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Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


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My early childhood educator and I

Activities for toddlers and babies

 

AREA SETUP

Display pictures of yourself and the children in your group on the walls of your daycare. Encourage children to look at the pictures with you. Say your name and the name of each child as you point to the different pictures.

 

ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS

At the playground
The playground represents a great place to build and strengthen the bond between you and the children in your group. Sit or lie down on the grass in front of them as they play. Stand in front of children (as opposed to behind) when you push them on the swings. Have fun tickling children as they go down the slide. Take advantage of the many opportunities a playground offers to have fun with the children in your group.

 

Peek-a-boo during diaper changes
Diaper changes are ideal for connecting with children one on one. Take the time to talk to them, tickle them, sing a short song or rhyme, etc. Use a soft scarf or blanket to momentarily cover their face, then quickly remove it as you say "peek-a-boo". Repeat several times.

 

SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)

Massage
Massaging children provides you with a wonderful opportunity to spend time with them individually. During the day, massage babies and toddlers who are comfortable with being touched. You don't have to learn complicated massage techniques, a simple caress or a brief foot massage will do the trick. Use various accessories to change things up from time to time: a feather, a small ball, scented lotion (beware of allergic reactions).

 

SENSORY ACTIVITIES (hear)

Hearing my early childhood educator's voice at home
Create your own little songbook by printing the lyrics to the songs & rhymes (3 or 4) you sing most with your group. Join the pages together to form booklets that can be sent home with children. Record yourself singing these songs and rhymes with your group. Even with very young children, the result will be adorable. You will hear them babbling in the background. Send a copy of the recording home with the songbooks and invite parents to sing the songs as they listen to the recording with their child. This is a great way to make a connection between children's home and daycare environments.

 

ARTS & CRAFTS

A frame from me to you
You will need a wooden or cardboard frame for each child. Let babies and toddlers decorate their frame as they wish. Take a picture of yourself with each child. Arrange each child's picture in his/her frame. Give the frames to parents at the end of the day. The picture will help children make a connection between their home and daycare environment. Parents can use the picture to talk about you with their child, at home.

 

Colourful fingers
Apply a small amount of poster paint to the tip of each toddler's finger. Apply a different color to the tip of your finger. Slide your finger on each toddler's finger to mix the colors.
Red+Blue=Purple
Yellow+Red=Orange
Blue+Yellow=Green

 

MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Let's rock
Rocking children represents a great way to spend quality time with little ones. You can explore different methods:

  • On a rocking chair.
  • In your arms.
  • Sitting on an exercise ball.
  • Sitting on the floor, swinging from left to right.
  • In a hammock.
  • On a hanging chair.
  • On a swing.

COGNITIVE ACTIVITIES

Tickling cat
Laughing with children is a great way to strengthen your relationship. Have fun tickling different parts of their body while meowing like a cat. As you tickle children, name the corresponding body parts.


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS

Ball game for two
Offer each child one on one time as you play a game with them. Sit on the floor in front of a baby or toddler and gently roll a ball towards him/her. Encourage the child to roll the ball back to you. Be sure to sit fairly close to little ones to ensure they are able to grab hold of the ball every time.

 

LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES

The sounds you make
Repeating the sounds children make will encourage them to speak and demonstrate that you are interested in what they have to say. What's more, it can represent a fun game. Imitate the sounds little ones make throughout the day, whether it's just babbling or their first words. Watch children's reaction. You can play with the tone of your voice to make this activity even more interesting for children.


Chantal Millette
Early childhood educator


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