Insects during automn
Even if insects are tiny, little ones are attracted to them. They may have discovered them during summer months, but many are present during autumn too...
Collect several books designed for little hands that include pictures of different types of insects. Arrange them on the floor, in the centre of your daycare. Deposit a few plastic insects (figurines that can safely be manipulated by the children in your group) on the cover page of each book. If you prefer, use laminated pictures of insects. As children arrive, let them manipulate the items as an introduction to your theme.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
You will find colourful spiders that can be printed in the educatall club. Use adhesive paper to stick the spiders in the bottom of children's plates. Children will discover the spiders when they eat their meal or snack. Name the color of each spider.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Keep in mind that babies and toddlers are just beginning to discover insects. When you are outdoors, encourage them to look at insects that are present in your yard. Together, observe them closely. Worms, butterflies, ants, and spiders fascinate children! Variation: If you wish, you may offer small magnifying glasses. Show children how they can use them to get a close-up view of the insects they find.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
A tickling ant
When an ant decides to climb up a child's leg, it tickles! If this happens, refrain from removing the ant. The insect moving on the child's skin will provide an interesting sensation. Variation: If you are brave enough, deposit a worm or a spider in each child's hand. When the creatures move, children will feel a tickling sensation on their skin. Be sure to help children wash their hands afterwards.
ARTS & CRAFTS
The longest caterpillar in the world
Present a group project. Cut several circles out of colourful cardboard or construction paper. Draw a caterpillar face on the first circle and stick it on a wall. Throughout the week, invite babies and toddlers to draw on the circles or decorate them with a variety of materials. Adding one circle at a time, build the caterpillar's body. You can stick a picture of each child's face on the circle of their choice to personalize your caterpillar.
Use modeling dough to create several long worms. Let children manipulate them as they wish. Show toddlers how they can make worms on their own.
Giant butterfly puzzle
Draw a large butterfly on a piece of cardboard. Cut it into pieces and encourage children to draw on each one. When they are done, reassemble the butterfly with their help.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
This activity can represent an introduction to numbers. Cut a circle out of red construction paper to represent a ladybug. Cut several small circles out of black construction paper to represent ladybug spots. With toddlers, have fun gluing the spots on the ladybug, counting them as you go along.
Cut a circle out of a piece of red felt and several small circles out of a piece of black felt. Stick the red circle on a wall. Invite children to press the spots on the ladybug. Without the use of glue, they will stick to the red felt. Furthermore, they can easily be removed and added over and over again.
Print and cut out several insect illustrations. Secure them on the floor using adhesive paper, arranging them to create a path. For example, the path could start in your play area and lead to the cloakroom. Encourage children to follow the path.
Early childhood educator
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