Activities for toddlers and babies
During summer, trips to the playground are more frequent. Here are a few suggestions that will guarantee children remain attracted to these outings.
Display pictures of different types of playground equipment on the walls of your daycare.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
On our way to the playground
Every time you head to the playground with your group, suggest a different accessory or activity to make the trip interesting for little ones. For example you can have children wear special hats, sing a song, play musical instruments, carry a stuffed animal, push dolls in toy strollers, etc.
A snack at the playground
Prepare a special snack and serve it to your group, at the playground. Repeat this activity often, selecting different locations to eat the snack each day: under the slide, at the swings (no swinging), under a tree, etc.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (listen)
Purchase a colourful wind chime and bring it with you when you go to the playground with your group. Find a safe spot where you can hang the wind chime, out of children's reach. For example, you can hang it from a tree branch. Let babies and toddlers discover where the sound is coming from.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (listen)
A little music
Bring a small battery-operated radio to the playground. Here are a few ways you can use it: listen to music as you eat a picnic lunch, listen to music containing bird sounds to attract birds, listed to fast-paced music and encourage children to dance while holding scarves or party streamers.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Fill a small backpack with a variety of arts & crafts materials. Bring this backpack with you whenever you go to the playground so that you can set up an arts & crafts corner on a picnic table. Your backpack may contain crayons, paper, glue sticks, wet wipes, stickers, etc.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
I can help
This activity will help develop children's autonomy and encourage them to work together. Give each child a sand toy to carry to the playground. If you wish, deposit the toys in gift bags to make them easier to carry. When you reach the playground, have children deposit the toys in the sand box.
It's a date
Organize a playdate with a group from another daycare. Meet at the playground. You can, for example, eat the morning snack together to encourage children to communicate. Bring your parachute. This tool is great for a larger group and it is much easier to explore it when two early childhood educators are present.
Photograph the two playgrounds you visit most often with your group. Every time you go to the playground, show children both pictures and ask them to identify which playground they are at. From time to time, you can invite an older toddler to look at the pictures before you leave, encouraging him/her to pick which playground you will visit.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
If the playground you visit is bordered by a fence, bring several beach balls. Since they are light and easy to transport when deflated, they are great toys for your outings. Once you reach the playground, simply inflate them and let babies and toddlers manipulate them. With very young children, avoid fully inflating the beach balls. This will make it easier for them to grab hold of them.
Reading at the playground
This is a great activity that is very simple. Bring a large blanket and a few books to the playground. Set the blanket under a tree and deposit the books on the blanket. Encourage babies and toddlers to relax on the blanket, taking time to admire the books.
Early childhood educator
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