Activities for toddlers and babies
Halloween doesn't have to be scary. It can also be quite silly! Discover simple activities that will make pumpkins fun for young children in this theme.
Decorate the walls and floors of your daycare with pictures of pumpkins.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Prepare pumpkin soup for lunch or, if you prefer, give each child a scoop of peach or orange-flavoured frozen yogurt. Decorate each child's soup or dessert to make it look like a pumpkin. You can, for example, deposit two sliced black olives on their soup to represent eyes and add parsley for a nose and a green pepper strip for a mouth. Decorate children's frozen yogurt with fruit. Halved cherries can represent eyes, a banana slice makes a great nose, and an orange segment works for the mouth.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
Purchase or make your own pumpkin-shaped puppet. During diaper changes, use it to tickle children's stomach, arms, neck, and feet.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Pumpkin picture book
Print a variety of pumpkin-themed pictures and use them to create a unique picture book that children will love to explore. For example, your picture book could contain a picture of a black cat wearing a pumpkin costume, a picture of a silly jack-o-lantern, a picture of a pumpkin field, etc. Insert the pictures in a plastic pumpkin and set it on the floor. Let babies and toddlers pull the pictures out of the pumpkin and name the different items with them.
ARTS & CRAFTS
A pumpkin on my sweater
Print and cut out several simple pumpkin shapes. Let babies and toddlers draw on them. Use adhesive paper to stick a pumpkin on each child's sweater. Encourage them to observe the pumpkin on their sweater, but also the pumpkins on their friends' sweaters.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
A pumpkin on your back
Toddlers will have fun sticking paper pumpkins on the backs of visitors. Print and cut out several pumpkins. Ask parents or other daycare employees to play along. Show older children how they can stick pumpkins on their back when they visit your daycare. They will have a good laugh every time!
Hide behind a blanket and press a pumpkin-shaped sticker on your nose. Remove the blanket and say, "peek-a-boo" repeatedly. Once children have noticed the sticker, move it to a different body part, your cheek for example.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Print several pumpkins. With very young children, set a variety of tiny surprises on the floor throughout your daycare and hide each one under a plastic container. Stick a paper pumpkin on the bottom of each container. Encourage babies to lift the plastic containers to discover the surprises. With older toddlers, hide tiny surprises throughout your daycare and stick a pumpkin nearby to indicate where they can find a surprise. For example, you may stick a paper pumpkin on a cupboard, on your daycare director's door, on your block storage bin, etc. Encourage toddlers to move around the daycare to discover the surprises.
Early childhood educator
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