Playing to Learn: Best Games and Activities for Your 14 Month Old

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14-Month-Old Developmental Milestones

In order to figure out the best activities and games for a 14 month old, you have to know what they are able to do. So let’s take a look at typical milestones for a 14 month old baby.

As you read the skills, remember that this is only the average. Some children might reach these milestones earlier and some later. If your child is substantially behind, it might be worth talking to your doctor.

Fine Motor Skills

  • feeds self with fingers or spoon
  • drops and picks up small objects
  • points to things around them
  • turns pages in a book
  • makes simple marks on a paper

Gross Motor Skills

  • walks independently
  • climbs on or over small obstacles
  • throws a ball

Language Skills

  • says a few words
  • imitates speech sounds
  • understands simple directions
  • points to a few simple pictures in a book when named

Social Skills

  • experiences separation anxiety (completely developmentally appropriate!)
  • points at things to show others
  • notices and tries to play with other kids (often older kids)
  • plays next to other children

Cognitive Skills

  • understands object permanence (even if an object is hidden, it’s still there)
  • places small objects into small containers
  • points at familiar objects when named
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No Assembly Required: Activities with Your 14 Month Old

The following suggestions are all great activities or games that you can play anytime, anywhere. You do not need to prepare things in advance or have specific items on hand.

Although these are simple games for a 14 month old, they can still be very beneficial for your growing child.

Hide and Seek

Benefits: This game is a great way to work on social skills and bonding with your little one. Hide and seek can also be a fun way to help young toddlers with object permanence.

How to: You likely know how to play hide and seek. One person hides, and others try to find them. Since your baby is so young, you will likely have to simplify it. You might give your little one a helper. One person can go hide, and someone can go with your little one to find.

Your child will also probably need some help hiding. But don’t worry if they pop out and say “Here I am!”. They might not totally get the game, but it’s awfully cute! And with some practice, they will begin to understand the idea a bit better.

Singing Songs

Benefits: The number of benefits that come from singing is pretty crazy! There are physical benefits (lung and heart health), brain function, language development, and social benefits. I could go on! Just know that singing is a great way to accomplish a lot of growth for your child, and it’s fun!

Check out my article here on why you should sing with your toddler. 

How to: If you aren’t someone who loves to sing, this might feel a little weird. But don’t give up, because singing is one of the best ways to help your child at this age.

You can try simple classics like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “Wheels on the Bus”.

Or you can make up your own song. At my house, I made up a song for each one of my kids (with their names in the song). We also have songs for when diaper changes are tough, and for when they don’t want to brush their teeth.

If singing really isn’t your style, use your device and sing along with someone on youtube. (No need for your toddler to watch it at this age, just listening is best).

There are many different ways to incorporate singing into your day! Sing with actions, or sing to help calm your one-year-old, or just sing to get them through a tough activity. Sing!

Tickle Monster

Benefits: Playing tickle monster is one of the best games to play at this age! Your child will build a connection with you and have so much fun playing! You can also work on language while you play. After some repetition, your child will understand new words and might be able to repeat them.

How to: Playing tickle monster isn’t too hard to figure out!

But to add a language twist, here are some recommendations.

Start tickling your little one. Then, stop tickling and hold your hand out and say, “tickle tickle tickle” or “I’m gonna get you” (or whatever you want). Then, tickle away!

The important thing is to do the same thing each time. Use the same words and the same actions.

After you have done this several times, hold your hand up above them, but don’t start tickling. Instead, wait and look at your child expectantly. Keep your eyes wide and a smile on. But then, just wait.

See if they communicate that they want you to keep going. They might reach for your hand, squeal, or try to say “tickle!”

The more chances you give them, the better!

And tickle monster never really gets old. Young children like it, but so do the big kids!

Nursery Rhymes

Benefits: Nursery rhymes are an excellent activity for learning new words. Your child can also participate by using the actions. Another benefit of nursery rhymes is the focus on rhyming. Rhyming is a preliteracy skill that will help your child later on in life.

