When the temperatures drop, bring the educational fun indoors with these fun, easy activities for infants, toddlers, and preschool children.
Erin Buhr, MEd, author of Little Walks, Big Adventures: 50+ Ideas for Exploring with Toddlers, shares: "One of my favorite (and only) memories of my preschool experience was when we had a beach party inside our classroom. When I became a teacher, I knew this was something I wanted to attempt to duplicate. This is good, silly pretend play." Learn how to create this memorable indoor beach day with your little ones with the instructions below, and find more ideas for adventures with toddlers in Little Walks, Big Adventures!Movement and Play Summer Learning Infant & Toddler Sensory
Featured in The Path to Early Math: What Preschool Teachers Need to Know by Ingrid Crowther, EdD, this Lily Pad Comparison activity helps children develop their understanding of forming sets. A set is a collection that contains a specific number of objects. Children are able to begin understanding sets before they even know how to count. This also leads to exploring concepts of one more or one fewer. "Oops, I guess that was one too many. The lily pad is sinking."Math
Featured in The Possibilities of Play: Imaginative Learning Centers for Children Ages 3-6, by Dr. Jean Feldman and Carolyn Kisloski, this learning center activity is a perfect opportunity to practice observation, predicting, and vocabulary. Facilitating exploration and observation through play in young children allows them to develop concepts about science and nature, all while having fun!Movement and Play Science Sensory
Many children feel an uncontrollable urge to fidget and move around. This need for movement is often a distraction to both the child and to those around the child. To meet this need, William DeMeo, PhD, author of When Nothing Else Works: What Early Childhood Professionals Can Do to Reduce Challenging Behaviors, recommends fidgets. Below, you will find instructions to construct your own fidget gel bag. The child can assist you in making this fidget toy, giving them a sense of pride and ownership over the toy.Sensory
Two common forms of professional learning are professional learning communities (PLCs) and communities of practices (CoPs). Both PLCs and CoPs are groups of professionals who regularly come together to discuss ideas, gain knowledge, and improve their practices. Groups that interact respectfully also develop understanding and trust. Try this exercise from Lose the Lecture: Engaging Approaches to Early Childhood Professional Learning to start your group's process of building respect and trust.Mentoring and Coaching
Summer is a perfect time to experiment with open-ended outdoor activities for toddlers and preschoolers. Open-ended art projects that emphasize process over product help young children develop crucial skills as they interact with others and think creatively. Grab some sidewalk chalk, and try these DIY sidewalk chalk activities to get your preschoolers outside and immersed in play today.Summer Learning Outdoor Learning Art
In this child-driven exploration by Angela Eckhoff, PhD, author of Provoking Curiosity: Student-Led STEAM Learning for Pre-K to Third Grade, children are invited to conduct physical changes with everyday objects and to create collages using the materials they have manipulated.Science
“It’s a bug!” is a common phrase heard across all playgrounds as young children explore all those small creatures that walk, fly, and crawl. This provocation (child-driven exploration) by Angela Eckhoff, PhD, author of Provoking Curiosity: Student-Led STEAM Learning for Pre-K to Third Grade, draws children’s attention to the differences among bugs, insects, and arthropods as a means to build both life-science understandings and classification skills.Science
Looking for some activities that will keep young children stimulated, contribute to their physical and intellectual growth, and that you can enjoy and participate in as well? Try three activities from Banish Boredom by Rebecca Green.Art Science
Create sparkle ice sculptures and even fake snow with hands-on activities to entertain kids in and out of the classroom.
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