Activities for toddlers and babies
Hang several small umbrellas from your daycare ceiling. Lie on the floor with your group to observe and name the different colors and designs.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Purchase or make a rain stick designed for little hands. During diaper changes, let children manipulate it and encourage them to listen to the rain-like sounds.
Homemade rain sticks
Create your own rain sticks that will imitate the sound of the rain. For each rain stick, you will need two empty plastic bottles. Add small pebbles to one bottle. Secure both bottles together, neck to neck, using heavy adhesive tape to form an hourglass. Let children manipulate your homemade rain sticks. Be sure to supervise this activity closely.
Outdoors on a sunny day, use spray bottles to wet tree leaves. Encourage children to watch the droplets slide down the leaves one by one.
Handwashing with a colander
Set a small colander next to your sink. When toddlers wash their hands, use the colander to wet their hands, letting the water seep through the holes just like rain.
Rain at the table
Ask toddlers to press their ear against a table. Gently tap the table with your fingers. They will hear a sound much like that of rain falling on a roof. Be sure to tap very gently since the sound will resonate quite loudly.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Laminate pictures and illustrations related to the theme (umbrellas, boots, puddles, etc.). With a spray bottle, wet a window or a mirror at children's eye level. Let them press the pictures and illustrations on the window or mirror. They will stick to the wet surface. Little ones will enjoy adding and removing the pictures over and over again. Name the various illustrated items with your group.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (listen)
Listen to the rain
Whether it's by listening to a musical recording or simply opening the window to hear actual rain, provide babies and toddlers with the opportunity to listen to the pitter-patter of falling rain. Try to imitate the sound with your group.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
Raining on my tummy
Fill a small spray bottle with lukewarm water. During diaper changes, lift children's clothing to gently spray their tummy to represent raindrops. Be sure to have a towel nearby to dry them off afterwards.
ARTS & CRAFTS
It's raining hearts
Cut a large cloud shape out of cardboard and glue it on a piece of white paper. Hang the paper on a wall. Cut out several colourful hearts. With babies and toddlers, glue the hearts on the piece of white paper to represent raindrops.
Cut a cloud shape out of heavy cardboard. For a group activity, you will need a very large cloud. If you choose to present this as an individual activity, you will need several small clouds. Let children decorate their cloud by drawing on it or by gluing pieces of white paper or cotton balls all over. Once this is done, cut raindrop shapes out of blue or multi-coloured construction paper and hang them from the cloud(s) with string. Variation: You may also use this craft to display pictures of the children in your group in a unique way.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Massage children gently to imitate raindrops falling on their skin. With the tips of your fingers, gently tap their arms, neck, and back.
It's raining bubbles
This is a great group activity. In your daycare or in your yard, blow soap bubbles. Let babies and toddlers observe the bubbles and try to catch them. Photograph your group so you have a souvenir of this fun activity.
Print pictograms representing a sun, a white cloud, and a rain cloud. Use adhesive paper to stick these items on a window. Every day, look outside with your group and point to the pictogram that best describes the weather.
Plants need rain
To grow, plants need water. Purchase a plant and set it on the floor, on a plastic tablecloth. Once the soil is dry, let children water the plant with your help, using a small watering can. If you prefer, simply make a few holes in a water bottle cap. Using a water bottle as a watering can will make it possible for children to control the flow.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Purchase several small tambourines. Show children how they can gently tap the tambourines with their fingers to produce sounds that closely resemble falling rain. Encourage children to move to the sound of the music. Invite toddlers to explore the tambourines freely after a while. If you wish, you may also add maracas.
A walk in the rain
Ask parents to provide raincoats, nylon pants, rain boots, and a small umbrella for their child. With toddlers, there is no reason to refrain from going outside for a short period of time when it is raining. Have fun walking in the rain and jumping in water puddles.
This theme wouldn't be complete without the following popular rhyme.
Rain, rain, go away
Come again some other day
Wants to play
Rain, rain, go away
Early childhood educator
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