How to: There are tons of nursery rhymes, both classic and new.

The good news is, you don’t have to know all of them by yourself! That’s what the internet is for. Some nursery rhymes have movements, and some don’t. But feel free to make up your own! Below are a few of my favorites:

  • This Little Piggy
  • Baa, Baa Black Sheep
  • Where is Thumbkin?
  • Jack and Jill
  • Hickory Dickory Dock

Ready, Set, Go!

Benefits: This is a fun and simple game involving following directions, gross motor skills, and language.

How to: If your child is an independent walker, they can play this game without much help. But if your little one isn’t so sure on their feet, you can always carry them.

Either way, you say “Ready, Set, Go!” and then you and the little one take off. After you run into the next room (or just a few feet), stop abruptly. Then, do it again, and again, and again. If you get silly and go fast, your child will love this game!

Once you’ve played it several times, say “ready, set,…” and wait for your child to do something. Look at them and see how they react. Eventually, they might try to say “go” on their own!

Ring Ring

Benefits: Pretend play helps your child with cognition and social skills.

How to: This game couldn’t be easier. Just pretend to talk with someone on the phone. You can use your hand as a phone or you can use a hairbrush or an actual phone. Up to you!

Just make a ringing sound and pretend to talk to someone. Then let your child have a turn. It’s silly, but it’s a great way to introduce your kids to pretend play!

That’s a Great Toy

The next set of games and activities includes all the best toys for 14 month olds. Each activity or game is based around a specific toy that is high quality and perfect for your developing baby. You might need to get a few new things, but these toys will grow with your child and benefit them in many ways.


Benefits: Puzzles are a great way to work on problem-solving skills, independent play, and new vocabulary. If you get the right puzzles, your child can work on animal names, colors, and shapes.

How to: With your child being so young, you might have to help them quite a bit. As you play with them, talk about the different colors, shapes, and objects in the puzzle. Show them where the pieces go, and let them help you put them in.

But you can also let your baby play with the puzzle on their own. If they aren’t getting all of the pieces in the right spot, they are still learning.

I love these puzzles because of their basic shapes and colorful pieces.

I like this Melissa & Doug puzzle because I love Melissa & Doug for their well-made toys that are always educational.

Shape Sorters

Benefits: Shape sorters are great for problem-solving! If you get the right kind, they also can be a way for your child to work on names of shapes and colors.

How to: All you have to do for this activity is get a shape sorter and get to it!

As you help your child understand how to get the shapes in the spots (by showing them), talk about each shape and color.

I love this easy version of a shape sorter because it allows younger children to explore shapes without the difficulty of classic shape sorters. Another bonus: the shapes have different textures your child can explore.

This is a more traditional shape sorter that is great as your baby grows.


Benefits: There are SO MANY benefits to reading to your child starting at a young age! Your child will learn to understand and say new words. They will also learn important preliteracy skills, like which way a book faces, and how to turn pages.

It’s also a great way to spend some quality time with your young toddler. Let them cuddle up and sit in your lap for extra snuggle time!

How to: There are two main components to a successful story time with your little one: the way you read and what you read.

When you read, try to have an animated voice and use fun facial expressions. Also, point to pictures as you read to help them learn new words.

If you are reading a familiar book, you can even let them have a turn pointing out some of the pictures as you name them.

It’s helpful to choose books that have bright colors, simple concepts, and engaging pages that your little reader will love! A few of my favorite books for this age are “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “What is Baby Going to Do”.

For more info about picking great books for your toddler, check out this post. 

Stacking Cups

Benefits: Stacking cups are surprisingly versatile! They are a perfect toy for 14-month-old toddlers!

Your baby can knock them down, stack them up, count them, or name the color of each one. Stacking them or nesting them also relies on problem-solving in order to get them in the right order.

