Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Infant and Toddler Outside Time

The last two weeks of class we have been having some warmer weather springtime fun with gardens and bugs! I hope you have enjoyed the sunshine and nice weather! 

It is so important for little ones to explore the outside environment. I hear from parents often that there is nothing for their infant to "do" outside. That is simply not true! Even taking your newborn for a walk in a stroller or carrier is a wonderful experience for them. Allow them to feel the breeze on their skin, listen for the birds, and look at the sky and trees. On a nice day, bring a blanket and some toys outside for tummy time! Let their hands touch the grass. When they can sit on their own let them sit in the grass and explore it, encourage your child to crawl around in the grass. Blow bubbles and bring some favorite toys out to play in the sunshine. Here is a great article on the importance of outside play for infants and toddlers from Clayton Early Learning.

For more fabulous ideas of fun things to do outside with your little one, check out the Happy Babies Get Outside pinterest board! One of my favorite things for toddlers and preschoolers is painting with water! Fill up a bucket with water, get some paintbrushes and paint away! Fences, driveways, sidewalks, wood swingsets, rocks, trees, etc.. Have fun! Watch it dry and paint again!

Spring flowers are starting to sprout up from the ground, trees are starting to bud and blossom! Has your little one pointed out the colorful tulips and daffodils yet? It's the time of year that we start to prep gardens and plant flowers. Let your toddler help you! Give them a shovel and encourage them to explore the soil. Check out the Happy Babies Garden Fun pinterest board for some fun ideas for garden play with your kiddo!

Book List:

Who's in the Garden?
Usborne Books: Peek Inside the Garden
Planting a Rainbow

Bugs are facinating for little ones aren't they? Toddlers will be quick to point out ants crawling on a sidewalk or a butterfly floating through the air. Point out bugs when you see them outside, describe what they look like and what kind of bug it is. Something as simple as "Look at the green grasshopper in the grass" is engaging your child in the outside world, encouraging curiosity, and contributing to language development. Pick up some plastic bug toys like these or check out the dollar store. Use them for counting, sorting, painting, sensory play etc.. For more ideas on exploring bugs check out the Happy Babies Discovering Bugs pinterest board

Book List:

Indestructibles: Creep Crawl
I Like Bugs

**Some of the links in this post are affliate links. Happy Babies will recieve a percentage of any purchase made through an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting our program and small business!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week of the Young Child April 10th-16th 2016

Happy Week of the Young Child!

The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers and families. Find out more www.naeyc.org/woyc

Happy Babies had a fantastic time kicking off the WOYC last Saturday at the annual Week of the Young Child Family Fun Fair for families in the Rockford area. MANY local businesses, services, and schools set up booths with fun activities for kids 8 and under. It was a BLAST! Did you come out for it? What was your favorite part?

At the Happy Babies booth you could find info about the program and well as a reading area to share books with your little one. We also had a music table set up to explore, it was a fun time!

This week, take the time to do a fun new activity with your infant, toddler, or preschooler! Have you let your baby explore crayons yet? Has your toddler experienced fingerpaint? We are going to have some beautiful weather this week, take your child outside and go for a walk or explore the grass! 

Don't forget to READ lots of books! 

Check out the Happy Babies Pinterest Boards for ideas for fun and new activities to share with your little one! 

If your child goes to daycare or preschool, consider creating a card or something fun for your child's teacher to say THANK YOU for caring for and teaching your little one.

How will YOU celebrate the Week of the Young Child?

Monday, April 4, 2016

Things That Go!

We had so much fun last week learning about cars, planes, tractors, and trains and other THINGS THAT GO! 

One of our favorite lap bounces in circle time class is Dump Truck! This is a fun activity for babies and bigger toddlers too. Your little one sits on your lap (facing you), hold them in a sitting position with your hands under their arms.

Dump Truck (lap bounce)
Dump Truck Dump Truck, Going down the road (gently bounce up and down)
Spillin' gravel as we travel, with our heavy load (sway side to side)
Bumpity Bump, Bumpity Bump (bounce again)
Dump Truck DUUMMPPP (lay baby down on your legs and tickle head to toe!)

We had fun with a book about a very busy tractor. We listened to the words and felt the rhythm of the song. Here is a fun video featuring the song and illustrations from the book Ms. Sarah shared in class! (get your own copy of the book through the link below!)
 Watch it with your little one and bounce the beat with them or tap their back while you sing along! Learning about rhythm and beat is essential for early literacy development! 

*You're welcome for getting this song forever in your head! Haha!

Book List:

Things That Go Flashcards

Driving My Tractor (book and CD)

Continue the fun at home with some toy cars! Our favorites (like the ones we used in class) are the Little People Wheelies, they are perfect for little hands! Drive your cars around the floor, up and down your baby's arms or legs. Your happy tot will love toy cars (like hot wheels you can find at the dollar store!) added to playdoh fun or with fingerpaint to make cool tracks!

Be sure to visit the Happy Babies Things That Go pinterest board for even MORE fun ideas for learning at home!

**This post contains affiliate links. Happy Babies may receive a comission from any purchase made through an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting our program and small business!