Activities for toddlers and babies
To introduce your theme, set small farms and farm animal figurines on the floor and let babies and toddlers play with them.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Sharing carrots (snack)
Rabbits are popular farm animals that are often associated with carrots. Everyone knows the Easter Bunny loves eating carrots! At snack time, give toddlers a few carrot sticks. Set an extra chair at the table and sit an oversized stuffed rabbit on it. Encourage children to share their carrot sticks with the Easter Bunny. If you prefer, set a smaller stuffed rabbit or even a laminated rabbit picture in front of each child and let them feed their new pal individually.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (taste)
Use cow-shaped cookie cutters to prepare sugar cookies and serve them to your group along with glasses of milk. If you wish, you may also print a picture of a cow and stick it on the table using adhesive paper to help children understand that the milk they are drinking comes from cows.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
Feathers vs. hair or fur
For this activity, you will need feathers and a piece of fake fur. Gather several picture books illustrating different farm animals. Look at the pictures with your group and help children notice how certain animals have feathers (rooster, hen, duck) and others have fur, hair, or a coat (horse, cow, dog). Encourage children to touch the feathers or the fake fur to help them understand the difference.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Set a large piece of white paper on a table. Gather all the plastic farm animal figurines you have. Deposit a thin layer of paint in a shallow container and show children how they can press the figurines in the paint and then on the paper to make prints. Compare the different animal tracks together.
A chicken, a pig, and a sheep
Cut a chicken, a cow, and a sheep silhouette out of heavy cardboard. Invite children to stick feathers on the chicken, crumpled pieces of pink tissue paper on the pig, and cotton balls on the sheep. Constant supervision is required.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Let's visit a farm
To help babies and toddlers understand the animal pictures presented throughout this theme, organize a visit to a local farm or visit the Easter farm at the mall. Take pictures of the animals you see. Viewing the Baby Einstein: Baby MacDonald DVD with your group can be an interesting option if visiting an actual farm is not possible.
How many eggs did the hen lay?
Stick a picture of a hen on a cardboard box. Cut a circle out of the top of the box, large enough for children to be able to slide their hand inside. Deposit several plastic eggs on the floor, next to the box. Encourage children to deposit the eggs inside the box. Help them count the eggs one by one.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
I am a...
Invite children to move their body in a variety of different ways by encouraging them to gallop like a horse, roll around in the mud like a pig, swim like a duck, etc.
Collect different types of material representing farm animals: puppets, pictures, books, figurines, etc. Explore the material and have fun making the corresponding animal sounds with your group.
Early childhood educator
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