And I love that this toy grows with your child. My 9-month-old, 2-year-old, and 4-year-old all like stacking cups for different reasons!

How to: As I mentioned, stacking cups are so versatile! Start by showing your little one how they can knock down a tower you build. Then show them how to build their own tower. You can also just let them explore the cups on their own. Give them a chance to play however they want to!

When you play with them using the cups, it’s a great opportunity to talk about the different colors of each cup. You can also count the cups with your child.

Finger Paint

Benefits: Finger paints are a great way to let your young toddler experience some sensory play. They also can be creative and work on their colors!

How to: If you are brave enough to let your 14-month-old play with finger paint, ensure you have a good setup.

It will be important to have the right paints (these are nontoxic), some paper, and something they can create on top of to avoid a big mess. Two of the best spots to paint are outside or in a high chair. You can save old newspapers or paper sacks for your child to paint on top of, too.

It’s also a good idea to have a “paint shirt”. You don’t need to buy a paint shirt, because you can just use an old one that you don’t like anymore. Your shirt will be too big, but that is perfect for covering shirts and pants!

Once you are all set up, feel free to join your child in painting. It can be a fun thing for the two of you to do together!

Let your creative juices flow! You can paint an animal, or just join your child in random lines and squiggles all over the page.

Pom Pom Play

Benefits: With this simple activity your child can work on fine motor skills and problem-solving!

How to: At 14 months of age, your toddler likely enjoys putting stuff in a container and dumping it back out.

Give your little one some big pom poms and any sort of container and let them put the pom poms in.

If you want to get fancy, you can use an old container (like a yogurt or sour cream container) and cut a hole big enough to stick a pom pom through. Your child will love the added challenge!

Push Toy

Benefits: Push toys are amazing because they help kids in different stages of walking.

If your child is not yet walking independently, a push toy can be a great help. If your child can walk on their own, a push toy helps to build their stability.

How to: Not much to this “how to” because if your little one has a push toy, just give it to them and watch as your child plays.

Some push toys are designed more for kids that aren’t yet walking. I also like this option because it is interactive and has some educational components to it that will help your child learn new skills.

There are also push toys that are better for kids who are already walking on their own. These promote the independence of walking and help your child get more stable. This one is fun because it is a play lawn mower that blows bubbles! How cool is that?

Car Wash

Benefits: Doing a mini car wash is a great sensory activity for this age. Your little one can work on fine motor skills and imaginative play.

How to: Take whatever play cars you have (and if you don’t have any check these cars out), and give them a car wash!

Get a medium-sized plastic storage container and fill it up with water and soap. Throw the cars in and let your child “wash” them all up!

It’s also fun to add sponges, washcloths, and even a cheap toothbrush to really let them clean up the cars!

Don’t be surprised if older siblings want to join in, too! They will have a great time, but be sure to set up somewhere that will be easy to clean up! This mat is perfect for laying under your kids when they get messy!

Car Ramp

Benefits: While playing with a homemade car ramp, your child will learn about cause and effect and hone their fine motor skills.

How to: Take those same cars mentioned above, and set up a ramp.

You can use a variety of things for your ramp. The easiest thing is to grab a stack of books and place them under one side of a long board. At our house, we use an extra shelf we don’t use from our bookshelf.

You can also save up an old cardboard box, a leaf from your table, or anything that is long and fairly flat.

Then let your child “experiment” by sending different items down the ramp. You will probably have to show them how it works the first time, but they will get the hang of it soon!

Don’t be afraid to add some other things to put down the ramp too. We like to put balls down the ramp, dolls, and anything else my children want to grab. It’s such a fun way to let them experiment!

Edible Sensory Bins

Benefits: Sensory bins are a great way to help your child explore different textures and sensations. And as the name suggests, they can explore with multiple senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and even taste!

How to: If you haven’t heard of a sensory bin, that’s okay! I hadn’t heard of them until recently!

