Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


Integration - Babies and toddlers - Educatall


Activities for toddlers and babies

Here is a theme that will help you ease into the first few weeks of fall, weeks that are sometimes difficult for everyone. This theme will help you plan your days with an already well-established group or integrate new children without setting those who are used to attending your daycare aside.



To create a calm atmosphere and so as to not overload your daycare, avoid hanging too many decorations on your walls or from the ceiling. As the weeks go by, you can add to your decor. Arrange attractive toys within children's reach, but avoid offering too many at the same time. Presenting too many toys at once can lead to a messy environment. Instead, rotate the toys that are available throughout the day.



Avoid planning too many activities. If you don't have time to do everything because of the integration process, don't worry about it!


To make diaper changes fun
Ask parents to provide a picture of their child. Use adhesive paper to stick the pictures on the wall next to your changing table. Invite babies and toddlers to name each child. Encourage them to identify a particular child. These activities are great for integrating a new child and introducing him/her to the group.




My scented scarf
Smells are important for babies and toddlers. Scents can be reassuring for children, especially when they are associated to their mother or father for example. Give mothers or fathers a light scarf and ask them to wear it around the house to transfer their scent to it. Invite babies and toddlers to play with their scarf. Encourage them to play peek-a-boo games with it. Variation with lavender: Instead of using their father or mother's scent, use lavender by adding a few drops of essential oil on the scarves. Lavender is known for its soothing properties.




It's raining feathers
Find activities that make it possible for babies and toddlers to participate or, if they prefer, simply observe. Here is a calm activity perfectly suited for the end of the day, a period that is often difficult for little ones. Purchase a large quantity of light and flexible feathers. Have children sit on the floor. Throw the feathers up in the air and let them fall gently to the ground. Play calm music and dim the lights. Variation: Instead of feathers, use soap bubbles.




Small groups for lunch
When eating is fun, children usually have a hearty appetite. To encourage the formation of relationships among the babies and toddlers under your care, divide the children in your group into tiny teams before serving lunch or snacks.

  • Deposit large cushions on the floor and arrange babies on them, two by two, to drink their bottle.
  • Set large cardboard boxes upside down on the floor to represent tables and sit two toddlers at each table for snack time.
  • Arrange small tablecloths on the floor and let children sit around them in small groups to eat their lunch, just like a picnic.



Family photo album
Ask parents to provide pictures that represent their family: their child's father, mother, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and even pets. Arrange the pictures of each child's family members in a photo album. Throughout the day, when babies and toddlers feel lonely, let them look at the pictures in their album.




Group project
Give children the opportunity to work on a craft together as a group. Indirect contact can help build relationships and communication. Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Have children color on a large sheet of paper that is hung on a wall.
  • Divide your group into teams of two children. Apply a small quantity of yellow paint on one child's hand. On the child's partner's hand, apply a small quantity of blue paint. Encourage children to mix the two colors by rubbing their hands together. This activity requires quite a bit of cleanup afterwards. For this reason, it should be done once the integration process is almost complete. If you prefer, you may choose to apply paint only to children's fingertips if they do not appreciate getting their hands dirty.
  • If you have a large window or patio door that is accessible on both sides, sit a baby or toddler on either side of the window or door. Give each child window markers. Let them draw on the glass. Visual contact will be greatly solicited throughout this activity that is especially fun for little ones.



Stuffed animal day
A great way to create a connection between each child's home and your daycare is to organize a stuffed animal day during the integration period. Ask parents to bring their child's favorite stuffed animal to daycare. If all goes well, make your role play bins available to children and encourage them to feed, wash, and care for their stuffed animal with the different accessories.


A new friend
Will a new baby or toddler be joining your group shortly? During circle time, introduce this new child to your group by showing them a picture or short video of the baby or toddler. Name the child. With older toddlers, discuss the child's likes and dislikes, tell them which games he/she likes to play, if he/she has a pet, etc.


To make the integration process easier or simply to reinforce relationships among children, invite parents to join you for snack time. Inviting all the parents at the same time is unnecessary, especially since young children can be afraid of strangers and their presence can slow the integration process. Instead, invite one parent per week. Variation: Invite a child's older brother or sister from another daycare group to join you for snack time.



Mommy and Daddy arrive at the end of the day
To help babies and toddlers wait for the arrival of their mother or father at the end of the day, photograph the parent that normally picks up each child. Display the pictures on a wall or window near your daycare entrance. When it is almost time for a child's parent to arrive (or when a parent arrives), point to the picture of the child's mother or father. Depending on the ages of the children in your group, inform children when their parent is expected to arrive soon or that he/she has arrived.




Playing ball with my early childhood educator
The bond between very young children and their early childhood educator is very important in a nursery. If this bond is established, children will trust their early childhood educator. Ball games are perfect for developing this bond. Sit on the floor with a baby or toddler and gently slide the ball towards him/her, on the floor. This is great for establishing visual contact.




Songs from home
Ask parents to write the lyrics of the songs they sing for their child on a piece of paper. Use the lyrics to create a special songbook and sing the songs with your group. Print a copy of the songbook for each family. Parents will greatly appreciate being able to sing songs their child will recognize from daycare.


What I am feeling
Name the various feelings children experience throughout the day. This will help them realize that you are aware of their feelings and also make it possible for them to begin to recognize their own feelings. On a mirror, laminate pictures that represent common emotions. When a child is sad, show him/her the corresponding picture. Keep in mind that young babies do not recognize their reflection in a mirror. However, they will recognize your reflection.



Chantal Millette
Early childhood educator is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.


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