We love using light projectors to entertain our children. The children find it so fascinating and it helps with their visual tracking skills. If you don't have a light projector, bubbles are another great way to practice visual tracking.
The wooden mobile you can see in the back is a tool we use to entertain the infants. The teachers are constantly changing the items hanging from the mobile to keep the children from getting bored of one item. We also utilize toys like balls and bead necklaces (requires supervision) to encourage tummy time.
Coming up with activities to do with older infants can be so challenging. Finding an activity that is beneficial to the child's development and engages the child can be near impossible at this age. Here are some ideas our infant teachers use to continuously be encouraging the development of each child's individual goals.
Below you can see our infant teacher made a sensory hula hoop. They tied patterned cloth, plastic rings, loofas, and rattles on the hoop for the children to explore. They set the child in the middle of the hoop and allowed the child to explore the hoop. This encourages their natural curiosity and confidence in experiencing new things. It also helps encourage movement like, rolling onto their side or belly, and grabbing for the sensory items.
Ms. Sam's infant 1 class had a blast playing with pumpkins last week. At TLC, we are constantly observing what the children stay most engaged with so we can plan activities that promote engagement and learning. Ms. Sam noticed her children love playing in water and will stay engaged for longer when water is involved, so she created this water pumpkin sensory bin. The children played in the bubbles, cleaning the pumpkins and pouring water in and out of the pumpkins.
The next activity the infant 1 class did with pumpkins was using the lids to stamp paint onto paper. This is a great way for children to discover different way to create and encourage their artistic curiosity.
All children have natural-born artistic curiosity. We love to encourage that curiosity by planning simple art projects for the baby's to experience. The main goal is always sensory exploration which is very important in development throughout childhood.
Check out the photos below to see how much fun our infants had painting mini pumpkins! Our teachers put different colored paints in a ziplocked with the pumpkin and let the children play with the bag and move the paint around until the pumpkins were covered!
What better to get us through these last couple days of the week than the adorable faces of our TLC infants and young explorers?!
Sometimes it can be difficult finding activities to do with your infant. At TLC, our creative and motivated teachers always find a way to keep a smile on all the babies face's. Here are some of our infant teachers favorite activities to keep the day interesting and the babies giggling!
One of our absolute favorite things to do with our infants and young explorers is a daily walk or outside play time. Not only is it a good way to pass the time but it is so good for babies to get outside, get a change of scenery, some fresh air and sunshine. Spending time outside is associated with improved mood and happiness!
Staying Engaged: We love finding ways to work on our infants sensory skills as they discover the world around them. In nature there are so many things for your baby to discover: the feel of the grass or dirt, pulling leaves from trees, seeing and hearing animals, rushing water, cars, and so much more. With so much to see and do, being outside can increase their natural curiosity, building their confidence when it comes to experiencing new things.
Putting together a sensory bin is a fun way for your child to stay occupied while still learning! You can fill your bin with anything that's safe for your child to touch, smell, and inevitably, put in their mouth. Some of our favorite things to use are items like uncooked rice and macaroni noodles, nut-free cereals, balls, water, sponges, plastic toys and what ever else you can think of. Not afraid of getting messy? Make a bowl of jello, cooked spaghetti or whipped cream and let them get messy. The possibilities are endless!
Staying Engaged: Sensory bins, as you could've guessed from the name, are great for developing sensory processing skills. Sight, touch and sound are involved in any sensory bin, but don't be afraid to implement smell and taste. Our toddler class loves to use cinnamon in their sensory activities! It also is great for practicing fine motor skills as your baby learns to gasp and manipulate the items in the bin. Sensory bins can also promote attention span, so what are you waiting for?!