More Toddler Ideas can be found at www.pam-ball.com

Toddler Curriculum can be found at www.lilexplorers.info & www.rftstoddler.info

Language/Literacy

Act out a Story From a Book

Developmental Areas:  Language & Literacy

Target Age: 20 – 24 months

Objective: Often times, just reading a story may not interest your toddler. To get your child more involved, help your child become a part of the story.

Procedure: Have children act out events in a book, make animal sounds every time an animal is mentioned, say a special phrase every time a character is mentioned, or do movements every time a key word is said (i.e. on the word snow, children can clasp their arms together and shiver, saying, "brrrr!")

Materials:  Book with lots of action in it.

Make up New Stories From Old Books

Developmental Area:  Language & Literacy

Target Age: 30 - 36 months

Objective: To get children to use language and creativity

Procedure: For little ones who can't read and can't always remember the 'real' story, try letting him make one up! Get some old books and look at the pictures together. Your child can point out the different animals, colors, shapes and tell a little story about each picture.

Materials:  Old Books

Sidewalk Storyboard

Developmental Area: Language & Literacy, Small & Gross Motor Skills

Target Age: 24 – 30 months

Objective: To get children using their own creativity to make a picture story book.

Procedure: dip paint brush in water and paint on sidewalk, starting at one end and doing pictures for a story as you go. Little ones can paint a story they already know, or make one up themselves.

Materials: sidewalk, a container of water. various sized paint brushes

Take Storytime Outside

Developmental Area:  Language & Literacy

Target Age: 20 – 24 months

Objective: To keep children interested in reading, by showing them they can do it anywhere.

Procedure: Choose a favorite book and have the children sit under a tree outside. Read the story and then let them act it out.

Materials: Book, a shady area outside.

Physical Development

Hokey Pokey
Developmental Area:  Large and Small Gross Motor Skills

Target Age: 24 months - up

Objective: To get the children using their large and small muscles. Also helps with body recognition.

Procedure: Have children stand in a circle. While singing the Hokey Pokey have the children do the motions.

Materials:  None

Additional Comments: You can add any part of the body, starting with put your right foot in, you put right foot out, etc then move on to you put your nose in, you put your nose out. You can continue with the Hokey Pokey for as long as the children are still interested using different parts of the body.

Copy Cat  

Developmental Area: Small and Large Muscle

Target Age: 24 – 36 months

Objective: To get the child to imitate you and use large and small muscles.

Procedure: You tiptoe, walk backwards, jump, hop, etc. Ask the children to do what you do.

Materials: None

Additional Comments: You can extend this activity for the outdoors by playing Follow the Leader.

Chasing Bubbles  

Developmental Area: Large Muscle Skills

Target Age: 12 months – 24 months

Objective: To get the children to run or move quickly.

Procedure: Blow bubbles and ask the children to catch them.

Materials: bubbles
Additional Comments: Children love trying to catch bubbles. They love bubbles.

Hide –n- Seek   

Developmental Area: Large muscle

Target Age: 24 – 36 months

Objective: To promote the use of large and small muscles.

Procedure: Have the children hide and you go find them. The child you find first is “it” next and you hide. Children love finding their teacher.

Materials: None
Additional Comments: this activity can be done inside or outside.

Emotional Development

Bowl Me Over

Developmental Areas:  Gross Motor Skills/Creative Movement Skills, Math, Social and Emotional Development

Target Age: 30 - 36 months

Objective: Learning how to respond when they spill something and playing a numbers bowling game help children develop and improve emotional skills.

Procedure: Have children pair up to play a bowling game called Spill the Milk. Label milk cartons with a number and corresponding dots from 1 to 10. Have children set up the cartons (in sequence!) in a tower, triangle, line, etc. The children take turns "spilling the milk" by knocking down the cartons with one roll of the ball. Encourage kids to role-play what to do when the milk spills: "I spilled the milk! I'm sorry." "That's OK. Let's clean it up together." Older children can add up the numbers on the cartons they knocked over; if they spilled a 7 and an 8, they can count the dots to 15.

Materials:  ball, marker, paper, tape, 10 one-quart or half-gallon milk cartons

Additional Comments: We all accidentally spill things sometimes. Remind children that when they spill something, they don't have to feel bad. They can simply apologize and help clean up.

Happy/Sad Puppets

Developmental Area:  Art, Problem- solving, Life skills, Language expression, Emotional Development

Target Age: 30 – 36 months

Objective: It is important for young children to identify their feelings and learn appropriate ways for expressing them. The children will understand that happy and sad are two different feelings learn to distinguish and express different feelings identify when they feel happy and when they feel sad understand that talking about their feelings is a good way to cope with sad feelings.

