In the heart of spring
Activities for toddlers and babies
Buds, tiny green leaves, warm sunshine, chirping birds, and flowers popping out of the ground are the first signs that spring is here. This theme will make exploring all these interesting elements with little ones possible.
Hearts and pictures to discover
To present the theme to your group, cut several hearts out of colourful construction paper. Glue a picture of an item associated with spring in the centre of each heart. Laminate the hearts and hide them throughout your daycare: between the pages of storybooks, on chairs, in bins, etc. Let babies and toddlers discover them throughout the day. Examples of pictures you may use: buds, tulips, daffodils, a bird building a nest, etc.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
If possible, purchase a bouquet of tulips or hyacinths (very fragrant flowers) with your group. Set the bouquet in the centre of your table or daycare during lunchtime.
Flower-filled lunch-Version 2
Print several pictures of springtime flowers (tulip, daffodil, crocus). Laminate them directly on the table or on a plastic tablecloth. Admire the flowers with the children in your group. Name them and identify the color of each flower.
Give each child a moist and somewhat soapy facecloth and encourage them to wash your daycare tables, chairs, chalkboard, toys, etc. With older toddlers, you may pour a small quantity of soapy water (supervision required) in a bin and let them wet sponges or facecloths in the water before using them to clean various items.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
To celebrate the beautiful springtime sunshine, fill a container with several pairs of colourful sunglasses. You can ask parents to share old sunglasses they may have at home with your group. Older toddlers will enjoy trying on different types of sunglasses in front of a mirror. Before going outside to play, invite children to choose a pair of sunglasses they can wear to protect their eyes from the sun.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (listen and touch)
Feathers and chirping birds
To celebrate the birds that are coming back from the South, fill a container with colourful feathers. Play CDs containing bird sounds and encourage children to manipulate the feathers to the sound of the music. Have fun tickling each other and tossing the feathers up in the air too.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Cut strips of construction paper. Let babies and toddlers decorate them with crayons and items representing springtime (Fun Foam flower and bird shapes, feathers, etc.). For each child, glue the ends of a strip of construction paper together to create a headband that is easy to wear. If you wish, glue pieces of colourful party streamers behind each child's hat so they hang down behind the headbands. This will make children's spring hats even prettier and extra fun to wear.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Invite children to wear their spring hat (see Arts & crafts section above) outdoors. Blow soap bubbles with your group. Sing songs together and organize a simple picnic for snack time. If you wish, invite another daycare group or parents to join you.
Spring is the perfect time to plant seeds indoors. Let toddlers manipulate dirt. Encourage them to help you fill containers with dirt and plant different types of seeds. Catnip is a great option since it grows very quickly. Herbs are also interesting since children will be able to taste them once they are fully grown
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Once spring arrives, children are eager to replace their thick winter hats with lighter toques and spring hats. Fill a bin with all kinds of hats in different sizes and colors. Ask parents to send any hats they no longer use to add to your bin. In front of a mirror, invite children to try on the hats. Take pictures of the children in your group during this activity and use them to decorate your role play area.
Early childhood educator
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