Activities for toddlers and babies
Call upon little ones' sense of sight by giving them the chance to manipulate and observe shiny items.
- Add a touch of shine to your daycare, but avoid overdoing it.
- Hang a long piece of shiny wrapping paper from your ceiling, over your changing table.
- Hang a few shiny wind chimes that produce different jingling sounds. Have fun moving them during the day to hear their pretty sounds.
- Stick shiny stars or suns decorated by your group on the ceiling.
- Use adhesive paper to secure shapes cut out of shiny paper on the floor (recycle shiny gift bags).
- Use luminous stars and moons to decorate your naptime area (out of children's reach).
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
- Wear the hats that you will make with your group (see Arts & Crafts section) and go for a walk in your neighbourhood or organize a fashion show in your daycare.
- Serve a dry snack in aluminum plates. They are shiny and fun to manipulate.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (see and smell)
Purchase shimmery hand lotion (glitter). Apply a small drop on each child's wrist to test for allergies before massaging the lotion on children's hands and feet. If the lotion is scented, hold their hands close to their nose.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (hear)
Let babies and toddlers bang aluminum plates together. Watch the plates closely and remove them immediately if you notice slits. Warning: This activity can be very noisy!
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (see)
Fill a container with objects that light up or have flashing lights and flashlights that can safely be manipulated by little ones.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Simple trick: To ensure the glitter you sprinkle over crafts sticks well, add a small amount of white glue to your poster paint. The paint can be used like glue or paint.
Suggestions of shiny material: Use shiny wrapping paper, shiny gift bags, shimmery powder, and confetti. Purchase watercolours with a metallic finish.
Add glitter to your modeling dough. With toddlers, it is even possible to add glitter to salt and pepper shakers with large openings. They will love to sprinkle the glitter over modeling dough.
You will need a cardboard box and a piece of cardboard of the same size. Add a small amount of glue to your poster paint. Let children paint the piece of cardboard as they wish. Glue it in the bottom of the box. You can, for example, use an empty shoebox. With toddlers, add one or two spoonfuls of glitter. Put the lid on the box and invite children to shake the box. Once everyone has had a chance to shake the box, admire the result!
Variation: Glue a piece of adhesive paper in the bottom of the box instead of a piece of cardboard.
Making shiny hats
You will need a strip of cardboard for each child. Let children draw on their strip or glue shiny items on it. Sprinkle the strips with glitter. Let dry. Fasten the two ends of the cardboard strip together to form a hat (crown).
Cut pieces of shiny paper and cardboard. Use them to make a collage on a large piece of adhesive paper hung on a wall.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Encourage parents to dress their children in shiny clothing items. Nowadays, many clothing items have glitter or sequins on them. Toddlers will enjoy admiring their friends' clothing.
Purchase large shiny stickers (they must be large to be safe for little ones). Stick them on children's hands so they can see them. With toddlers, apply stickers to each child's hands at the same time to encourage them to interact. You may also invite children to apply a sticker on a friend's hand or clothing item.
Mirrors represent a shiny tool that is fascinating for children. Around 15 to 18 months old, babies begin to recognize their reflection in a mirror. Give them the chance to observe their reflection along with their friends' reflection.
You will need several small empty water bottles. To help children recognize differences in weight, fill one bottle completely with water and glitter and pour water and glitter in another bottle until it is half full. To create a lighter bottle, add only glitter to a third bottle. Let children explore the bottles.
Cut shapes (circles, squares, triangles) out of shiny paper or cardboard. Glue the shiny shapes on construction paper and laminate them. Use the pages to create a shiny picture book children will love to admire. Remember to use your original picture book for future color or shape themes.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Hang an aluminum pie plate from the ceiling so it lands near babies' feet when they are lying on their backs on the floor or changing table. They will enjoy tapping it with their feet (supervision required).
With toddlers, hang an aluminum pie plate from the ceiling. Provide balls or balloons they can throw on the plate.
To work on fine motor skills, fill a container with shiny items such as balls, toys with flashing lights, shiny paper, and fabric pieces. Children will enjoy manipulating them.
Hang decorated aluminum pie plates from tree branches.
Provide different sizes and formats of aluminum plates and pans and let children play with them in the sand or snow. Children will fill and empty them over and over again.
Collect several picture books with shiny illustrations. Name the shiny objects you see as you admire the pages with your group.
With toddlers, purchase fluorescent paint. Use it to paint the outline of objects in old books. Let children admire the pictures with a flashlight during naptime.
Early childhood educator
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