Activities for toddlers and babies
September often rhymes with welcoming new babies and toddlers to your group. The activities you offer must be adapted to this reality. This week, I have prepared a theme that will help you introduce your daycare to newcomers while providing children who have been part of your group for some time with the opportunity to rediscover their environment through simple, uncomplicated activities.
Decorate your daycare with labels identifying different areas and items. Use nametags or pictograms to identify children's personal belongings and spots.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Stuffed animals from home
As we all know, personal objects can ease the transition between children's home and daycare environments. Ask parents to send in one of their child's stuffed animals. Set the stuffed animals on the floor and let babies and toddlers manipulate them as a group. Respect children who refuse to share their stuffed animal.
Decorating your changing table
To decorate the area where you change diapers, purchase a large poster and stick it on the ceiling, above your changing table. Babies and toddlers will enjoy admiring it when they are on their back during diaper changes.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Decorating corners with pictures
Find, print, and laminate pictures or illustrations representing different areas within your daycare. For example, display a picture of a block in your construction area, a picture of a child looking at a book in your reading corner, and a picture of a fruit or vegetable platter in the area where children eat. Walk around your daycare with the children in your group so they can discover the pictures or illustrations.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look, touch, hear)
Creating a toy
With older toddlers, create a toy they can share with new babies who are joining your group. Here are two examples of toys toddlers will enjoy creating:
- Discovery bottles they can fill (supervision required) with various small items (glitter, miniature erasers, marbles, stickers, etc.).
- Wooden blocks painted by your group. Once the paint is dry, spray the blocks with non-toxic varnish.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Leaving your mark
Press each child's hands in poster paint and then on paper. Cut out each child's handprints and glue them on circles cut out of bright construction paper. Hang the circles from the ceiling. Younger babies may not show an interest in this activity during their integration period. Simply wait until they are more comfortable within the group to add their handprints.
To give children the chance to meet the cook or get to know her better, have them prepare a special craft, just for her. Simply invite them to cut pictures of fruits and vegetables out of grocery store flyers and stick them on a pretty piece of paper. At the top of the paper, write "Thank you for the delicious meals you prepare." Deliver this gift in person. You can find pictures of fruits and vegetables in the educatall club.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Waving to our new friends
This activity will help children who will be joining your group build a connection between their home environment and daycare group. It will give them the chance to establish an initial contact with the children they will soon be spending their days with. Ask parents who are home with their child to come outside as you walk by with your group. Wave to the baby and take a few minutes to admire his home.
Fostering self-esteem (autonomy)
To encourage older toddlers to become more autonomous and foster their self-esteem, have fun giving them simple tasks to complete within your daycare. For example, you can ask them to distribute facecloths, put a toy away, turn the lights on after naptime, etc.
Adapting your material to the ages of the children in your group
In September, the children who remain in your group are often toddlers whereas newcomers are often babies. Adapting your material for both age groups is possible. For example, if you choose to explore beach balls, inflate them completely for toddlers and only 2/3 of the way for babies to make them easier to grasp. This simple adaptation will make the activity enjoyable for all (constant supervision required).
To encourage babies and toddlers to observe their environment, have fun adding a new item to your décor each day. With very young children, the objects must be placed in plain sight and easy to recognize. You can, for example, hang lights from the ceiling or set an oversized stuffed animal in your reading corner. With older toddlers, the objects you add can be more discreet. You could hide an alarm clock in a corner of your daycare and program it so the alarm goes off a few minutes later or stick pictures under a table. During the day, when you realize a child has noticed whatever it is you have added to your daycare, say something like, "Good! You noticed the new bear in the reading corner!"
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Discovering the yard
Make your daycare yard attractive and fun for children. Use party balloons and garlands to decorate it. Play music and provide pretty scarves children can move to the sound of the music. Take children on a tour of your daycare yard to present the different activity corners it contains.
Pictures in books
Print and laminate pictures of the children in your group as well as pictures of the babies who will soon be joining your group. Set books on the floor in your reading corner. Slide children's pictures between the pages of the books. Encourage children to manipulate the books so they will discover the pictures. Every time a child finds a picture, name the child in the photograph.
Early childhood educator
Educatall.com is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. Educatall.com shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.