Here are ten activities that we regularly do with the infants.
Books are great for children of any age. Reading exposes infants to language, pictures in the books expose them to things they don’t normally see and having books around can spark an interest in reading. The infants enjoy looking at books themselves or when we read to them. Reading to babies has so many benefits, but to keep this post short, I won’t go into them all here.
Bubbles are great for younger infants to track. Older infants can work on their fine and gross motor skills while popping or moving around trying to catch the bubbles.
We introduce our older infants to fat crayons. They will put them in their mouths, but we sit with them to show them what they are supposed to do with crayons. Some of them like making marks on the paper and others don’t care for it, but it’s apart of exposing them to creative arts.
4. Exercise ball:
Those of you who read the blog know I use the exercise ball a lot with the babies. I use it to rock them to sleep, bounce, play games etc. The ball can be comforting or a way to help older infants with gross motor skills depending on the activity.
5. Mirror exploration:
We have a variety of mirrors around the room accessible to our younger and older infants. Today, I sat in front of a mirror with Baby E and Little Guy; our two youngest infants. They’re too young to realize it’s their own image, but they were fascinated. I set up a mirror for Baby E on the floor and she liked watching herself move.
We’ll sing songs or put on music for them. Music exposes children to language and gets them to move around. Our oldest infant who has moved up to the toddler room loved to dance. I don’t usually do the singing, but I like to help the babies move to the music.
7. Sand box:
We have a sand box on the infant playground that the babies love. It’s filled with buckets, shovels, trucks and other sand toys. The babies usually just explore the toys, but some of them start dumping the sand in and out of buckets. They will eat some of the dirt, but that’s something we’ve all done as children. Most of our infants spend most of their outside time in the sand.
8. Shaving cream:
We allow the older infants to play with shaving cream. Sometimes we try to contain it by giving them a tray, but other times, it gets spread across the table. The babies enjoy squishing and spreading it around. Occasionally, we add paint for color or to make paintings. We do watch the infants closely so they won’t put too much in their mouths.
We take the babies on walks as much as possible. Walks allow babies to get fresh air, hear and see different sights and sounds and learn new words as we describe what’s around us. Walks are also soothing for many babies.
10. Water play:
For water play, we put water in a small tub and let one or two babies play at a time. We’ve used water by itself for splashing and exploring. We’ve also added objects to the water such as fish or ducks. There are lots of possibilities for water play. If there’s a puddle on the playground, the older infants can explore it. The best thing about this activity is that it’s fun!
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