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


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My library - Babies and toddlers - Educatall

My library

Activities for babies and toddlers

 

Since babies and toddlers appreciate books, they will be enchanted by this theme that will provide them with opportunities to explore books in a multitude of ways.

 

AREA SETUP

 

A reading corner
If you don't already have a reading corner within your daycare, this is the perfect time to create one. It can be permanent or, if you use a plastic bin for example, transported from one area to another or even outside.

 

ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS

 

Presentation of different types of books
Every morning, present different books. Use different ways to make books inviting for little ones. Here are a few ideas:

  • Insert each book in a gift bag and deposit the bags here and there, on the floor within your daycare. Invite children to explore the contents of the bags.
  • Arrange the books so they are upright on the floor, in a row.
  • Deposit large stuffed animals on the floor and slide a book between each stuffed animal's legs.
  • Set a large box filled with books on the floor, in the centre of your daycare.
  • Place several blankets on the floor and hide books under them.

Naptime container
To announce naptime and create a routine, use a naptime container. Simply fill a large container with books, small stuffed animals, and blankets. Each day, make your naptime container available to your group at the same time, right before naptime. Change the contents of your naptime container every week and only let children use it during this routine.

 

SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)

 

Books in the dark
Set several books on the floor along with small flashlights. At the end of the day, dim the lights to make your daycare somewhat dark (not too dark since children might get scared). Show babies and toddlers how they can use the flashlights to light the pages and explore the books.


SENSORY ACTIVITIES (smell)

 

Make your own scented book
Use a fabric or cardboard book that you already have on hand that contains textured pages. Add a few drops of an essential oil between the pages of your book. Vanilla is a great choice. Encourage babies and toddlers to manipulate the book to discover the scent (supervision required, beware of allergies).

 

Scented books
Visit your local bookstore to purchase a collection of scented books. For example, children will love "scratch and sniff" books.

 

ARTS & CRAFTS

 

Memory books
Take advantage of this theme to create a memory book for each baby and toddler in your group. They will love being the hero of their very own book. Begin each child's book with the following text:


Once upon a time, (child's name) attended (name of daycare). Every day, (child's name) completed marvelous projects and enjoyed fun activities. Here are pictures and drawings that represent (child's name)'s daycare life.


Over the course of several months, collect crafts and drawings. Take pictures of the children in your group and write down anecdotes. When you are ready, simply insert everything in children's memory books.

 

MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

 

Well-known characters
Ask parents to send you a picture that represents a person or animal their child is familiar with executing a specific action. For example, parents may provide you with a picture of their family dog running in the park, their child's grandmother baking a cake, or their oldest son playing with a ball. Arrange all the pictures in a photo album and write a brief sentence under each one. Sit with babies and toddlers to look at the photo album. Read the sentences you wrote to present your group's "storybook".

 

The library
Organize an outing and visit your local library with your group. Ask a few other adults to accompany you. If visiting the library is impossible, encourage parents to take their child to the library during the weekend to establish a connection with your theme. You may also visit your local library to borrow books for your group.

 

COGNITIVE ACTIVITIES

 

Characters between the pages
Print and laminate pictures of your group's favorite characters. Hide them between the pages of your books. Let children explore the books and discover the characters.

 

Recipe books
We all have many recipe books that we never use. Ask parents to give you any old recipe books they may have, but be sure to inform them that the books will not be returned, since they will be manipulated by many little hands and most likely be damaged. Set the recipe books in your kitchen area. With supervision (to avoid children swallowing pieces of paper), let children manipulate and explore the books. They will enjoy admiring the pictures and tearing the pages. It's all good...they are exploring!

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS

 

Snowman story
Find a book about making a snowman. Read it to your group before going outside to make a snowman of your own. Take a picture of the snowman you make with your group and display the picture in your reading corner. Compare your snowman with the one illustrated in the book.

 

LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES

 

Books and songs

Whenever you read a book to your group, try to find a song or rhyme related to the book's theme and sing or recite it. This can make books more interesting for young children. For example, if you read a book about a farm, sing Old MacDonald had a farm.

 

Chantal Millette
Early childhood educator


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