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For Teachers: Infant/Toddler Activities

Activities for teachers to lead in the infant & toddler classrooms

Mini discovery boxes within treasure baskets - a way for babies (and toddlers) to safely enjoy little objects that are a choking hazard.

Nature activities for infants.

The toddler room at the Bright Horizons Lands' End Back-up Child Care Center in Dodgeville,WI created a garden atmosphere by adding a green grass rug, flowers, picnic table, garden tools and summer hats!​ The toddlers loved playing in their indoor garden!

Simple but effective! Paper tape roads on a table top

Have you tried putting holes in a cardboard box and providing items such as large pom-poms & cardboard tubes? Wonderful opportunity to observe and see what happens .

The toddlers at the Bright Horizons at Minnetonka, MN really enjoyed this shaving cream activity...without the mess! The Toddlers used bags of shaving cream and cookie cutters to explore shapes! They were able to make, erase, and remake a variety of shapes and practice saying the name of the shape aloud. ​Of course, hands-on messy is best, so it's fun to follow up by opening the bags and digging right in!

Looking for natural wind chimes? The clever infant teachers at our Citibank Family Center in Sioux Falls, SD created these from dried fruit! They started with assorted fruits and sliced them really thin. Once they had dried, they strung them with fishing line and hung them from a recycled paper towel roll which was painted to match the color of the fruit. This created a natural wind chime, which they hung from the ceiling, so the children could see them and smell them.

The infant teachers at our Citibank Family Center in Sioux Falls, SD created these sensory bag for motor exploration. They colored dried rice and salt different colors with food coloring and let air dry. Next, they reinforced the three non-open edges of a Ziploc bag with different colored duck tap. Once everything was dried they combined the rice and other small items in one bag. They placed the bags on a low shelf for child to touch, shake and explore! How fun!

A teacher from the Bright Horizons Superior Children’s Center in Tyler, TX resourcefully added streamers to a tunnel that the infants love to play in. She decided to put tissue paper on the top to let them explore as they crawled through. They had a blast! You can use anything soft and long. Be creative!

Toddler Science: Make a Soda Bottle Terrarium with your child. Great Green Kids Science Activity!

Musical Diversity! Here's an idea from the infant room at Bright Horizons Montessori at Sundance in Fort Worth TX. Music was played from various cultures and the infants kicked with excitement to the different rhythms. The beautiful paint on their feet helped them create their own unique rhythmic flags.

Infants Have Their Own Curriculum: A Responsive Approach to Curriculum Planning for Infants and Toddlers by J. Ronald Lally

Three different DIY sensory boards along with ideas for how to include older siblings from Fun at Home with Kids

Although written for parents, these RIE Parenting Basics (9 Ways to Put Respect into Action) by Janet Lansbury are a great way to learn more about the RIE approach and also work for all the infant caregivers out there.

5 Messy Sensory Bins for Babies and Toddlers - Ideas for sensory bins that are safe for children who still mouth everything. These bins are MESSY! Links to the importance of messy play, tips for messy play and laundry tips in this post.