Procedure: Ask children to tell about a time they felt happy. How can students show with their faces and/or bodies that they feel happy? (smiles, head held high, etc.)

As the children to tell about a time they felt sad. How can students show with their faces and/or bodies that they feel sad? (frowns, hanging head, etc.)

Children can draw a happy face on one paper plate using crayons or markers and a sad face on another paper plate.

Tape a craft stick to the back of each plate as a handle.

Tell a story about a child who had a happy day (won a soccer game, climbed to the top of the slide and came down all by himself, etc.), and ask children to hold up the paper plate face describing how they would feel if this happened to them.

Next, tell a story about a child who had a sad day (felt sick, fell on the playground, dropped a lollipop on the ground, etc.), and ask children to hold up the paper plate face describing how they would feel if this happened to them.

Materials: Crayons and markers, Paper plates (2 per child), Craft sticks, Tape

Emotion Locomotion

Developmental Area: Dramatic Play and Creative Movement Skills, Music, Social and Emotional Development

Target Age: 20 – 24 months

Objective: Naming feelings and marching in a parade to express them help children develop and improve Dramatic Play and Creative Movement Skills, Music, Social and Emotional Development.

Procedure: Invite children to march in a "Parade of Feelings." Encourage them to be dramatic with their bodies and facial expressions. Try angry feelings. How would they march if they were angry? Scared, sad, or happy? How about a proud parade? Or bored? Finally, let children have a silly parade. Encourage everyone to make funny faces and get their friends to laugh!

You might want to end your parade by playing a silly song you can easily add verses to, such as Down by the Bay and Iko, Iko. Encourage kids to suggest other songs they like and to say how those songs make them feel.

Materials:  None

Additional Comments: Young children experience a wide range of emotions that they might not be able to name yet. Discuss different emotions. Then model some facial expressions and body movements and have kids name the emotion you are portraying.

Frame-Up Relay

Developmental Area:  Emotional Development, Large and Small Motor Skills

Target Age: 30 – 36 months

Objective: To learn different emotions

Procedure: Divide the class into two teams. At the signal, the first player from each team runs to a chair, picks up the picture frame, sits, and "makes a face" while holding the frame. Then, the other players guess what feeling the child in the chair is showing. Then, the player puts the frame down on the chair and runs to tag the next team player. Keep repeating the procedure until all have had a turn.

Materials: 2 chairs, 2 empty picture frames, minus glass and backing (or, make 2 cardboard frames)

Cognitive Development

Camouflage Automobiles 

Developmental Area: Cognitive

Objective: Children will manipulate the flaps that are attached to the floor by folding them back like turning pages in a book. Children will look at the visuals, and make some sort of face showing that they see something behind each flap.

Procedure: Introduce the children to the activity that is on the floor.  Experiment with the activity on the floor by pulling flaps back, and saying, “It’s a car, or It’s a yellow bus!”   Allow the children to do their own experimenting with the activity.  As the supervisor of the activity, go around talking to all of the children about what they see.  Encourage the children to look at more than just one picture, even though they will be quite interested in manipulating the flaps.

Materials: Contact paper, Pictures of cars, buses, wheels, bicycles, trains, etc.

Comments: With pre-toddlers, I would do the same activity, but my comments would be different.  I would ask the children what they saw, as opposed to telling them what they are seeing unless they do not know.  At this age, they will still be interested in playing peek-a-boo, yet including a labeling element will intrigue them even more.

Ballet Away

Developmental Area:  Cognitive, Gross Motor Skills

Target Age: 12 – 15 months

Objective: child learns patterns and new ways of moving.

Procedure: Stand up and squat down to the floor in a pliι, then rise up onto your toes. Twirl like a ballerina. Have your child try to copy you. Copy your child's movements.

Materials:  None

I'm A Bus Driver (field trip)

Developmental Area: Cognitive

Target Age: 24 – 30 months

Objective: The children will get to experience what it's like to be a bus driver and will be able to use it in their playtime.

Procedure: The children will get to go on a field trip (with parent's permission, of course).  They will get to ride on a bus (school or city) and get to talk to bus drivers as they tell what they do.

Materials: Permission slips, Parent volunteers, Willing bus drivers (permission from Bus Company)

Comments: Make sure that there are enough parent volunteers to help.

Dig It!

Developmental Area:  Cognitive

Target Age: 21 – 24 months

Objective: Teach the child that things that disappear come back.

Procedure: Children this age love to find hidden objects. They also love to dig. Bury some small toys in his sandbox and let him dig them up.

Materials:  Sandbox Small Toys

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