Activities for toddlers and babies
Music, rhymes, their mother's voice, and chirping birds will be explored by little ones throughout this theme.
Where can you find these recorded sounds?
- CDs containing music or sounds of nature
- Sound games
- Your own recordings
A moment of silence
Throughout the week, ask for a moment of silence from time to time. This will help children appreciate the sounds that are part of their everyday games and activities.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Waves during handwashing
Find a CD that will make it possible for children to hear the sounds produced by waves and play it when they are washing their hands.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch and hear)
Chirping birds and feathers
Find a CD with bird sounds. The bird sounds may or may not be accompanied by relaxing music. Empty a bag of feathers (used for crafts) on the floor and encourage children to manipulate them as they listen to the chirping birds. Let children tickle each other and toss the feathers up in the air.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (hear)
I can make music and listen to it
Provide several different musical instruments and encourage babies and toddlers to explore them. Record their "music". Afterwards, listen to the recording together. Repeat the activity if children show an interest. Variation: Do the same activity, but invite children to sing songs and rhymes instead of playing musical instruments.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Crafty classical music
Introduce your group to classical music. Invite them to draw or paint to the sound of the music. Avoid giving them instructions and vary the tempo of the music. It must be soft and gentle at times, but very fast-paced and energetic at other times.
Find sounds and pictures that go together. Invite your group to listen to the sounds and stick the corresponding pictures on a large piece of cardboard. You can, for example, have children listen to a recording of laughing children. When they hear the recording, they can glue pictures of happy babies on a banner. In the same way, if they hear wave sounds, they could glue pictures of seashells on your banner.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Mommy's (or Daddy's) voice
Ask parents to record themselves singing a simple song or rhyme. If they prefer, they can simply record a brief message for their child. Suggest parents use an iPod, a cell phone, or a portable recorder. They can send their recording to you via email. Throughout the theme, listen to the recordings with your group. Display pictures of each child's parents on a wall and point to the mother or father who is speaking or singing as you listen to each recording to help children understand.
Animals and sounds
Create your own sound-filled picture book for little ones. Print animal pictures. Record yourself making the corresponding animal sounds. If you prefer, you can also use a store-bought sound game or use sounds found on the Internet. Animal sounds are easy to find by typing "animal sounds" in any search engine. Listen to the sounds and encourage children to identify the correct animals.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
Alternating between music and silence
Create your own musical recording but insert several moments of silence here and there. Hand children light scarves and play your recording. Invite them to move the scarves to the sound of the music. When the music stops, remain perfectly still. Observe children's reaction. With time, they will understand the concept and imitate you.
To accompany the songs & rhymes that you sing and recite with your group, play a recording that is related to the different themes. For example, if you sing Rain, rain go away, listen to a CD with rain sounds.
Early childhood educator
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