Activities for toddlers and babies
This theme is packed with simple activities that can be used to make your daily routine more enjoyable with little ones.
Display pictures representing various parts of your daily routine on the walls of your daycare.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Snack time in a tent
Serve snacks in different areas of your daycare just for fun. For example, you may drape a large blanket over a table to represent a tent. Children will love sitting in their improvised tent to eat their snack. If you have a play tent, you can set it up indoors and use it instead.
This activity is perfect right before naptime. Turn the lights down and play soft music. Gently roll a ball over each child's body if they are comfortable with this form of massage.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Lunch time photos
This activity can be used to help little ones recognize themselves and their friends in pictures. Stick a picture of each child on your table. Point to the pictures and name each child. Variation: With children who are 2 years old or older, you can stick a picture on each chair. Invite children to find their picture and sit on the corresponding chair.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (smell)
Scented containers for diaper changes
Collect several small plastic containers. Insert a scented candle in each one. Punch tiny holes out of the lids. Use hot glue to secure the lids on the containers. Let babies and toddlers manipulate the containers during diaper changes. Encourage them to smell the different scents. Name each scent with them. If you wish, you may stick an illustration representing each scent on the containers. For example, you could stick a picture of a strawberry on the container with a strawberry-scented candle in it.
ARTS & CRAFTS
My illustrated routine
Take pictures during the many routines that make up your day: lunch, naptime, outdoor games, getting dressed, etc. Print the pictures and look at them with your group. Have children help you stick the pictures on a wall, at their level.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
The doll's face
This activity is great for teaching children the importance of cleaning up after lunch. Moisten a few facecloths. Use washable markers to draw on a doll's face and hands. When it's time to wash children's hands and face after lunch, present the doll. Encourage your group to wash the doll's hands and face before you wash their own hands and face.
Getting dressed, body parts, and stickers
This activity is perfect for older toddlers. It will help them learn to name body parts as they practice getting dressed. Trace the outline of a child's body on a large piece of paper. Display the silhouette on a wall. Ask toddlers to put their hat on. Once they have succeeded, let them place a sticker on the silhouette's head. Continue with other clothing items and body parts.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Putting items in different containers
This activity will help children learn how to put toys away. Make it extra fun by providing different containers throughout the week. For example, you can provide buckets or gift bags children can carry around the daycare to pick toys up off the floor. You can also set a large cardboard box or a laundry basket on the floor in the centre of your daycare and have children drop toys in it.
Special kiss for parents
Encourage parents to participate in your theme. Have them invite their child to kiss different parts of their face. Ask them to name different parts of their face each day. For example, a parent could say, "Today, I am kissing your forehead. Do you want to kiss my cheek?" Variation: Print and laminate pictures or illustrations of different parts of the face: nose, eye, neck, hair, forehead, chin, etc. Insert the pictures or illustrations in a box and set it next to your daycare entrance. When children arrive in the morning or when they leave at the end of the day, invite them to pick a picture or illustration out of the box with their parent's help. Parents can kiss the corresponding part on their child's face.
Early childhood educator
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