On the road
Activities for toddlers and babies
Babies and toddlers are often out and about in your neighbourhood. Whenever you go for walks with your group, children observe the traffic and action in nearby streets. With this theme, I want to help little ones explore the things they see, the sounds they hear, and the things they can touch along the streets.
Print traffic signs and hang them from the ceiling to introduce your theme and decorate your daycare.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Listen as you walk
Make frequent stops during your daily walks and encourage children to notice the sounds that are present along the streets. Can they identify the different sounds they hear? Name the sounds with your group (birds, a car horn, a motor, voices, a barking dog, etc.).
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (listen)
Across the Web, there are many websites that make it possible for children to listen to the sounds we hear on the road and along streets. They make it possible to explore these sounds indoors, for example on a rainy day.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
With babies and toddlers, observe the vehicles, people, and action in the streets of your neighbourhood. Glue two empty toilet paper rolls together for each child. Let little ones color their homemade binoculars and attach a string so they can wear them around their neck (with supervision) when you go for walks. You can give very young children a single empty toilet paper roll. They will love using it to observe various things present in your neighbourhood.
ARTS & CRAFTS
For this activity, you will need a thin layer of poster paint poured into a platter and toy cars and trucks. Invite children to roll the cars and trucks through the paint and then on a large piece of paper or cardboard. They will enjoy seeing colourful car tracks appear.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Along your neighbourhood's streets, there are most likely many mailboxes. Have each child draw a picture and insert it in an envelope. Ask parents to provide the address of a person who is very dear to their child such as a grandparent, an aunt, a cousin, etc. When you go for a walk, children can drop their "letter" in a mailbox to mail it. This activity will make recipients smile.
Which way shall we go?
Every time you reach an intersection with your group, if possible, ask children which way they wish to go. Use your finger to point to the left and then to the right, naming both directions. Even if they aren't ready to understand the difference between left and right, this activity can represent a simple introduction to these terms.
For this activity, use very large magnets to avoid the risk of children swallowing them. Show your group how they can use the magnets to explore objects that are present along the streets of your neighbourhood. Encourage them to stick the magnets on traffic signs, mailboxes, and different metallic and non-metallic items to demonstrate how magnets are only attracted to metals.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Colourful road network
Use colourful electrical tape to draw a road network on a large piece of cardboard or directly on the floor. Set toy cars and various figurines nearby. Show toddlers how they can move the cars and figurines along the lines (roads and streets).
A picture book
Photograph a variety of items related to the theme such as cars, a cat crossing the street, traffic signs, etc. Print the pictures and use them to create a unique picture book. Name the items in the pictures for the children in your group.
Early childhood educator
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