Activities for toddlers and babies
Display pictures of colourful kiddie pools on the walls of your daycare. Hang inflatable pool toys from the ceiling.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Waterless exploration pool
To present your theme, set an empty kiddie pool on the floor within your daycare. Every morning, set a different type of toy in the pool: books, rattles and musical instruments, stuffed animals, or balls. As children arrive, let them explore the contents of the pool.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch, look, and hear)
Outside, fill you kiddie pool with water. Gather all your foam plastic-covered books and set them in the pool. Babies and toddlers will be attracted to the floating books. Encourage them to sit in your kiddie pool to explore them. Read them a story while they are sitting in the pool.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Set several small plastic bins in your yard. Fill each bin with water with your group and add a few drops of a different color food coloring to each one. Let children stir the contents of each bin so they can see the water change color. Let them play in the water. When they begin to lose interest, empty the bins and start over.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Watering can massage
While children are playing in your kiddie pool, fill a watering can with lukewarm water. Pour the water out over children's arms and legs for a gentle massage. They will love to watch the water trickle on their body.
Variation homemade watering can
You can easily create a homemade watering can. Simply punch holes out of the bottom of a plastic bottle. Fill it with water and put the cap back on. Give children the bottle. They will enjoy lifting it to watch the water gently pour out of the bottle through the holes, like rain.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Take your makeup pencils outside along with unbreakable mirrors. Fill your kiddie pool with water. Add bubble bath to the water and set facecloths nearby. With the children in your group, have fun using the makeup pencils to draw on their body. Hold a mirror up so toddlers can look at their reflection as they paint their face. After a while, wet the facecloths and invite children to use them to wash the makeup away. Repeat the activity if children are interested.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
A pool for dolls
Set a few plastic bins on the ground in your yard. Fill them with water. Let the children in your group undress several plastic dolls and bring them outside. They can bathe the dolls in the pools (plastic bins). At the end of the activity, provide small towels and facecloths children can use to dry the dolls.
Play with object permanence with this activity. Add water to your kiddie pool until it is half full. Add bubble bath and stir vigorously to create a thick layer of foam. Hide a variety of objects that can safely be manipulated by the children in your group in the foam. Be sure to select objects that float and other objects that sink. Babies and toddlers will enjoy plunging their hands in the foam to discover the hidden objects.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Encourage babies and toddlers to move about in your yard by depositing plastic ducks here and there. Aim to place them so children will have to stretch, crawl, or bend down to reach them. For example, you could set one duck on the ground, another one on a branch (not too high), another one inside your tunnel, and yet another one at the top of your slide. Every time a child finds a duck, encourage him to run to your kiddie pool and set it in the water. Once all the ducks have been found, let children play with them.
Inflatable toys indoors
Inflatable pool toys are ideal for developing motor skills. Because they are so light, they are easy to manipulate, even if they are quite big. Inflate a large dolphin, a mattress, a buoy, a beach ball, a duck, etc. Set them on the floor in your daycare. Let babies and toddlers manipulate them as they see fit. After this initial exploration, invite children to help you carry the inflatable toys outside to play in your kiddie pool.
Set several small plastic boats in your kiddie pool. Let babies and toddlers manipulate them. Name the different colors with the children in your group.
Early childhood educator
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