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Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


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Cushions and pillows

Activities for toddlers and babies
Children always enjoy playing with pillows. Collect several clean cushions and pillows of different sizes. You can even ask parents to bring a few to daycare for the duration of the theme. Explore them with your group.

 

AREA SETUP

The mountain
To present the theme to your group, use cushions and pillows to create a soft mountain in the middle of your daycare. Let babies and toddlers climb and play on this temporary structure throughout the greeting period.

 

Sweater cushions
Make cushions out of sweaters. Use a child's sweater with a pretty design to make a small cushion and a man's short-sleeved sweater to make a very large cushion. Sew the neckline and the sleeves on each sweater. Fill them with cotton batting and sew the bottom of the sweaters once they are full. Children will love these two new cushions that make great permanent additions to your daycare or reading area.

 

ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS

Soft snack time
Invite children to sit or lie down on cushions at snack time. Serve dry snacks such as cereal or cookies.

 

SENSORY ACTIVITIES (smell)

Scented cushions
You can purchase scented cushions or make your own out of felt. Pour a few drops of vanilla extract or an essential oil on square pieces of felt. Sew three sides of each cushion, stuff them with cotton batting, and sew the fourth side. Encourage children to manipulate the cushions to give them the opportunity to discover the scents. 


SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)

Soft feathers
You will need an empty pillowcase. Fill it with feathers. Invite children to plunge their hands inside the pillowcase to feel the soft feathers. If you have a second empty pillowcase, let children feel inside it and help them notice the difference. Have them transfer the feathers from one pillowcase to the other.


ARTS & CRAFTS

Painted pillowcase
Slide a piece of heavy cardboard inside a pillowcase to create a hard work surface. If you prefer, use adhesive tape to stick the pillowcase on a table. Let babies and toddlers paint or draw on the pillowcase. Let dry completely before letting children actually use the pillowcase.

 

Feather-filled pillow
Cut a rectangle out of white cardboard to represent a pillow. Apply white glue liberally and let children stick feathers all over it.

 

MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Reading circle
Here is a fun calm activity. Use pillows to form a circle on the floor and invite children to lie down on the pillows to admire a storybook together.

 

COGNITIVE ACTIVITIES

Hot or cold
Purchase tiny cushions filled with dried beans (bags used hot or cold to relieve pain). Deposit one cushion in the refrigerator and place the other one in your microwave oven for a few seconds. You will have a cold cushion and a warm cushion for your group to explore. Help them notice the difference.

 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS

Downhill exercise
Set naptime mats on top of pillows to create hills. Let babies crawl up and down these tiny hills.

 

Cylindrical cushions
Purchase several cylindrical cushions or make your own. Use them to elevate a young child when he/she is on his/her stomach. Set attractive toys in front of the child to encourage him/her to stretch out his/her hands. Older children will have fun climbing over or sitting on a large cylindrical cushion.

 

Walkway
Deposit cushions and pillows in a row on the floor to create a path. Invite babies and toddlers to crawl along this soft path. If children wish to walk along the path, hold their hands to avoid falls.

 

 

Chantal Millette
Early childhood educator


Educatall.com is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. Educatall.com shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.

 


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