Activities for toddlers and babies
The ability to name colors appears around the age of 3 years old. Introducing toddlers and babies to colors by exploring everything green can be interesting.
Infants cannot perceive colors well. They only see things in black and white. However, after just a few weeks, they are attracted to red and green. By the time they are 5 or 6 months old, their vision has greatly improved and they are able to see yellow and blue.
Decorate your daycare with green items.
- Hang green party garlands from the ceiling. Glue a green illustration to the end of each garland (a frog for example).
- Glue pictures and illustrations containing green at children's eye level: a flower field, grass, a green balloon, etc.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Explore different shades of green during diaper changes
At your local hardware or paint store, select a few paint chips that represent various shades of green. Laminate them and make a hole in each paint chip. Use a ring to join them together. When you change a child's diaper, let him/her manipulate the cards and discover different shades of green.
Each day, make sure your menu contains green food items such as green apples, salad, pepper, peas, green lentils, broccoli, etc.
For each child, create a character on a spinach tortilla. Use alfalfa to represent Mr. Green's hair, a sliced piece of a green pepper for his mouth, green olives for the eyes, and a broccoli floret for his nose.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
Pretty green leaves (if you are exploring this theme during spring or summer)
Go for a walk with your group and hand each child a small bag. Collect pretty green leaves that have fallen from different types of trees. When you return, encourage children to empty the contents of their bag into a large container and let them touch, bend, and tear the leaves into tiny pieces. Emphasize the fact that the leaves are green. Stick them on adhesive paper or use them to create your own herbarium. Simply glue them on white paper and laminate.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (sight, touch)
Grow a green plant
You will need plastic pots, bean seeds, and soil. Before planting the seeds in the soil, let toddlers and babies explore a new texture by allowing them to fill and empty the different containers with soil. Let them touch the soil and manipulate the seeds. Add a small quantity of water to the soil to provide children with a new experience. Help children plant seeds and water them each day. Observe the changes that occur. With toddlers, take pictures of the growing plants and display them on a wall.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Exploring a color with toddlers and babies is perfect for introducing them to arts & crafts. Take advantage of this opportunity!
Prepare homemade modeling dough or salt dough. Before adding food coloring to your dough, divide it into three parts. Add a different quantity of green food coloring to each part to create three shades (light, medium, dark). Let toddlers and babies explore the dough.
Modeling dough and pasta pieces
Offer toddlers the chance to explore pasta pieces along with modeling dough. They will enjoy pricking spaghetti pieces in the dough or rolling rotini pasta in it. Use spinach pasta for an extra touch of green.
Here is the recipe I use to make modeling dough:
- 1 cup of flour
- ½ cup of salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 cup of water
- Dissolve salt in water over medium heat.
- Combine cream of tartar and flour.
- Heat oil and add flour mixture, stirring to combine.
- Add salt water and mix vigorously.
- Remove from heat and add a few drops of food coloring. Wear plastic gloves to knead the dough.
- Store modeling dough in a plastic bag.
Explore different crayons
Hang a large piece of white paper on a wall or set it on a table. Deposit several types of green crayons near the paper. For example, you can offer pencil crayons, waxed crayons, markers, pastels, etc. Let children explore the crayons as they wish.
Add a small quantity of glue to green paint. Let children use the mixture to paint on heavy cardboard. Before the paint dries, provide cut flower shapes and invite them to press the shapes on the green paint.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
A green toy from home
Establish a link between children's home and the daycare by asking parents to bring a green toy they have at home and share it with your group for a day. Explore all the green toys with your group. With older toddlers, name the color of the toys.
Let's wear green
Choose a specific day and invite parents to dress their child with as many green clothing items as possible.
Before learning to identify colors, young children must be able to distinguish objects that are of a different color (this object is not the same color as this one).
Color sorting for babies
Begin with a single color. In this case, the accent will be on green. Paint a closed box green. Cut a slit in the box. Laminate several green illustrations (in the educatall club, you can print green shamrocks). Let little ones insert the shamrocks in the slit on the green box.
Sorting for toddlers
Begin with two boxes of different colors (a green box and a yellow box for example). Cut a slit in each box. Print green and yellow illustrations. Help toddlers slide the illustrations in the correct box (corresponding color). When children are comfortable with this activity, add another color. If a child slides an illustration in the wrong box, don't worry about it. After all, this must only serve as an introduction to colors.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Stretch and catch
Deposit several different green toys on the floor. Position children on a large exercise ball one at a time. Roll them gently towards the toys and encourage them to stretch their arms out to catch one.
Hula hoop ball toss
Using fabric elastic, hang a green hula hoop from the ceiling. Provide beach balls and invite toddlers to throw them through the hoop. If you prefer, use crumpled pieces of green paper instead of beach balls.
Take a walk with your group and hunt for green items. Identify as many green items as possible. Each time you see one, stop, point to the item, and name it. Examples: grass, a green car, green leaves, a green house, etc. Give each toddler a small piece of green cardboard they can carry during your walk to help them recognize the color.
Early childhood educator
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