Activities for toddlers and babies
Make use of the furniture available within your daycare by transforming tables to create a variety of games and activities. This theme provides several creative ideas.
Collect several pictures of different types of tables (desks, picnic tables, kitchen tables, nightstands, coffee tables, etc.) and display them on the walls of your daycare.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Pictures at lunch time
Use adhesive paper to stick interesting pictures directly on the table where children eat. During lunch time, point to each picture and name what you see. You can, for example, use pictures of animals and encourage children to make the corresponding animal sounds.
Recycle different boxes (banana boxes for example) and use them to create small tables. Simply set the boxes upside down on the floor and encourage toddlers to sit next to them. You can serve snacks at these improvised tables.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Flashlights and a special "picture book"
Stick pictures directly under a table using adhesive paper. Give toddlers a flashlight and invite them to crawl under the table to admire the pictures. Show them how they can shine their flashlights on the pictures to see them.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (listen)
Raining on the table
Have children press their ear on the table. With your fingers, gently tap the tabletop. Tell children the sound they are hearing is a lot like the pitter-patter of rain.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Upside down drawing
Stick a large piece of paper on the underside of a table. Provide crayons and invite children to crawl under the table. Encourage them to draw on the paper, upside down.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Our guest at the table
Set an extra spot at the table and invite an oversized stuffed animal to join you for lunch. Set a plate and a drinking glass in front of your special guest and pretend to feed the stuffed animal as babies and toddlers watch. This can represent a great way to encourage children to eat since it will make lunch time fun.
Use adhesive paper to stick a picture of each toddler on the table, in front of a chair. Encourage children to observe the pictures to discover where they must sit at lunch time.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Back and forth ball
Sit babies and toddlers so they are facing each other at the table. Show them how they can gently roll a small ball to their neighbour who can then roll it back. If a ball falls to the ground, quickly pick it up and place it back on the table so children can continue to enjoy this back and forth activity. It is great for helping children wait patiently for their lunch to be served.
Our secret cabin
Help children build a secret cabin simply by draping a blanket over a table. If possible, use a semi-transparent blanket so you can keep an eye on children as they play inside their cabin.
Early childhood educator
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