Pencils and crayons
Activities for toddlers and babies
Explore pencils and crayons of all kinds with babies and toddlers.
Introduce your theme
To greet babies and toddlers, deposit large pieces of black paper or poster board throughout your daycare: on the floor, on the wall, on tables, etc. You may also hang paper on the walls in a hallway or even in your yard. Provide large pieces of white chalk and invite children to draw on the black surfaces.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
A tablecloth for drawing
Deposit several pieces of construction paper or a white paper tablecloth on a table so it is completely covered. Set crayons on the table and invite babies and toddlers to scribble on the paper as they see fit. At lunch time, simply remove the crayons and let children eat directly on their decorated paper tablecloth.
Crayon carrying case
Fill a backpack or other type of bag with crayons, paper, wipes (for hands), and construction paper. Bring the bag into your yard or take it with you when you go to the playground to provide children with the opportunity to draw outside.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Mirror and makeup pencils
Use your makeup pencils to draw a circle on the tip of each child's nose, standing in front of a mirror. You may also encourage toddlers to draw directly on the mirror. Name each child as you point to their reflection in the mirror.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
Every day, offer a different type of surface for children to draw on: a black chalkboard, asphalt, paper plates, felt, a beach ball, a cardboard box, etc.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Let babies and toddlers draw freely on pieces of construction paper. Photograph children individually as they are drawing. Print the pictures. Glue each child's picture next to his/her drawing. Parents will love receiving their child's drawing as a gift and seeing how he/she put a lot of effort into his/her work.
Explore different types of crayons
Every day, provide babies and toddlers with the chance to explore a different type of pencil or crayon: markers, waxed crayons, wooden pencils, pastels, chalk, makeup pencils, etc. Let them manipulate and use the pencils and crayons as they wish. At the end of the theme, make all the pencils and crayons available to your group and let them pick and choose which ones they wish to use.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Drawing with a friend
Encourage parallel play among children by creating areas where they can go to draw with a friend or in small groups.
- •Hang a large piece of paper on a wall or in a hallway.
- Invite children to draw on a large object such as a cardboard box or a beach ball.
- Trace the contour of a child's body on a large piece of paper.
- Invite an older child (a 4-year-old) from another daycare group to come draw with the children in your group.
A placemat for you
Have babies and toddlers draw on a piece of construction paper. Laminate each child's artwork to create placemats. Children will be proud to give their handmade placemat to their parents who will enjoy using it during meals at home.
All the same color
Prepare different types of crayons (depending on the ages of the children in your group): waxed crayons, wooden coloring pencils, chalk, markers, etc. However, offer a single color in different shades, from the lightest to the darkest. Let babies and toddlers explore the crayons as they wish. Help them identify the color.
They go together
To help children associate crayons with paper, set crayons on a table and hang a piece of paper on a nearby wall. Watch children's reaction. Encourage them to find the paper by saying, "Where can you draw with the crayons?"
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Under the table
Add a physical challenge to drawing activities. Stick a large piece of paper directly under a table. Sit under the table with the older toddlers in your group to draw.
During dandelion season, go for a walk with your group and collect enough flowers to create a dandelion bouquet. Upon your return, set large pieces of white paper on a table and show children how they can slide the dandelions on the paper to create yellow markings.
Introducing color names
Name the color of each crayon children use throughout the theme. Find objects that are the same color as each crayon too.
Early childhood educator
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