Activities for toddlers and babies
Foster creativity and discover different ways to present children's artwork with the activities included in this theme.
Use children's artwork to create your very own art gallery for parents and children to admire.
For parents: Pick a location parents visit daily, ideally your cloakroom or a hallway, to display children's artwork so parents can see their child's crafts.
For babies and toddlers: Be sure to display children's drawings where little ones can appreciate them too: at their eye level, on the table (placemats), on the wall next to your changing table, etc.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Chalkboards and chalk
To introduce your theme, provide several tiny chalkboards and large pieces of chalk. As children arrive in the morning, let them draw freely on the chalkboards (supervision necessary). If you do not have chalkboards on hand, simply provide pieces of black construction paper and chalk.
A collective poster on the ceiling
Set a large piece of paper on the floor or on a table. Encourage babies and toddlers to draw on it as they wish. When they are done, stick their poster on the ceiling, over your changing table. Children will enjoy admiring their masterpiece during diaper changes.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
Set large pieces of corrugated cardboard on the table. Children will enjoy drawing over the "wave-like" surface of this material. What's more, this activity will represent an interesting fine motor skills activity.
Poster paint and felt make for an interesting combination. Drawing on felt with markers can also produce pretty results. Of course, drawing on felt is more difficult than drawing on paper, but it's worth the effort since toddlers will appreciate the texture.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Purchase several inexpensive wooden frames. Remove the glass from each one. Encourage babies and toddlers to draw on pieces of cardboard that will fit inside each frame. With the glass removed, the frames can safely be manipulated by little hands and therefore represent a unique "picture book" (supervision required). The frames can be used to decorate a hallway. Parents will appreciate seeing their child's artwork displayed. Change the drawings regularly. Of course, you may also simply set the frames on furniture items throughout your daycare for a touch of color.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Accordion-style picture display
Here is a unique way to display children's artwork, for example during meetings with parents. Fold a large piece of cardboard accordion-style and stick a drawing on each section. If you prefer, fold two pieces of cardboard in half and stick them together, end to end. The accordion-style picture display will stand upright on a table.
Collect cylindrical containers (chips). Wrap them with white paper. Let babies and toddlers draw on the containers. Drawing on a round surface represents an interesting challenge for little hands. Fill the containers with crayons when they are done and set your crayon holders on a shelf to decorate your daycare.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Family drawing activity
This activity is a great way to create a connection between children's home environment and daycare environment. For each child, cut a shape such as a heart out of construction paper. Insert each shape in a Ziploc bag along with crayons. Send a bag home with each child and invite them to draw on their shape with their parents. When they are done, they bring their shape back to daycare. Display each family's drawing.
Invite toddlers to draw on a window or mirror with window markers. It can be interesting to sit a toddler on either side of a window for this activity. They will enjoy looking at each other as they draw.
Each month, have babies and toddlers draw on a piece of construction paper. Keep their artwork, making sure to write the date on each one. Arrange each child's drawings in a personal binder or duo-tang. When a child leaves your group, you can send him off with his binder that will serve as a souvenir of the time spent in your daycare. Add pictures, messages, and anecdotes if you wish.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Hanging beach ball and crayons
Here is a great way to help children develop their sense of balance. Hang a beach ball from the ceiling with rope or fabric elastic so it's at children's eye level. Provide washable markers and encourage children to draw on the ball.
Give each child a marker of a different color along with a piece of white paper. Let them draw on their paper as they see fit. When they are done, stick each child's drawing on a piece of construction paper of the corresponding color. For example, if a child used a red marker, stick his drawing on a piece of red construction paper. Laminate the drawings. Let babies and toddlers manipulate their original color book. Name each color for your group. If you wish, you can display the drawings on a wall.
Early childhood educator
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