Activities for toddlers and babies
We use many expressions that compare two elements daily. For example, we may tell a baby or toddler he is “as hungry as a bear” or “as slow as a turtle”. This theme turns common expressions into fun activities.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Floating on clouds
Illustrate this expression that reflects gentleness and dreaminess by letting children manipulate whipped cream at dessert time. Place a small quantity of whipped cream on the table and encourage children to touch it, spread it around, and taste it. Add strawberries children can dip in the whipped cream and eat.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
As light as a feather
Empty several bags of feathers on the floor. Let babies and toddlers manipulate them. Help them notice how they are lightweight and soft. Encourage them to throw them up in the air. Use the feathers to tickle them one by one.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look and touch)
Like a fish in water
This activity will provide children with the chance to feel comfortable within their environment. Set a bin containing a small amount of water on the floor (very little water is needed). Add tiny plastic fish to the bin. If you wish, add a few drops of bubble bath to create a fun texture that will hide the fish somewhat. Remove children’s clothes, leaving them only in their diapers. They will enjoy manipulating the contents of the bin. Adjust the thermostat so the room is a little warmer than usual. Make sure you have a mop and towels nearby.
ARTS & CRAFTS
As cold as ice
This creative activity will make it possible for children to explore the phenomenon of water turning to ice as well as elements of nature. Let children fill aluminum plates with items found in nature (leaves, grass, rocks, etc.). Pour a small amount of water in each plate and set a string in each one, letting one end hang out over the side of each plate. If the weather is cold enough, set the plates outside overnight. Let children help you arrange them in one corner of your yard. Otherwise, set the plates in the freezer. The next day, unmould their icy creations and use the strings to hang them from a tree in your yard. Be sure not to hang them where they could fall on children’s heads.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
As cute as a button
Cut hearts out of construction paper. Let children draw on the hearts. Photograph each child in your group. Glue one picture on each heart. Laminate the hearts. Let babies and toddlers manipulate their unique picture book. Name the children as you point to their picture and state that each child is “as cute as a button”.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
As quick as lightning
Have fun running in your yard with the children in your group. Stand at one end of your playing area, count, “1, 2, 3…go!” Run to the other end of the area to reach a pre-determined spot. Tell children they run “as fast as lightning”.
As slow as a turtle
Select a rhyme that children are familiar with. Recite it together once as you normally would. Explain that you will recite it again, but this time, you will speak “as slow as a turtle”. Repeat the rhyme, slowing the rhythm down as much as possible.
Early childhood educator
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