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With a little imagination, you can easily plan a quick activity or an entire theme using a simple object that you already have on hand. These quick and easy activities are perfect for weeks when you are a little short on time and can't afford to spend hours organizing a complicated schedule.
Pick an objectThe first step is finding an object, a starting point. In just a few seconds, select an item that will be used as inspiration.
As an example, let's use a banana.
Key wordsJot down any key words that come to mind when you look at a banana. What does it remind you of? During this important brainstorming step, avoid picking and choosing. Simply write down everything. Remember that funny ideas can sometimes lead to very interesting results! In just a few minutes, here's what you may come up with: tastes good, yellow, recipe, textures, smell, long, fruit, banana tree, fun, monkey, etc.
Activity ideasThe next step involves searching for ideas related to the key words you identified. This represents the most time-consuming step. You may eliminate a few key words if you are unable to find activities. For other key words, you will easily find a long list of activities. When you are done, you can decide which activities are keepers.
Textures:You may choose to serve bananas different ways as part of snack time (sliced, cubed, whole, mashed, etc.).
Yellow:Encourage children to use different types of yellow crayons for drawing, offer yellow modeling dough, provide different kinds of yellow paper children can cut or tear, etc.
Shapes:Slice several bananas and invite children to stack the banana pieces to make various constructions.
Fun: Draw eyes and a mouth directly on a banana peel to create a silly character. With older children, you can even glue wiggly eyes on each child's banana peel.
Yummy:Give each child a banana and let them dip it in chocolate pudding or yogurt for dessert.
Banana tree:Cut banana shapes out of heavy construction paper and let children draw on them. Hang the bananas in a tree in your yard to represent a banana tree.
Recipe:Improvise a simple recipe using ingredients you have on hand. For example, give each child graham crumbs they can press in the bottom of a small bowl. Show them how to mash a banana. They can deposit their pureed banana on top of the graham crumbs and add a dollop of yogurt on top.
Monkey:Print or cut several banana shapes out of yellow paper and hide them within your daycare. Invite children to pretend they are monkeys searching for bananas.
Finalizing your activity planningSelect the activities that best suit your needs and explore them over a short or long period of time.
Chantal MilletteEarly childhood educator
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Pre-K program including educational games and activity planning with printable documents.
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