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My 15 month old toddler is very active and I often find it challenging to match his pace.

He seems to get bored with his toys very quickly. Earlier he used to be very much interested in my laptop and iPhone because I forbid him. Now I let him use and he gets bored with them too quickly.

Any suggestions on what kind of toys OR what type of activities can keep him engaged with me for longer periods of time.

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By the way, you don't need to sign your posts because the user card already does this for you. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Sep 18 '12 at 8:26
I don't understand the question: you want him to be engaged with you, you want to engage with him, or you want him to occupy himself with toys? –  Benjol Sep 20 '12 at 7:35
thnks, my baby s a shocker. no longerthan 30 secs at anything.drves you insane!!! –  user4164 Apr 6 '13 at 12:36

6 Answers 6

First of all, my advice is that you should avoid television and computers for now. He's too young to really benefit from it, and these things can train him to become even more impatient and shorten his attention span. I think this related question has several useful answers for you: How can I keep a 14 month old busy at some activity for longer than 3 minutes

What you could do is present some toys that allow open-ended play. For instance, many of today's electronic toys are meant to be used in a specific way and that actually limits what you can do with the toy. Compare with something like building blocks -- you can stack them, put them in a row, use them on the side or upside down, use them as loading material (or garages) for toy trucks, and so on. Open-ended toys could also be beads, crayons, play-doh, sand in the yard, and many other things.

Open-ended toys usually have the additional advantage that they don't bore you as much either while you play alongside your child. This is significant because kids mimic what we do: if the child sees you engaging with the toys for a long time (let's say 10-15 minutes) then you also demonstrate that these are good and fun toys, worthy of spending time on.

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Our son started really getting into certain types of building toys around that age, wooden trains/tracks, duplos, and megablocks. Megablocks are easier to put together than duplos if you child is not dexterous enough for duplos yet.

Spend as much time as you can doing physical (for him) things too, take walks together, or take a soft ball outside and show him how to kick it. Or go to a playground and practice climbing or swinging.

Regardless, at that age children have a very short attention span, so even just changing how you're using the toys when they start to get bored may help keep their interest. If you were building towers out of blocks and then knocking them over, maybe change to building "beds" or roads or houses.

Sensory activities can really entertain some kids at that age well. A sand table, or a big bin or rice or beans (presuming they aren't tempted to eat them) can be quite entertaining. Especially with some scoops. Or a water table or buckets on a patio. Pouring water can entertain for a long time.

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As well as the other good suggestions already made, I would like to add one: don't have too many different toys out at all the same time.

If a toddler catches sight of something out of the corner of their eye, it will be "ooh, shiny" and they'll be off to that and forget what they were just doing! If you want to persist with the same toy for a bit longer, make sure other things are put away.

This also forms good habits for "put away the last thing before you get the next thing out" when they are a bit older!

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My 10 year old was that way when she was a toddler. She wouldn't play with any toy for longer than 5 to 10 minutes. While it was quite frustrating at the time, it all makes sense now. She has turned out to be an extroverted go-getter who is involved in myriad school activities and also doing great with her academics. It was just her personality. Hang in there!

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Some kids are more into toys at this age than others; my 1 year old daughter can spend hours just playing in a pile of toys, but my son at that age would bore quickly. He was more into physical activities (still is).

Also, at 15 months some kids may not have developed the skills for "pretend" and "assembly" that a lot of toys require to get the most fun out of them.

Take a look at the toy box. How long have those toys been there? Maybe the box needs a refresh! When your son isn't around, sort out all the toys he doesn't play with and put them in storage. Then bring them back in a couple months, and they'll be fresh and new (and fondly remembered). Plus it constrains the amount of junk you have to pick up when they decide to dump and scatter. ;-)

You might also try looking for "toys" around the house. Box lids, ribbons from presents, ragged t-shirts, plastic food containers, tattered magazines, an old computer keyboard... My kids spend more total hours playing with this kind of stuff than with their own toys. The nice thing is that once they grow bored with these toys, they can just be chucked.

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Our son at that age liked to be in the kitchen playing with pots and spoones.

That was nice because we could cook too.

He also liked to sweep the apartment. He has his own household equipement, but offcourse he likes the real stuff better.

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