Birds and eggs
Activities for toddlers and babies
Print several pictures of birds and eggs of all kinds. Display them on the walls of your daycare and hang them from the ceiling to set the mood for the theme.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
This activity is perfect for introducing the theme to your group. Set tiny piles of soft feathers here and there on your daycare floor. Set one plastic egg in the centre of each feather nest. Encourage babies and toddlers to move about to discover and manipulate the nests and eggs.
Musical diaper changes
You will need several plastic eggs for this activity. Pour uncooked rice or dry pasta inside each egg. Seal the eggs with adhesive tape and let babies and toddlers manipulate and shake the eggs during diaper changes (supervision required).
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch and look)
Eggs among feathers
Create a very soft and cozy manipulation bin by emptying several bags of feathers in a plastic container. Hide plastic eggs among the feathers. Invite babies and toddlers to plunge their hands in the bin to discover and extract the eggs.
You will need a sealed box. Decorate the box by gluing pictures of hens all over its surface. Cut holes out of the sides of the box, big enough so that children can insert their hands. Deposit several plastic eggs in the box. Encourage babies and toddlers to slide their hands through the holes and pull the eggs out. When all the eggs have been extracted, children can insert the eggs through the holes.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (taste)
Depending on the ages of the children in your group, cook angel hair pasta and hard-boiled eggs. For each child, arrange a pile of angel hair pasta in the centre of a bowl and set a hard-boiled egg on top. Observe these special nests with your group before helping children cut the pasta and eggs and letting them eat their edible nests for lunch.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (listen)
Find a song with chirping birds in the background. Listen to the sound of chirping birds with your group. If you have a picture book that contains pictures of different types of birds or bird-shaped stuffed animals, let children explore them as they listen.
Variation 1: Listen to chirping chicks.
Variation 2: Listen for chirping birds when you go for walks with your group.
ARTS & CRAFTS
An egg-filled nest on my head
Is it a nest? Is it a hat? Here is a simple craft that can be enjoyed with babies and toddlers. Cut strips of construction paper, long enough to be wrapped around children's heads. Print bird and egg illustrations. Invite children to glue them on their strip of construction paper. If you wish, add feathers. Join both ends of each child's strip of construction paper to form a hat that looks a lot like a nest. Set each child's nest on his/her head.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Deposit plastic Easter eggs filled with tiny surprises (chocolate or crackers for example) throughout your daycare. Tell children that a mother hen has left eggs for them. Set an Easter basket in the centre of the daycare and invite babies and toddlers to deposit the eggs in the basket as they find them. Once all the eggs have been found, open the eggs one by one to discover the surprises with your group. Variation: Invite parents to participate in your Easter egg hunt or, if you prefer, have older children from another daycare group come help younger children. Be sure to have plenty of eggs for everyone.
Mommy bird is looking for her babies
Print several bird illustrations of different colors (blue, red, yellow). Cut egg shapes out of the corresponding colors of construction paper. If your group is very young, begin with only two colors. Laminate the birds and the eggs. Show toddlers how they can associate each egg with the bird of the same color.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Egg cartons to fill and empty
I love using empty egg cartons with babies and toddlers since they are light and children can open and close them without pinching their fingers. Set several plastic eggs here and there within your daycare. Invite children to collect the eggs and arrange them in their egg carton.
I am flying like a bird
Show children a video of birds flying away before distributing two feathers to each child. Have them hold one feather in each hand and stretch their arms out to the side to represent wings. They can flap their arms and pretend to take flight.
Egg picture "book"
You will need several large plastic eggs. Print several pictures or illustrations of different types of birds (parrot, chick, ostrich, cardinal, duck). Fold each picture or illustration and slide them inside the eggs. Encourage older toddlers to open the eggs and discover the birds. Name the different types of birds as well as the characteristics of each one.
Egg picture "book"-Version 2
Cut egg shapes out of construction paper. Print several pictures or illustrations of different types of birds (parrot, chick, ostrich, cardinal, duck). Glue the pictures or illustrations on the egg shapes and laminate each one. Look at the pictures and use them to spark a conversation with your group.
Early childhood educator
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