Activities for toddlers and babies
Here is a different type of theme for Father's Day. It provides unique and simple ways to explore fathers' professions and jobs. If a child's father is currently unemployed, you may explore a hobby he enjoys.
Ask fathers about their job and try to add each one to this theme.
Find pictures of fathers at work or use actual pictures of each child's father and use adhesive tape to display them on the walls, in your various daycare corners. If a father is a chef, stick his picture directly on the kitchen table. If another father is a construction worker, add his picture to the construction area. If the father of one of the children in your group is a barber or hairstylist, display his picture next to a mirror in your role play area.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Doctors and nurses at the changing table
Set a toy doctor's kit next to your changing table. Whenever you change a child's diaper, have fun exploring one of the medical tools it contains. You may, for example, use a stethoscope to listen to a child's heartbeat, check his pulse, or examine his eyes and ears before changing his diaper. Afterwards, let the child manipulate the instrument you used for a few minutes.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Uniform dress-up bin
Set a variety of clothing items and accessories representing several different jobs and professions in a bin: ties, shirts, construction helmets, heavy wool socks, gardening hats, safety glasses, etc. Invite babies and toddlers to explore the items and admire their reflection in the mirror.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Provide modeling dough. If you wish, add different natural flavors and essences (vanilla, cinnamon, lemon extract, etc.) to represent scents that are part of a chef's daily life. Add various kitchen utensils and tools: pots and pans, spatulas, rolling pins, etc. Let babies and toddlers manipulate them as they pretend they are chefs.
Variation: Instead of using store-bought modeling dough, make your own. Visit the Creative recipes section on educatall.com to find several recipes.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Just like Daddy (greeting card)
Take pictures of the children in your group as they explore various professions during this theme. For each child, fold a piece of construction paper in two to create a greeting card. Let children draw on the top of their card. Glue a picture representing each child's father's job on his/her card. If, for example, a child's father is a firefighter, take a picture of him wearing a firefighter helmet. On each card, write "I am just like you Daddy!" If you are presenting this theme during the month of June add, "Happy Father's Day!"
A drawing for your workplace
Let babies and toddlers draw on a piece of construction paper as they wish. You may add a variety of arts & crafts materials such as stickers, scraps of colourful paper, and glitter. Arrange each child's artwork in a frame and wrap them. Children will be proud to offer their masterpiece as a gift for Father's Day. Fathers will love displaying their child's work in their office or workplace.
Print several numbers on heavy paper. Cut them out and laminate them. Set the numbers in your sand or cereal bin. Let children manipulate the contents of the bin and discover the numbers. Have fun naming the numbers for a simple introduction to counting skills.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Collect several empty cardboard boxes. Set several lightweight items on the floor: cushions, scarves, stuffed animals, etc. Encourage babies and toddlers to fill the boxes with different items. Put the lid back on each box and encourage toddlers to carry the boxes within your daycare, just like movers. Younger children who are beginning to stand or walk with support may enjoy pushing the boxes around the daycare.
Set an exercise mat on a large cushion to create a slope within your daycare. If you prefer, you may also use a rain gutter. Simply set it on a furniture item. Place several toy cars and trucks on the floor and invite children to roll them down the slope, pretending they are drivers.
Ask each father to send you a picture that represents his day at work. Print and laminate the pictures. Use them to create a unique picture book. Look at the pages of your picture book with your group. Associate each father with his child. Name each father's job or profession.
Early childhood educator
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