Activities for toddlers and babies
Nature represents an incredible treasure that can be explored by babies and toddlers. Call upon children's senses to help them discover everything nature has to offer.
Hang a lightweight branch horizontally from the ceiling using several pieces of heavy wire or rope. Hang various items that represent nature such as flowers, butterflies, leaves, birds, etc. from the branch. If you wish, you can also hang different mobiles that you have made in the past from it.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Nature sounds at lunch time
As they eat, babies and toddlers will enjoy listening to CDs that contain nature sounds: chirping birds, rain, wind, etc.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
It can be interesting for little ones to explore elements of nature with their bare feet. Let them walk in the grass, make footprints in sand or soil, and stomp in puddles.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (look)
Insects and animals
Help children notice the animals and insects that surround them: a squirrel on a branch, a worm in the grass, a butterfly fluttering in the sky, etc. They all represent interesting treasures to be explored.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Flowers from home
Invite parents to bring one or several flowers from their garden to daycare. Use the flowers to create a beautiful bouquet with your group. Simply arrange them in a vase and use your bouquet to decorate your daycare.
Big and small
Collect several different types of leaves. Be sure to have several big leaves and many smaller leaves too. Seal each leaf between two pieces of adhesive paper. Present this original laminated picture book to the babies and toddlers in your group. Observe the leaves together and use the words "big" or "small" to describe each one.
Sorting items found in nature
Set a few boxes on the floor. On each lid, glue a picture of an item found in nature. For example, you may glue a picture of a leaf on one of the lids. Invite babies and toddlers to fill this box with leaves. With very young children, use a single box. With older toddlers, you may present two or three boxes at the same time and encourage them to associate different items (leaves, rocks, flowers, grass, etc.) to the correct box.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
A walk down a pedestrian path
If you are lucky enough to have a pedestrian path close to your daycare, organize a special outing with your group. Encourage children to observe, listen to, and touch what surrounds them. They will enjoy smelling wild flowers too. Carry a snack that children can enjoy along the way. Take pictures of the various things you see. When you return, print the pictures and display them on a wall.
Books and nature
Under a tree, use blankets and cushions to create a special reading corner. Deposit several books about animals, insects, and nature nearby. Have fun exploring them with the children in your group.
Early childhood educator
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