Sensory bins are when you put a few materials and objects into a container to let your child explore and play in. I usually use a plastic storage bin to contain all of the materials.

I also like to have a floor mat under the bin and my child to make cleaning up easier!

You can put several different things into your sensory bin. At this age, it’s a good idea to make the main or base material edible, since mouthing objects is still common.

A few great options are cooked noodles, ice, oatmeal, and cereal. These are fun to explore, but still safe for little ones. You only need to choose one of these mediums at a time.

Once you’ve decided on what base to use, you can add in other fun things.

Put in some cups, spoons, plastic tweezers, and maybe even little cars or people. There are also some pretty cool sets of sensory bin tools that your child might love!

Then put your child next to the sensory bin (don’t forget about putting them on top of the mat, too!) and let them dig in!

Color Time

Benefits: Coloring is a great fine motor activity that lets your child get creative. The skill requires some hand-eye coordination as well, something your baby is developing at this age! You can also work on the names of colors while you draw together.

How to: Give your child some crayons (these crayons are great for little hands) and paper and let them color! You can help them by showing some basic strokes, like lines, crosses, and circles. But this should be a no-pressure situation!

Low Maintenance Activities

The following are all great ideas for your 14 month old that only involve things that you (likely) have lying around the house. You also only have to put in a little bit of effort to make them happen.

The best part is, that with little effort on your part, your child can still be learning and engaging in these fun activities.

Container Play

Benefits: Your child will get to explore lots of different materials and figure out how things work.

How to: Young toddlers just love to put things in containers and dump them out again! Why not make an activity out of it?

Gather several containers (cleaned-out yogurt containers, cups, oatmeal tubs, bowls) and give them to your baby all at the same time. They will love to explore how the different containers feel. They might even explore what sounds they can make with the different materials. You can give them a few smaller objects, like balls, cars, or other small toys to put in and out of the containers.

Paint with Water

Benefits: Water play is a great way for your child to explore their senses. It’s also perfect for getting your child outside and having fun!

How to: Give your child a paintbrush and a bucket or cup of water, and go outside! Let your child “paint” with the water on the sidewalk, on your house, on the deck, basically wherever! On a hot summer day, the water will dry up in no time!

Can You Find the…

Benefits: Playing this game will help your child with following directions while learning new vocabulary. Your child can also work on their gross motor skills, as they walk around, searching out the item.

How to: This is a simple game that is a lot like “I Spy”.

Ask your child, “Can you find the __________?”. Then help them look for the item around the room, and have them bring it to you or point it out to you.

This is a great game because you can make it harder or easier based on what your child can handle.

If you want to make it hard, ask them to find things in a different room. If you want to make it easy, ask them to find something close by. The choice is yours!

Make Your Own Band

Benefits: Let your child explore different sounds and cause-and-effect by making your own band.

How to: Give your child a few things from the kitchen that they can bang on. I like to give pots, pans, wooden spoons, plastic spoons, small plastic containers, or whatever else you can find.

Lay it out on the floor and show them how to bang the spoon on one of the other containers.

Chances are it won’t take long for them to join in, making a raucous! Lots of kids love to make big sounds!

Above and Beyond

If you want to really take your activities to the next level, try some of these fun, prep-intense activities. They will likely wow your little one, and they are all great for development!

Surprise Inside Box

Benefits: Your child will benefit from the sensory play while they work on their fine motor skills as they try to get things out of the box. You can also use lots of great language while they play, helping them learn new words.

How to: This activity is similar to a sensory bin, but there is one really fun component that makes it different.

Find a cardboard box and cut a hole about the size of a softball on one side. Tape the rest of the box shut.

Then add a variety of objects into the box that is small enough to fit through the hole.

You can cut up tons of small pieces of fabric with different textures. You can add pom poms, a toy car, a spoon, a small ball, a Duplo, a crayon, and a rattle. Just grab any baby-safe thing that is small enough to fit inside!

