Between 0 and 2 years of age, babies explore the world which surrounds them using their senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste).
Because of this, I have chosen to prepare a list of activities you may use to gather the necessary material to encourage their exploration.
(Open list of activities)
(Open Peek-a-boo game)
Explanation of the activities:
- Gather any items you can think of which are safe and offer an interesting texture in a bin. Present babies with the bin and encourage them to manipulate the material (fur, velvet, brush, rug, sand paper, etc...). Use recycled materials.
- Print illustrations on a sheet of paper. Glue the sheet on a piece of cardboard. Cover it with a square and secure with tape at the top. Show babies they can lift the square to see the illustrations.
- This is the perfect time to set up a reading corner if you do not already have one.
- Use your scarf bin (the lighter the better!). Add a few drops of vanilla extract, essential oils, or perfume. Invite babies to manipulate the scarves.
- Create small scented containers yourself or with the help of older children. Simply add small scented candles to containers and punch holes in the lids.
- My 17 month old loves when I freeze tubes of yogurt. They make perfect frozen desserts or snacks. They are healthy and, once frozen, they are not messy at all!
- This calls for a special activity. Have babies manipulate whipped cream, pudding, or Jell-O. This activity may be done on paper or without paper. I have left room on the activity list for you to indicate your preference.
- This is a great activity for babies who can crawl...place a timer or an alarm clock within the daycare (in plain sight to begin with). When it rings, encourage babies to find it. For children between 9 and 12 months old, you may hide the timer under a blanket (object permanence).
- Purchase musical greeting cards and laminate them. Let babies open them to listen to the music.
- Keep in mind that babies learn through repetition. Activities should not last very long.
ACTIVITY WHICH DEVELOPS THE SENSE OF SMELL PREPARED BY OLDER CHILDREN FOR LITTLE ONES
For those of you who work with groups of children of different ages, I would like to suggest an activity which can be done by older children for babies.
If you are a caregiver in a nursery, you may show this activity to an older group's caregiver...
This is a fabulous way to create bonds between different age groups. It is a rewarding experience for everyone involved.
Kim, a student who worked with us in the past, presented these scented containers to the babies...I am sure your older protégés will be happy to make these for them.
Small scented containers
You will need:
- Small transparent plastic containers with lids
- Small scented candles
- Flower or fruit illustrations, depending on the scents chosen
We are going to invent a game for the babies!!!!
- Present children with the candles. Have them smell them and guess what the different scents are.
- Spread the illustrations on the table and have them associate each candle to the correct scent...a strawberry scented candle goes with a strawberry illustration!
- Distribute the plastic containers and invite children to place their candles inside and close the lids. Next, have them stick the illustration on the container. Of course, the caregiver made several holes in the lids prior to beginning the activity.
- Announce that you will be visiting the nursery or the toddler group.
Gently invite children to present babies with their activity!
Note: You may replace the candles with potpourri or cotton balls moistened with essential oils...
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