Paper and cardboard
Activities for toddlers and babies
Tearing, crumpling, drawing, admiring... Paper and cardboard are great for developing children's creativity and dexterity. This theme contains many activities that children will enjoy exploring.
Display different types of pretty paper and cardboard on the walls of your daycare.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Cut rectangles out of pretty cardboard. Let babies and toddlers draw on them. At lunch time, use the cardboard rectangles as placemats to decorate your table.
Paper tablecloth for waiting periods
Unroll a large piece of paper on your table. It will become your tablecloth. Stick the ends of your tablecloth under the table. While you are preparing children's lunch, let them draw on the paper. When their meal is ready, simply put the markers away. Children will enjoy admiring their artwork as they eat.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Shiny frames and cardboard
Purchase heavy scrapbooking paper with attractive designs. Try to find shiny metallic paper for this activity. Provide wooden or plastic frames (remove the glass from each frame). Cut the scrapbooking paper so it fits inside the frames and glue it in place. Encourage babies and toddlers to manipulate and observe the shiny frames (supervision required).
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (listen)
We rarely pay attention to it, but crumpling paper produces a sound. Tear and crumple different types of paper next to children's ears to help them notice the sound. Have fun tearing the paper very slowly and very quickly to create a variety of sounds.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Tear and stick
Hang a large piece of adhesive paper on a wall, sticky side towards you. Help your group tear different types of paper and colourful cardboard. Show children how they can stick the pieces on the adhesive paper.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
A card for mommy and daddy
Let babies and toddlers manipulate different types of paper and cardboard: corrugated cardboard, shiny paper, tissue paper, newspaper, etc. After a while, cut shapes out of the different types of paper. Let toddlers stick the shapes on a piece of cardboard to create a card. If you wish, write a message on each child's card, for example: "I am exploring paper to create something just for you!"
Fill and empty
You will need large plastic containers. Set several pieces of paper on the floor. Show toddlers how they can tear and crumple the paper and use it to fill and empty the containers repeatedly. Use this activity to introduce notions such as, "a lot", "very little", "more", and "less".
Colourful picture book on a ring
Pick up several paint samples at your local hardware store. Laminate them. Babies and toddlers will enjoy manipulating them. If you wish, use a hole-punch to make a hole in the top corner of each card. Insert a ring in a stack of paint samples to create a unique picture book.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Children love sticking these popular papers on surfaces (and removing them too). Stick colourful Post-its on items throughout your daycare. Let babies and toddlers help you. If you wish, you can even stick some on yourself and children.
Paper ball fight
Recycle pieces of paper by crumpling them to form balls. Show babies and toddlers how they can throw the balls of paper. Divide your group into teams and organize a simple paper ball fight.
Use the balls of paper from the previous activity for a game of basketball. Set laundry baskets on the floor and show children how they can toss the balls of paper in the baskets. Have fun filling and emptying the baskets.
Early childhood educator
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