Once you have the activity prepared, let your little one go for it! Let them reach inside and pull everything out! They will love exploring all of the things you’ve put in their surprise box.

As they touch the different items, talk about each one. Describe how it feels, the colors, and the name of the object. Your 14-month-old is taking it all in, even if they don’t repeat it yet!

Felt Board Fun

Benefits: Your toddler can work on their fine motor skills, and their vocabulary. You can target specific vocabulary like colors and shapes. Your child will also be learning about spatial concepts as they move the pieces around.

How to: Get several colors of felt and a large piece of cardboard or something more sturdy like a sheet of plastic or wood.

First, make the felt board by cutting out a large piece of felt to go around the board. Depending on the material you choose, you can glue or staple the felt.

Then, cut out smaller pieces of felt that your child will play with on the felt board.

This is where you can do your own thing. You can make various basic shapes out of the felt and work on shapes.

You could also cut out pieces that your child can put together to make a felt pizza (think yellow felt for the cheese, red for the pepperoni, and green for some peppers).

You could also cut out little felt people. You could make little felt bodies and felt clothing to go on them.

The sky is the limit! That’s one of the best parts about felt boards! You can make just about whatever you want! And your toddler will love it!

Squishy Paint

Benefits: Your toddler will get some great sensory play as they squish the paint around. It’s a great fine motor task, and it lets your baby get creative!

How to: Gather some paint, paper, and a large Ziploc baggie.

Put a few big squirts of various colors onto the paper, and carefully slip the paper into the bag. Close the bag up, and hand the baggie over to your sweet little one.

Then, they squish the paint around the baggie and make a fun design. They will love watching the colors go across the page as they create.

After they have done plenty of squishing, you can carefully get the paper out. Be aware, you might need another set of hands to get the paper out because it gets pretty messy in there! You need to be sure to pull the paper out right away, otherwise, the paint sticks to the baggy, and the paper will tear.

If you want to turn this artwork into a keepsake, you can let the paper dry. Then you can cut out a heart shape (or whatever shape you want), and make it into a card for a loved one.

Obstacle Course

Benefits: An obstacle course can be as simple or complex as you make it! You can include obstacles that work on fine motor, gross motor, and cognition.

How to: Creating an obstacle course for your little explorer can be a really fun way for them to work on different skills. Here are a few ideas for you to put in your obstacle course:

  • Kid-friendly tunnel
  • Kitchen chair to crawl under
  • Table to walk around
  • Broken-down cardboard boxes to crawl through
  • Block tower to knock down or build
  • Ball to throw
  • Objects in a gift bag to pull out
  • Car to “drive”
  • Easy puzzle to put together
  • Ball to kick

Choose as many or as few of these ideas as you want, and feel free to add your own twist! You will have to guide your little one through the course, but it will be a fun way to play together!

Are you feeling ready to go play with your little one? Hopefully, you found some great ideas that you can go do right now!

Drop a comment below with your favorite thing to do with your 14 month old!


1 thought on “Playing to Learn: Best Games and Activities for Your 14 Month Old”

  1. The post titled “Playing to Learn: Best Games and Activities for Your 14 Month Old” appears to be a helpful and informative guide for parents who are looking for ways to engage and stimulate their 14-month-old child’s development through play.

    The post includes a list of games and activities that the author believes are best suited for this age group. These activities are designed to promote physical, cognitive, and social development in young children.

    The title of the post also suggests that the author understands the importance of play-based learning in early childhood development. This is a valuable perspective that emphasizes the idea that play is not only enjoyable for young children, but it also plays a crucial role in their overall development.

    Overall, the post provides a useful resource for parents who are looking for ways to incorporate play-based learning into their child’s daily routine. However, it is important to note that each child is unique and may have different interests and developmental needs. Parents should always consider their child’s individual needs and preferences when selecting games and activities for them to engage in.

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