavia and Vicky

Make a Peek-a-boo Jigsaw via Nurturestore

Do some mess free car painting

Drive cars on the Window  via The Imagination Tree

Make a Sensory bag via Plain Vanilla Mom

Do some dropping and dumping

Create a Water Sensory Bin via The Iowa Farmer's Wife

Go on a Texture Trip

Put together some soapy sensory jars via Hands On As We Grow

Play with cardboard rolls and pom poms

Make a simple obstacle course via Hands On As We Grow

Create a treasure basket via The Imagination Tree

Do some destruction art via Creative with Kids

Build and knock down cup towers

Make some instruments

Create a DIY tugging box via Laughing Kids Learn

Make a car ramp

Put together rainbow bottles/music shakers via My Little 3 and M

A few other super duper simple ideas that I do with my 16 month old include...

  • pretending to take naps in big sister's bed (and then waking up... and then "going back to sleep")
  • shooting pom poms down ramps through paper towel rolls
  • exploring a pan full of rice crispies using measuring cups... and then crushing them
  • making a paper towel roll marble run for marbles, blocks, and pom poms
  • opening and closing the spice drawers and building plastic spice bottle towers... and knocking them down
  • splashing with hands in a pan of shallow water

If you have any other favorite easy play activities for 9-18 month old kiddos, please share them in the comments!

By the way, some of these activities are totally fun for siblings to do together or for kids 18 months + so give them a try if you have an older kiddo too who you think might like these.

You can find more activities for babies and toddlers in my e-book!!!

Zero to Two: The Book of Play (my e-book) is full of fun activities for babies and toddlers. Download your copy here!


  1. My 17 month old and 6 year old love playing with blown up balloons. They throw, hit and kick them around the living room. Nothing breaks and they have fun together! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  2. My 13 m old enjoys putting pom poems through holes cut intothe top on a plastic container.

    1. this idea just saved me from another icy, stuck inside kind of day! thank you! my 18 mo old loves this idea.

  3. My kids are past this age, but I just love the idea of playing in a big siblings bed. Little ones always look up to older siblings so I bet that would be a big hit! Pinned and stumbled!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing my ball and tube play post, I've had lots of lovely people popping over to check it out, much appreciated :)


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