Dance and movement
Activities for toddlers and babies
Music makes people happy. It can calm or stimulate. Play music and associate different movements to its rhythm to have fun with little ones.
Take pictures of the children in your group while they are dancing around your daycare. Display the pictures on your daycare walls. Hang construction paper musical notes from the ceiling.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Music in the yard
To make outdoor play extra fun, fill a large bin with musical instruments and take it outside. Have fun creating unique melodies and sounds and encourage your group to dance and play.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (hear)
Maracas and rattles
Fill a large container with a variety of maracas and rattles. Let children explore the contents of the bin and invite them to move to the sound of the music they will create as they shake them. Have fun moving very slowly and then very quickly.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch)
Moisturizing lotion and relaxation
Play calm music to offer children a relaxing moment. Set blankets and cushions on the floor. Turn the lights down and let babies and toddlers gently move to the sound of the music. Squeeze a small amount of moisturizing lotion on the palm of one of each child's hands and invite them to rub their hands together. Gently massage the children in your group as they listen to the music.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Art and music
Hang a large piece of paper on a wall, at children's level. Invite children to stand in front of the paper and draw on it while listening to different types of music: classical music, jazz, folk music, dance music, etc.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Accompanying a moving child
When a baby or toddler is performing a repetitive movement such as clapping, tapping his/her foot, swinging, or kicking his/her feet while lying on his/her back, sing or hum a song, adjusting your rhythm to the child's movement.
Music interspersed with silence
Prepare a musical recording that is interspersed with long and short periods of silence. To the sound of music, move your body. Babies and toddlers will surely follow your example. When the music stops, remain perfectly still. Observe children's reaction. With time, they will understand and stop moving whenever the music stops too. You may also choose to provide colourful ribbons children can wave quickly or very gently, according to the music's rhythm.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Scarves and banners
Collect several very light scarves (silk). Make sure they aren't too long. If you prefer, simply cut different lengths of colourful party streamers. Play music and invite babies and toddlers to dance and move according to the music's rhythm while manipulating the scarves or streamers.
My body parts
Play fast-paced music and encourage babies and toddlers to dance around the daycare. Name different body parts. Children can either touch the corresponding body parts or move them to the sound of the music. Help younger children by executing the actions with them. For example, if you say "feet", you can hold a baby's feet in your hands and move them to the beat.
Early childhood educator
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