Sensory Activities for your 15-month toddler

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A view of a city at night

It is not always easy to find activities for your 15-month-old toddler. They are quickly growing out of the baby stage and are starting to learn more about themselves and their environment. These sensory activities will help them explore different textures, sounds, shapes, colors, smells, and tastes that they may not have experienced before.

There are also other great ideas for expanding your 15-month-old’s sense of smell such as making oatmeal and adding various scented oils like peppermint or lavender; placing different flavors of teas in a mesh feed bag and shaking it about; using coffee grounds in planting activities (make sure they don’t get too wet); and you can also simply take them on a walk and let them enjoy the smells nature provides (for example fresh cut grass, newly paved concrete). You can even make homemade “scented markers” by mixing glue with essential oil (start with 1 tsp. glue to 2-3 drops of essential oil) and placing it in an old, clean sock.

The following are great sensory activities for your 15-month-old:

Scented Activities:

A train on the tracks at night

This is a great way to expand your 15-month-old’s sense of smell. Try some of the suggestions below. Remember to always supervise your child during any activity involving small objects, even if it involves food. Some children have allergies and may be allergic to foods that you do not think they would have an issue with. As a responsible parent, please keep that possibility in mind, especially if you have a younger toddler who still puts everything into their mouth.


Bubbles are a great way to activate the sense of sight as well as touch. A fun way to make bubbles is using a small container filled with bubble solution and a thin piece of coat hanger wire. Simply bend the coat hanger wire into a circle that fits into the jar then dip it into the bubble solution and blows through one end of the wire. The thin wire makes for better bubbles! Just be careful not to poke yourself on it while playing, especially if you’re blowing them near grass or gravel as you may get a sliver!

Bubble Wrap:

Bubble Wrap is another fun option as toddlers love the sound this makes. It’s also great for encouraging scissor skills as it can be difficult to pop bubble wrap without them! This activity should only be done under adult supervision so your child does not pop too much bubble wrap at once and become over-stimulated or choke on any pieces of popped bubbles that may have gone astray.

Wooden Spoon Maracas:

Wooden Spoon Maracas are an exciting way to make sounds with household items. Gather together some small, smooth rocks (about 10), put them in a baggie, and tape the top shut. Next, tie a piece of ribbon around the baggie then attach an old, wooden spoon onto one end of the ribbon. Shake to create lots of different sounds!

Blowing Activities:

Blowing activities can be very fun for toddlers. For example, blowing bubbles is an easy way to get a hands-on sensory experience with bubbles just by using your mouth and a wand. You can also try making a homemade bubble solution or blowing through a piece of paper to make designs. Another great activity involves simply putting colored water in different bowls (such as red water for Valentine’s Day) and letting your little one blow through straws at it to watch the colors change!

Musical Activities:

Music is another great outlet for stimulating all five senses so here are some wonderful ideas that you could do this week with your 15-month-old. Cookie sheets make great drums. Simply place a wooden spoon on each end of the pan and let your toddler enjoy some wonderful rhythms. You can also use empty oatmeal containers as shakers by adding rice, beans, or any dry items to create different sounds!

Playing Classical Music:

Playing classical music in the background is another great option as this has been known to enhance cognitive development. If you have access to an old record player then you will be amazed at how much fun they’ll have watching that big needle go round and round just like a train going around a track! Just make sure they don’t try to touch it as they may get hurt. As always though, watch closely for signs of over-stimulation which could include whining, fussing, or becoming very fidgety.

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