Activities for toddlers and babies
This theme will give little ones the chance to explore the different types of plants that surround them: green plants, flowers, grass, and fruits and vegetables that grow in our gardens.
A green plant
If possible, purchase a green plant with your group. Pick a plant that you all like and set it in your daycare, where babies and toddlers can admire it, but out of their reach. Be cautious! Many plants can be toxic for children.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
A garden at my table
To make lunch time interesting, print and collect several pictures of edible plants that can be grown in a garden. Use adhesive paper to stick them directly on the table or on a plastic tablecloth. Some ideas are carrot shoots, lettuce, herbs, beans that are still on the plant, and grapes on a vine.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
Feet in the grass
Sit toddlers in a grassy area in your yard and remove their socks. Show them how they can trap blades of grass between their toes. They will find this activity quite amusing!
Variation 1: Tickle children's feet with blades of grass.
Variation 2: Remove children's shoes, find a safe, grass-covered spot and let toddlers roam barefoot.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (smell)
Spices in the kitchen
This activity represents a great way to introduce children to the many scents that are present in the kitchen. Visit the kitchen with your group. Remove the lids of several spice jars and encourage children to smell them.
ARTS & CRAFTS
A gift for my cat (catnip)
You will need several tiny plastic flower pots. Let children decorate them with arts & crafts materials. You can, for example, provide cat-themed stickers. Fill a large container with dirt and let children have fun filling and emptying their pots for a few minutes. Next, once all the pots are filled with dirt, deposit catnip seeds on the dirt and add a thin layer of soil on top. Water the seeds once or twice per week. After just one week, the catnip will start to grow. Children will love to take their catnip home to their cat or give it to their favorite cat owner.
Cut a large circle and flower petal shapes out of cardboard. Let each baby and toddler draw on one petal. Glue a picture of your group in the centre (on the circle) or, if you prefer, simply write the name of your group. Assemble your collective flower on a wall within your daycare.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
A walk in the woods
Invite parents, grandparents or other people children particularly like to join you for a walk on a nearby pedestrian path or in a small wooded area. Encourage children to observe any plants you see.
Organize a green day to explore the color of plants with your group. Wear green clothing items, eat green foods, play with green modeling dough, paint the tip of your nose green, etc.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Watering cans and plants
Purchase tiny watering cans and let babies and toddlers walk around the yard, watering plants, trees, flowers, and even the grass. Variation: Use empty water bottles to make homemade watering cans. Simply use a fork to punch several holes in the bottles. Fill them with water and use them outside.
Early childhood educator
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