Activities for toddlers and babies
A theme for exploring fruit with little ones.
Deposit a large basket filled with various types of plastic fruit on the floor. Let babies and toddlers manipulate them as they wish.
ROUTINES AND TRANSITIONS
Throughout the week, present different types of fruit to babies and toddlers in original ways. Here are a few ideas:
- Use cookie cutters to cut watermelon slices and create fun shapes.
- Prepare smoothies.
- Show children how they can place raspberries on their fingertips to make them look like little hats.
- Serve chocolate pudding or vanilla yogurt as a dip for fruit.
- Use different types of fruit to create silly faces (a cut grape for a nose, a slice of orange for a mouth, and banana slices for eyes).
- Cut a honeydew melon in two. Fill the cavities with Jell-O. Place the melon halves in the refrigerator until Jell-O is set, and slice.
- You will need pictures of different types of fruit and the corresponding yogurt flavors. Use adhesive paper to arrange the pictures on plates. Deposit a tablespoon of yogurt on each picture, spreading it to hide the fruit. Let babies and toddlers eat the yogurt so they can discover the flavor (by identifying the picture that was hiding under the yogurt).
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (smell)
Fruity soaps and hand cream
Purchase liquid soap with a fruity scent and use it to wash children's hands. Once their hands are dry, rub them with a fruity hand cream. Hold their hands close to their nose so they can smell the fruit.
Purchase fruit-scented candles. Place each candle in a small plastic container. Make holes in the lid of each container so children can smell the candles. Glue a picture of the corresponding fruit on each container.
SENSORY ACTIVITIES (touch and taste)
Different textures, same apple
For each child, deposit a small bowl filled with applesauce on the table. Fill a second bowl with apple chunks. Encourage children to use their hands and mouth to explore these two textures. Variation: Cut an apple, but in a variety of different ways (grated, sliced, quartered, etc.). Let children explore, touch and explore the pieces before eating them.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Our bunch of grapes
Give each child a few paper plates. Ask them to paint the plates with purple, light green, or multicolored paint if you wish to create a really unique bunch of grapes. Once the paint is dry, arrange the plates on the wall to represent a bunch of grapes (pyramid). Add a stem and a leaf cut out of construction paper.
Fruity Jell-O paint
Combine Jell-O powder with a small quantity of water to create scented textured paint. Let children manipulate and spread the mixture on sheets of waxed paper. When they are done, stick each sheet of waxed paper on a colored piece of construction paper. Hang children's "framed" artwork.
MORAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES
Plastic fruit bin
Present a small role play game to your group. Fill a large bin with a variety of plastic fruit and add bowls, plastic knives, and small plastic plates. Let babies and toddlers manipulate the contents of the bin.
Collective fruit salad
Ask each child's parents to send a fruit to daycare. Invite children to sit around a table with you. Together, use the fruit to prepare a special fruit salad. Let children participate. They can, for example, deposit pieces of cut fruit in the bowl, add juice, and stir. Enjoy your fruit salad for dessert.
Invite babies and toddlers to make choices. Fill a platter with a variety of fruit and set it in the middle of the table or on a tablecloth for a special picnic activity. Let children pick and choose which types of fruit they wish to eat.
To help children understand where fruit juice comes from, place a sticker representing the corresponding type of fruit on their glass every time you serve juice (an orange on a glass of orange juice for example). Supervision is required when using stickers with young children. Variation: Use adhesive paper to stick a picture (from a grocery store flyer) of the corresponding fruit on each child's glass.
How is fruit made?
Often, we are in a hurry and serve cut fruit to children. It can be interesting to show them what different types of fruit look like, both inside and outside. Encourage them to touch the fruit, feel the texture of its peel, and name the colors they see. Cut the fruit in front of them and let them observe what's inside. You can show them how a watermelon is green on the outside, but pink or red on the inside. Observe an apple's core and help them notice how many seeds there are. The examination of a peach or cherry pit is also quite interesting for young children. When you are done exploring, cut each fruit into tiny pieces and share them with your group.
This activity is for older toddlers. Set colourful placemats on a table or on the floor. Give children plastic fruit and invite them to associate them one by one to the placemat of the corresponding color. You may begin with two colors before adding more to make the activity more challenging.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
This activity is for older toddlers. Give each child a ripe banana and a small plastic knife. Let them cut their banana and eat it.
If possible, organize a visit to a local farm or greenhouse and pick different types of fruit with your group.
The fruit stand
If you are lucky enough to have a fruit stand nearby, visit it with your group. Observe the different types of fruit with babies and toddlers and purchase a few varieties that children can eat at snack time.
Early childhood educator
Educatall.com is not responsible for the content of this article. The information mentioned in this article is the responsibility of the author. Educatall.com shall not be held responsible for any litigation or issues resulting from this article.