Thought I’d summerise the best ideas I’ve found and used for entertaining my 17 month old. Any with relevant links to guides or printables are clickable:
- Toy cars
- Playdough and anything he can stamp into it
- Water play
- Hide and seek & being chased
- Wooden peg puzzles & 2 piece jigsaws
- Pom pom push & domino drop
- Little mouse are you in the red house? game
- Walking on/wrestling pillows
- Emotion flashcards & making funny faces – mainly the faces!
- Nursery Rhyme prop bag
- Family photos
- Reading books
- Going outside!!
Best equipment to have:
- Water/messy/sand play table – Tuff Spot and stand, I cannot recommend this product enough as the raised lip around the edge keeps stuff in!
- Toddler sized table and chairs – they will pay attention longer to things when seated. Helps when doing colouring, concentrated work or fine motor work.
At 17 months its all about fun, they don’t have a long attention span and mainly want to run about. Lovely pins about ‘busy bags’ and ‘quiet time’ activities seem to give false hope that a young toddler can sit and entertain themselves for an extended period of time. Occasionally this is true, but more often than not my 17 month old wants me there every step of the way. Anything you can do to keep their interest and have fun with them whilst also maybe teaching them a few things will go down well. Don’t be disheartened if you try an activity and they don’t like it, all toddlers are different in their own way. Opt for easy to prepare and make activities so prevent disappointment!!!
If the weather is nice, get them out. If you can set up water or messy play activities a few times a week in an area where mess is ok and let them go nuts. Give them things to fiddle with and push around. Introduce colours, numbers and letters whilst playing, they are like little sponges at the moment and can learn from everything you do.
Most important of all – HAVE FUN. There will come a day when the little ones are grown up and won’t need or really want you there all the time, enjoy it whilst you can! (Even when the clingy-ness drives you bonkers, on some days I’m sure my little boy has broken the world record for how many times he can say ‘mummee’ in a 24 period, there is not enough coffee in the world for this…)
Links to each of my 17 month olds weekly activity boxes under each picture: