Activities for toddlers and babies
Celebrate the arrival of fall with several seasonal activities.
A fall décor
Use adhesive paper to stick leaves in your daycare windows. Hang colourful leaf garlands from the ceiling. Cut cloud and raindrop shapes out of construction paper and use them to create a mobile. If you wish, you can glue a picture of a child in each raindrop.
A colourful leaf bin
Fill a large container with yellow, orange, brown, and red leaves and deposit it in the centre of your daycare. Let babies and toddlers explore the leaves indoors.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Mittens and toques
This activity will help children learn to dress themselves. Getting dressed is a routine that is often repeated several times throughout the day. During fall, when the days are cooler, mittens and toques slowly begin to appear. Fill a large container with several different mittens and toques. Choosing items that are loose-fitting will make it easier for children to practice putting them on. You can even use adult sizes if you wish. Let children manipulate the contents of the container and encourage them to put the toques on their head and the mittens on their hands.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Nuts for squirrels
During fall, squirrels hunt for nuts they can set aside for winter months. Print and laminate pictures of acorns and hide them within your daycare. Throughout the day, children will find the illustrations between the pages of their favorite books, on chairs, under toys, in their shoes, etc. Variation: Print a picture of a squirrel and display it on a wall. If you prefer, use a stuffed animal. Each time a child finds an acorn, encourage him/her to feed the squirrel.
ARTS & CRAFTS
During fall, there are many windy days that are ideal for kite flying. Here is a kite that is easy to make. It can simply be hung in a tree. Children will love watching it dance in the wind. Of course, use fall colors for this project. Cut strips of construction paper and invite children to draw on them. Attach party streamers to the strips of paper to create a cylinder. Hang your kite outdoors, next to a window so children can admire it throughout the day.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Photograph each child playing in a pile of leaves or walking along a pedestrian path. Have children draw on a piece of paper using red, orange, yellow, and brown markers. Help children insert their drawing and picture in an envelope, stick a stamp in the upper right-hand corner, and write their home address on it. Go for a walk with your group and help children drop their envelope in a nearby mailbox. Tell them it's a surprise for their parents. Shhh...
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Rainy days are common during fall months. Ask parents to provide a raincoat, rubber boots, and a tiny umbrella for their child. Don't stay inside on rainy days. You can take your group outside, even if you only stay in your yard for 5 to 10 minutes because the wind is too cold. Toddlers will especially enjoy these rainy day outings.
My pillowcase (a few and a lot)
You will need several empty pillowcases. Show children how they can fill them with leaves. At first, give them only a few leaves. Encourage them to place their head on their pillowcase and help them notice how since there are only "a few" leaves in their pillowcase, it isn't very comfortable. Then, provide several leaves and help them fill their pillowcase completely. When they are done, ask them to rest their head on the pillowcase again. Help them notice how their pillow is now much more comfortable because it contains "a lot" of leaves.
Of course, this simple rhyme is perfect for this theme:
Rain, rain, go away
Come again some other day
We want to go outside and play
Come again some other day
Early childhood educator
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