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Learning Activities for Your 17 Month Old

Learning Activities for Your 17 Month Old
My little G is 17 months and this month, he’s really interested in art and also anything that requires fine motor skills. These are some fun 17 month old learning activities that have kept my little guy busy! I value toddler activities that are easy and simple to set up, yet are super engaging and provide quality time learning together.

Chalk… Without Chalk

I took the kiddos art table (an Ikea play table) and sprayed the top with chalkboard spray paint. While M loves to draw and play tic-tac-toe on it, I have G a bowl of water and big paint brush. He loved dipping the brush in water and “painting” on the chalkboard surface. He could see what he was creating, without a huge mess. A simple way to talk about shapes is to draw a large shape on the table and then have your child paint it with water to remove the shape.

Play-Doh Hide and Find

G loves anything with play-doh so we added a fun twist this month. Under my constant supervision (all these activities are!), I gave him three smooth glass pebbles for this simple game. Originally, the plan was for me to hide them in the play-doh and him to find them, but he had lots of fun pushing them into the play-doh. 
Throughout the month, we’ve added other fun objects like big buttons, small plastic animals, and even straws. Working with play dough is a great way to help your young toddler build finger and hand strength. Here is a homemade playdough recipe if you want to make your own.

Drop and Pour


This is probably G’s favorite activity right now… and it’s so simple!

I gave him a plastic container like a clean water bottle and some smooth stones. He LOVES to drop them through the opening, shake it (it makes a very satisfying noise!), and then pour them out. Oh, and then repeat over and over and over again!

Pouring the bottle out is a great thing for developing and strengthening wrist rotation. Sometimes we count together as he drops them in.



Since he sees his big sis (M is 5 years old) color, he is very interested in being just like her. He loves when I give him a plain piece of a paper (better than a coloring book) and box of crayons. Our very favorite crayons right now are chunky disk crayons.

 Color Matching

I took a single ice cube tray and hot glued some scraps of felt into the bottom of each well. Then I added different colors of coordinating tiny objects (a jack, a plastic bear, a small apple, a button, etc.) and demonstrated how to drop each object in the well. He’s not 100% on colors yet, but he loves to explore the objects and place them in the tray. Plus, the best part is it’s a great language building activity!

 Pom Pom Drop


If you have a wire basket, empty it out and turn it over to create this great activity! I gave G a bowl of colorful pom poms (all ours are from the dollar store) and showed him how to push them through the mesh. He loved this activity and quickly started searching for other objects that would fit through (we grabbed cotton balls and Cheerios, both of which worked!). This simple activity is great for developing hand-eye coordination!

Other Great Activities for Your 17 Month Old

  • Making lines with Sidewalk Chalk
  • Water play in a water table or bath tub is always a good idea. The best things to use are bowls, cups, ladles, and turkey basters.
  •  Nursery Rhymes are SO beneficial for language development


We hope these creative ideas give you a little bit of inspiration to try learning in various ways with your 17 month olds. Sometimes the best ways to get started is to try one activity, see how it goes, and then do it your own way (that your child prefers).

Happy Learning!


You will also like: 

Fun Activities for Your 1 Year Old

Easy Ways for Learning with Your 1 Year Old

Different Activities for Your 13 Month Old

Learning Activities for Your 14 Month Old

Great Ideas for Playing and Learning with Your 2 Year Old

Activities for a Busy 2 Year Old


Written by Jill


Monday 1st of June 2015

loved your post, so simple and easy! You're little guy is a doll!


Tuesday 9th of October 2012

My daughter is 17 months and I don't do hardly anything with her since she moves around all the time. I'm trying to sit down and do learning things with her every so often, but it's a juggle with an active 3 year old too.

JDaniel4's Mom

Tuesday 9th of October 2012

I loved getting to watch him learn.


Tuesday 9th of October 2012

Love the ideas. My Lil guy is also 17 months this month, he still very much into putting things in his mouth, so creative play is sometimes challenging.These ideas will work a treat.... Will be filtering for more x


Tuesday 9th of October 2012

Damn Swype lol... *filtering =following