Activities for toddlers and babies
This theme will provide young children with the opportunity to prepare gifts as well as learn how to give gifts to others while discovering a variety of gift-related supplies.
Gift bag posters
Purchase several pretty gift bags. Cut both sides of each bag and display the pictures on your walls to decorate your daycare as you would with posters. The use of small and large bags can be interesting. You will have different sizes of posters.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
A gift at snack time
Purchase tiny gift bags. For each child, insert a dry snack in a bag. Cookies work well. Hand the gift bags out at snack time and encourage children to discover their snack.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (hear)
Insert a tiny object that produces a sound, such as a baby rattle, in a box. Close the box and wrap it with pretty wrapping paper. Let babies and toddlers manipulate the box. Encourage them to shake the gift to hear the sound. After a while, show them how they can unwrap the box to discover the object.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch and see)
Fill a large box with a variety of items related to gifts: bows, ribbon, wrapping paper, cards, etc. With supervision, encourage babies and toddlers to manipulate the contents of the box.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Four simple gifts to make
Here are four suggestions of gifts that can easily be made with very young children:
- A decorated keepsake box.
- An accordion card.
- A personalized picture frame.
- A painting.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Unique wrapping paper
For this group activity, deposit a large piece of paper on the floor. Let babies and toddlers draw on the paper. If you wish, you may also provide stickers and glitter. Once the paper is completely decorated, use it to wrap a special gift for your cook or janitor. Children will love helping you with this task. They will be so proud to deliver the gift with you. Variation: This activity can also be done individually. Children can use their wrapping paper to wrap a special gift for their parents (see arts & crafts).
A picture for my parents
Hang a large piece of wrapping paper on a wall to represent a backdrop. Set one child at a time in front of your backdrop and photograph them. If you wish, children can wear a special Christmas hat. You can also provide ornaments or stuffed animals as accessories. Print a picture for each child and slide it in a simple picture frame or have children prepare a card and help them glue their picture inside.
Who will you give your drawings to?
This activity is for older toddlers. You will need large envelopes. On each envelope, stick a picture of a person children know well. Select three or four people such as the cook, another early childhood educator, a neighbour, a parent, etc. Invite children to make several drawings. When they are done, show them the envelopes and look at the pictures with them. Encourage them to choose which person they wish to give each of their drawings to and help them insert the drawings in the corresponding envelopes. Once the envelopes are full, deliver them with your group.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Gift bag exploration
To encourage babies and toddlers to move about, set several gift bags on the floor throughout your daycare and in the hallway. Each bag can contain an item such as a book, a stuffed animal, a figurine, etc. Children will love exploring the contents of the bags.
Catalogues and flyers
Collect several catalogues and flyers containing a variety of toys. Have fun looking at them with your group. Name the toys with babies and toddlers. At the end of the activity, let children tear the pages and crumple them up. They will have fun filling and emptying a variety of containers with the balls of paper.
Early childhood educator
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