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Picnics - Babies and toddlers - Educatall

Picnics

Activities for toddlers and babies

 

There’s nothing better than eating snacks or meals outside to enjoy the last days of summer or warm fall days. Read on to discover ways to make picnics extra special for young children.

 

AREA SETUP

 

Display a checkered tablecloth on a wall and glue pictures of sandwiches, different types of fruit, vegetables, and other food items that are often enjoyed on picnics all over it to create a unique mural.

 

ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS

 

Picnic basket

To present your theme, set a large picnic basket on the floor, in the center of your daycare. Add items that are commonly part of a picnic: paper plates, plastic food items, sun hats, flowers, a ball, etc. Let infants and toddlers manipulate everything. They will enjoy filling and emptying the basket many times.

 

SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look, hear)

 

Rainy day

If there’s a covered area that makes eating outside even on a rainy day possible close to your daycare, take advantage of it. Children will love watching the rain fall as they eat their lunch or snack. Invite them to listen to the pitter patter of the rain and together, have fun reproducing the sounds you hear with your mouths.

 

Indoor version of the rainy-day picnic

On rainy days, you can also organize indoor picnics. Set a blanket on the floor, next to a window. Watch the rain fall and listen to the sound of the raindrops hitting the window with your group.

 

SENSORY ACTIVITIES (hear)

 

Wind chimes

Organize a picnic under a large tree. Hang several wind chimes from the tree’s branches. As children eat their lunch or snack, listen to the melodies produced by the wind chimes. Give children the chance to discover the source of the pretty sounds they hear on their own.

 

ARTS & CRAFTS

 

Decorated tablecloth

For this activity, you will need a large piece of white fabric. Let the children in your group paint directly on the fabric. Let dry. Drape the fabric over a picnic table in your yard and use it as a tablecloth.

 

MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

 

Stuffed animal picnic

Fill a box with stuffed animals, plastic dishes, a tablecloth, and plastic food items. Let children explore the material and use it to have a pretend picnic with the stuffed animals.

 

Group picnic

Plan a big picnic. Prepare food for your group and invite others to meet you at the playground. Be sure to inform them that they must bring their own food. You could, for example, invite another daycare group, parents, or grandparents to join you.

 

COGNITIVE ACTIVITIES

 

My ice cream melts

Bring ice cream outside and enjoy this special treat with your group. You can give each child a small bowl containing one scoop of ice cream. Wait three or four minutes before eating the ice cream. Encourage children to observe the texture of the ice cream before and after they have started eating it. Help them notice how sweet the ice cream tastes. Explain how the ice cream melts under the sun and invite them to eat it up before it is completely melted.

 

What’s hiding in those tents?

Set up one or more play tents in your yard. Set a tablecloth and a bowl filled with a different type of snack on the ground in each tent. For example, you could offer crackers in one tent, blueberries in another tent, and dry cereal in a third tent. Ask your group to guess what’s hiding in the tents before letting them visit each one to eat the snacks.

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS

 

Music, streamers, and a picnic

From time to time, play different types of music to accompany your picnics. When children are done eating their lunch or snack, hand them streamers and encourage them to dance to the sound of the music. Babies and toddlers will love watching the streamers dance in the wind.

 

A kite at the playground

Bring a colorful kite to the playground. At the end of your picnic, walk to an open area with your group and fly your kite. Children will enjoy watching the kite float high above their heads.

 

LANGUAGE ACTIVITIES

 

A picture-filled basket

Set a picnic basket on the floor and insert pictures related to your theme. For example, you could include pictures of the children in your group enjoying a picnic, pictures of different types of foods, pictures of a family seated at a picnic table, etc. Let babies and toddlers observe the pictures and talk about each one with them. Be sure to name the different items you see.

 

 

Chantal Millette

Early childhood educator


Educatall.com is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. Educatall.com shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.


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