Activities for Toddlers in Childcare

What activities do toddlers do at daycare?

Childcare centers are inevitable for most families at some point in their children’s lives. Whether choosing a local daycare, an in-home childcare arrangement, or a center that focuses on preschool-level activities for toddlers, it is recommended to ask about structured play and learning expectations.

Learning letters, numbers, colors, shapes, sounds, and sensory-related games and exploration are ideal for toddlers. Not all childcare centers will have scheduled activities or themed lessons, but that does not mean they will not have age-appropriate activities readily available, like storytime, sing-alongs, dancing, painting, or building.

When do Kids Learn Alphabet?

At the age of two, children begin to point out letters that they frequently see. Activities involving the ABCs, name recognition, letter sounds, and tracing are excellent for fine motor and cognitive skills.

Exploratory and sensory activities are some of the best ways to help children have fun with their letters. With supervision and direction, children can practice copying letters with their fingers in trays filled with shaving cream, containers filled with sand, using lines of playdough to copy laminated letter cards, and finger painting over penciled letters.

Magnetic boards and magnetic letters are a fun way to arrange and rearrange letters, floor puzzles with foam pop-out letters are great for matching games, and ABC sing-alongs provide an opportunity for singing and dancing.

Number Activities for Preschoolers

Like letters, some of the best ways for children to start counting are visual, audio, and sensory learning. Magnetic boards and numbers, numbered floor puzzles, and number sing-alongs are fantastic tools for number introduction. Trays with shaving cream, containers with sand, and fingerpainting over penciled letters are excellent activities!

Other activities that involve number games and learning are sensory counting, packing a bag, and how many. Sensory counting requires different shaped and sized sensory items that have numerous amounts of sides, holes, or points that can be counted as a group.

Packing a bag is a fun game as a group that helps children count as they pack for a school day, vacation, or trip to a friend’s house. How many is a fun interactive game that allows children to count groups of objects to determine how many of each item they can find.

Colors and Shapes for Toddlers

Colors and shapes are probably one of the most fun activities for children. Mini scavenger hunts, matching games, color hunts, and even snack time can be a fun-filled learning experience.

As a group, have the children quietly sit on the floor. Once the group leader or teacher says a color a shape, the children must find an item that matches that description and bring it back to their spot on the floor. Once everyone is back, they take turns sharing their finds from the scavenger hunt.

A color hunt is like a mini scavenger hunt, but instead of finding individual items, the children need to fill color-coded buckets until they are full or no more items can be found. Matching games are fun for toddlers to pair things with pictures, and eating snacks cut into different shapes adds excitement to nourishment.

Physical and Nurturing Activities

Painting with cotton balls, pasta threading, busy boards, line tape cities, sidewalk painting with homemade paint consisting of food coloring, one part water, and one part cornstarch, creating a water table, dress-up corner, running, dancing, and interactive story time are all enjoyable toddler activities.

A dress-up corner is essential for imaginative play. Cotton balls, clothespins, and paint separated in muffin tins offer a new painting experience. Pasta threading lets toddlers create their own jewelry to wear or share. Running is fun on its own when toddlers are with their friends.

Freeze dance, dance parties, and dancing along with instructional videos, provide an unlimited amount of fun. Interactive storytelling takes reading and imagination to a new level. Using kid-favorite books, each child can pretend to be a character in a story and act out what is happening as the teacher reads the book.

A toddler garden is a fun way to bring nature into the childcare room during the spring and summer months. Each child can grow their plant, learn how to water and care for it, and either take it home when it reaches maturity or use its products as an addition to snack time if the plant is a producing plant, such as tomatoes and cucumbers or watermelon.

Sensory bags and bottles are excellent for calming upset children or those who need a focus item after an exciting day. They can be themed and rotated throughout the year, season, or as future activities are planned. Having toddlers help make sensory items may keep them more involved in using them later.

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