Heavy and light
Activities for toddlers and babies
Subtly introduce two concepts that are new for little ones by exploring heavy objects and light objects.
Heavy and light socks
To present the theme to your group, deposit tiny homemade sock snakes on the floor. Simply fill some socks with very light items such as cotton balls, fabric, or paper to create light snakes and other socks with heavier items such as dried beans or peas to create heavy snakes. Sew the end of each sock. Constant supervision is required. Children will enjoy manipulating these unique snakes.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Use a pitcher to serve milk, water or juice to little ones. Help them notice how the pitcher is heavy when it is full. Once you have emptied the contents of the pitcher into children's drinking glasses, show them how the pitcher is very light. Help them make the same type of observation with their drinking glass.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Fill empty plastic bottles with light and heavy objects: feathers, pieces of multi-coloured paper, dried peas, glass marbles, etc. Seal the bottle caps using hot glue (supervision required). Encourage children to manipulate the bottles and discuss how some bottles are light and others are heavy.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Objects that float and objects that sink
Fill a large container with lukewarm water. If necessary, set the temperature in your daycare somewhat higher than normal. Wearing only their diapers, let children deposit various light and heavy items in the water to see if they float or sink.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
Throughout the week, have fun exploring light objects. Make it possible for your group to manipulate soap bubbles, feathers, cotton balls, and tissues. They will enjoy tossing them up in the air. Play soft music to accompany this activity.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Collect pictures that represent heavy and light items: trucks, houses, mice, birds, etc. Select objects that children are familiar with. Encourage children to stick the pictures on a large piece of cardboard or adhesive paper. Be sure to use the words "heavy" and "light" as much as possible throughout the activity, associating them to the different items.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Elephants and mice
This is a great imitation game that can be enjoyed as a group. Have fun acting out animals with toddlers. Invite children to stomp their feet heavily like an elephant or walk very lightly, like a mouse, between routines, for example when it's time to wash their hands or get dressed to go outside. You could also display a picture of an elephant and a picture of a mouse on a wall and point to the corresponding animal whenever you want children to move like an elephant or a mouse.
Heavy or light
Deposit a few books inside a box or gift bag. Lift the box or bag and tell children that it is heavy. Encourage toddlers to take turns lifting the bag. Use the box or bag to carry the books to your reading corner and look at them with your group. At the end of the activity, encourage children to lift the box or bag once more. They will be surprised to see how light it is now that it is empty.
Exploring heavy and light with a fan
Purchase tiny battery-operated fans that can safely be used by children. Arrange a series of light and heavy objects on the floor: feathers, pieces of tissue paper, rocks, a shoe, etc. Show children how they can position their fan next to the objects and help them notice how the light objects move around when the fan blows air on them whereas the heavier objects stay put. Talk about heavy and light objects with your group.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Heavy and light balls
Collect several different types of balls, some that are very light and others that are heavier: beach balls, balloons, soccer balls, etc. As you play with the children in your group, help them notice how some balls are heavier than others.
Early childhood educator
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