As the mother of 14 month old twins, I am constantly looking for engaging activities that challenge my babies and keep them entertained. At this age my twins love to do what I do, and want to help as much as possible. They are usually more creative then I am, and given some materials often come up with their own activities. Here is a list of some of the activities my twins and I have enjoyed together as well as some suggestions from other moms.
Around the House
Â· Picking up - my kids love to put things away and the 'help.' Try keeping only 10-12 toys on the shelves at a time to make clean up time easier. You can rotate the less popular toys every few weeks.
Â· Putting things into containers - it doesn't matter what kind of container or the things you are putting into them. I use an empty wipes container and gave the twins large game pieces to put in the slot where the wipes come out. My son loves this activity.
Â· Pushing cars around while making the noises brum-brum.
Â· Knocking over towers of boxes or blocks.
Â· Turning over cars or trucks and 'fixing' (playing with) the wheels.
Â· Brushing their own hair.
Â· Reading books - both my kids can't get enough of this. They love turning the pages. They even love turning the pages of a book alone and 'reading' it to themselves.
Â· Singing songs - they especially love to clap along or do hand motions. The wheels on the bus and paddy -cake are some of our favorites. They also love to drum or shake rattles to music.
Â· Dancing - we love having a dance party. Whether I dance holding the baby in my arms, holding their hands, or we all just dance around, they love it.
Â· Playing in the tub.
Â· Going up and down stairs.
Â· We love playing with flashcards. Either buy them or make your own from picture you collect.
Â· Make a fort - my kids love climbing in and out of things. You can cut doors in a large box, put smaller boxes together, cover a table with a blanket, or anything that makes a fort.
Â· Doing the laundry - My daughter loves to pull all the clothes out of the clean laundry basket and play in them. I recommend this activity before you've folded them.
Â· Play hide and seek - make it very easy.
Â· Talking on fake cell phones.
Â· Practice using a spoon and a fork.
Exploring the Outdoors
Â· Let your toddler take you for a walk - whether your baby crawls or walks, let them take their time and follow them as they explore your yard and/or neighborhood. Remember, most of the day you're in charge, let your little one take control for a little while. This wasn't the best activity with twins, but would probably be great with just one baby.
Â· Play in a kiddy pool -If you don't have a pool fill anything - my kids love playing in a wagon at their grandparents.
Â· Set up the sprinkler or the hose nozzle in the yard.
Â· Put up a bird feeder and watch the animals.
Â· Blow bubbles.
Â· Play with a ball - throw it, kick it, sit on it, be creative.
Â· Chase each other.
Â· Use a hose to spray water on the pavement or deck in different patterns.
Â· Help water the plants. We have a child sized watering can, but a yogurt container would also work great.
Out and About
Almost any child-friendly establishment will be enjoyed by your 13 or 14 month old. Here are just a few of the ideas of things you can do when you just need to get out:
Â· Go to the zoo.
Â· Go to a petting farm - any farm where you can look at the animals, even from a distance it great.
Â· Go to a museum - even a museum designed for adults gives your baby a chance to people watch.
Â· Visit the beach or a lake.
Â· Take a hike.
Â· Take a long walk and point out everything you see to your baby - don't worry about feeling foolish just keep talking.
Â· Drive near the airport and watch the planes take off.
Â· Join a playgroup - it's important for kids of any age to interact.
Â· Collect pictures of animals on your trips out and make a book or flashcards.
Â· Have a picnic.
Â· Go to a playground and swing and climb.
Â· Go to a pool.
Â· Go to your local library for reading time, or just to look at new books.
Â· Go listen to outdoor live music.
Â· Take them to a farmers market and point out all the different foods