The heroes little ones love
Activities for toddlers and babies
At a very young age, babies and toddlers discover characters that quickly become a very important part of their world. Caillou, Dora, Barney, Elmo and many others play a role in their universe. They are fun characters they can relate to. Here are a few ways to explore these little heroes with your group.
Display pictures of the characters the children in your group are familiar with on the walls of your daycare. Deposit any stuffed animals or puppets you may have related to these characters on a shelf or table.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Purchase a large poster illustrating one of your group's favorite characters. Stick it on the ceiling, above your changing table. Discuss what they see during diaper changes. I remember sticking a poster of Nemo on the ceiling at one time. It was quite popular and children were delighted to discover it over and over again.
Making lunch fun
Use the Internet to find various pictures of your group's heroes and print them. Among other things, you can print pictures of Dora or Caillou. Use adhesive paper to stick them on children's drinking glasses, plates, or a plastic tablecloth. Have fun naming the characters with your group throughout the meal.
A new hero for the day
Find an oversized stuffed animal and present it to your group. Include the stuffed animal in your daily activities and routines. For example, make room for him at the table during meals and crafts, dress your stuffed animal and pretend to change its diaper during diaper changes, and let children play with their new pal during periods of free play. Don't forget to find a fun name for your hero.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Books are packed with characters that little ones are attracted to. Use the books you already have in your reading corner or borrow some from the library. Place all the books in one area and encourage babies and toddlers to explore them to discover their heroes.
Heroes on television
Offer your group a special treat and let them watch an episode of one of their favorite television shows starring a very special hero.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Print and cut out pictures of children's favorite heroes. Find a variety of ways to explore them through arts & crafts. You can, for example, stick them on a large piece of cardboard to make a unique poster, stick them on individual pieces of cardboard to create placemats, use them to make hats by sticking them on a strip of paper, or stick them on paper plates and hang them from the ceiling.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
A hero from my home
Invite parents to bring an object from their home that represents a hero their child particularly likes: a puzzle, a stuffed animal, a book, a toy, etc. Explore the material with your group.
Ask parents to provide pictures of people who are important for their child: parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. Glue each child's pictures on a very large piece of cardboard and write "My heroes" at the top. Display the posters on a wall. With children's help, name each person.
Associating pictures that belong to the same family
Print and laminate pictures of your group's favorite characters. With your group, name them one by one. Help toddlers place characters that belong to the same family together (Caillou, Rosie, his father, and his mother/Dora, Papi, Mami, Diego, and Boots).
PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES AND MOTOR SKILLS
I am a superhero
Toddlers will especially enjoy this activity. Collect several square scarves or square pieces of fabric. Use clothespins to attach one square behind each child's collar to create superhero capes. Using clothespins will ensure a cape can easily be pulled off if a child grabs hold of it (supervision required). Have fun pretending to fly around the daycare or backyard, just like a real superhero.
With your group, sing the theme songs of the shows their favorite heroes can be seen in.
Early childhood educator
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