Activities for toddlers and babies
Stores have been packed with Christmas ornaments for weeks. They come in different shapes and colors and many are unbreakable. Since these ornaments can be explored by little ones, here is an interesting Christmas theme. Note: Before letting children manipulate the ornaments you find, make sure they really are unbreakable and check that there are no small parts that can be detached or paint that may be peeled off.
Hang a variety of colourful ornaments from the ceiling within your daycare. Encourage children to lie under the ornaments to admire them.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Purchase plastic Christmas ornaments that can be opened. Fill them with dry snack items such as cereal or crackers. Close the ornaments and distribute them. Let children explore and shake their ornament. When they shake it, they will hear an interesting sound. After a few minutes, help children open their ornament and let them eat the contents.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Christmas ornaments and lights
To decorate your daycare, hang a Christmas light garland from the ceiling. Hang ornaments from the garland. At the end of the day, as the sun goes down, turn the Christmas lights on and observe the ornaments and the lights with your group.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
Purchase several different ornaments with a variety of textures. Try to find fabric ornaments, ornaments with a smooth surface, velvet-covered ornaments, and ornaments that have a bumpy or rough surface. Before children arrive in the morning, set the ornaments in a basket or bin. Let babies and toddlers manipulate them.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (smell)
Purchase several fabric ornaments. Add a few drops of vanilla or lavender essential oil to each one. Let babies and toddlers manipulate the ornaments. Encourage them to smell them.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Christmas ornament photography studio
Set several different types of ornaments on the floor. Oversized ornaments always create a beautiful effect. Sit one child at a time among the ornaments. Let him manipulate them while you take pictures. Create a picture frame or a greeting card for each child and let them decorate it. Add a picture of each child to his project.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
An ornament from home
Ask parents to share an unbreakable ornament they already have at home with your group. Let children observe and manipulate the ornaments. Hang them within your daycare to decorate your environment for Christmas.
You will need a large box with a lid. Cut holes out of the sides and the top of the box. Set Christmas ornaments inside the box. Encourage babies and toddlers to slide their hands through the holes to pull one ornament out of the box at a time. They will enjoy exploring them.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Christmas ornaments in the snow
Set colourful Christmas ornaments on the snow throughout your yard. Deposit a large bin in one corner. Go outside with your group and admire the ornaments. Invite children to walk or crawl around the yard to collect the ornaments. Encourage them to set the ornaments in the bin.
Christmas ornaments in your tree
If you have a Christmas tree inside your daycare (or outside), set a box next to it on the floor. Fill the box with unbreakable ornaments. Let babies and toddlers have fun hanging the ornaments and removing the ornaments repeatedly. Of course, the ornaments will all be hung at the bottom of the Christmas tree. It doesn’t matter; the goal is simply to let children explore ad manipulate the ornaments.
Purchase several ornaments that represent characters children may or may not be familiar with. You may, for example, buy ornaments that represent an elf, Santa Claus, a reindeer, a Christmas fairy, etc. Let children manipulate them and play with them. Name the characters as you would name items in a picture book.
Early childhood educator
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