Activities for toddlers and babies
Snowmen are so cute and endearing. This week, I suggest you explore these cool pals with your group.
Purchase or recycle large gift bags that have snowman illustrations on them. Cut out the two pictures (on either side of each bag) to create affordable posters. You can even use the bags' handles (rope) to hang them on your walls.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Make your outdoor activities extra interesting by making simple snowmen that are the same size as the children in your group. Instead of making three snowballs, make a single snowball for each child. Set a box filled with a variety of objects that can be pricked in the snowballs on the ground. Depending on the ages of the children in your group, you may choose to offer carrots, celery stalks, dry pasta, tree branches, pipe cleaners, etc. Add hats and scarves too. Let children add and remove items as they wish (constant supervision is necessary).
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (taste)
Using cookie cutters, make snowmen children can eat. Cut circles out of slices of cheese or bread. Add tiny pieces of vegetables children can use to decorate their edible snowmen.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
A soft snowman
Fill a large bin with white feathers. Let babies and toddlers explore the feathers (constant supervision is necessary). Cut two large circles out of cardboard or adhesive paper. Encourage children to stick feathers on the circles to create a soft snowman. Variation: Instead of using feathers, use cotton balls, fabric scraps (white silk for example), or tissue paper.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Have babies and toddlers paint or draw on three paper plates. When they are done, let them stick white decorations (felt pieces, yarn pieces, tissue paper, etc.) on the plates. Use adhesive tape to stick each child's plates together to create snowmen. Display the snowmen on a wall to create a snowman community.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
This activity is great for greeting children in the morning. The night before, make several miniature snowmen on your front lawn. They should be as tall as the children in your group (ask older children to help you). When you go outside to play during the day, encourage little ones to admire the snowmen. Give each child a scarf he/she can wrap around his/her favorite snowman.
A snowman at home
Encourage parents to make a snowman with their child at home. Ask them to take a picture of their snowman and the people who participated in its creation. Laminate the pictures and let babies and toddlers admire them.
Find the difference
Build a giant snowman in front of one of your daycare windows. Avoid decorating the snowman with accessories. Take a picture of your snowman and use adhesive paper to stick the picture in the window. The next day, before children arrive, add one accessory, a hat for example. Go to the window with your group and ask them to compare the snowman outside with the snowman in the picture. Help them identify the difference. Each day, add a new accessory. Depending on the ages of the children in your group, additions should be more or less obvious.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Snowy cotton balls
Since cotton balls look a lot like miniature snowballs, invite toddlers to manipulate them. With constant supervision, let them throw the cotton balls up in the air. Add plastic containers. Children will enjoy filling and emptying them with cotton balls. You may also provide big trucks. Children will love to pretend they are snowplows. At the end of the activity, collect the cotton balls and keep them for future crafts. Children will love to stick them on dark construction paper or adhesive paper to make tiny snowmen.
Print and laminate snowman outlines. Give each child a laminated snowman and invite them to insert them in the snow (in an upright position). They will love to move them around over and over again.
Snowman story and song
Find a snowman storybook and read it to your group during story time. If you wish, you may also listen to Frosty the Snowman over and over again.
Early childhood educator
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