Be My Shadow
What to do: One-year old’s are becoming skilled at copying not only your movements but also trying to copy your words. Copycat games are a great learning tool for infancy.
Invite your infant to follow your lead as you. Do slow and fast simple, repetitive movement. Watch your child as they observe you. Repeat your action and show them how to do it using hand over hand method. Make different sounds with your mouth. Point to your mouth to direct attention to the shape it makes for the sound. Stick out your tongue and make fun expressions together. Beat a drum together. Sing action songs with your infant. Then mimic their movements for a fun game reversal!
Skills to Practice: Social – Shows interest and awareness in others, begin understanding personal relationships
Extended Learning: Use playdough to roll, pound, poke and squish. Your infant will enjoy copying your movements and learning different ways to manipulate the dough.
Teddy Bear Hunt
What to do: Looking for familiar objects is an enjoyable activity for infants.
Choose a few different stuffed animals. Introduce them to your infant. While they are playing, hide one, then ask, “Where did the teddy bear go?” Wait and observe your child’s reaction. You may need to help point them in the right direction at first, but they will eventually make connections to how the rules of the game work. .Start with very simple, easy to find spots and gradually make it more complex.
Skill to Practice: Object Permanence
Playing simple games
Extended Learning: What’s Missing? – Dress up your stuffed animal with baby shoes, mitts and a hat. Play with your infant and stuffed animal. Remove an article of clothing, hid it close by, and make the discovery with your child, “Oh oh! Where did Teddy’s shoe go?” Go on an adventure to look for the item!.
Language & Literacy
What to do: Early introduction to literacy has proven to be beneficial for the lifelong love of literacy and learning. And it’s evident when a child sits wide-eyed, captivated in a world of imagination and wonder, listening to stories.
Book etiquette is an important step in respecting the value of storytelling as well, gaining respect for personal belongings.
Sit with your infant on your lap and a book in your hand. Discuss how to hold a book, how to turn the page carefully, parts of the book (title page, author/illustrator), where books belong. Give gentle reminders to treat the books gently. After reading a story, always put it back where it belongs to teach through role modelling and instilling behaviours.
As they get older, give gentle reminders about keeping the book together so you can continue to enjoy it (to avoid ripping the pages)
Skill to Practice: Fine Motor – Pincher Grasp, dexterity, hand-eye coordination
Observation and Listening Skills heightened
Extended Learning: Make a storybook using your infant’s/family’s photographs using an old photo album or paper sleeve covers. Children love to see their likeness and familiarity in their play.
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Game
What to do: Have you and your child follow along with actions as you sing to your infant;
Teddy bear, teddy bear, Turn around!
Teddy bear, teddy bear, Touch the ground!
Teddy bear, teddy bear, Jump up high!
Teddy bear, teddy bear, Touch the sky!
Teddy bear, teddy bear give a little hop
Teddy bear, teddy bear, reach to the top
Teddy bear, teddy bear, climb the stairs
Teddy bear, teddy bear, where’s your hair?
Teddy bear, teddy bear, Bend down low!
Teddy bear, teddy bear, Touch your toes!
Teddy bear, teddy bear, Turn out the light!
Teddy bear, teddy bear, Say good night!
Skill to Practice: Body Coordination – moving from one position to the next, developing control over large muscle movements
Extended Learning: Give your infant a teddy bear to do the actions with! Extend body movement activities and Sing “Head and Shoulders,” or “Tony Chestnut” with your infant
Build a Bear Cave
What is Needed: Blanket, Large Cardboard Box or Table, Teddy Bears, pillows
Additional Materials – Flashlights, blankets, snacks, books (preferably about bears or with bears in it)
We often forget the importance of dramatic play when it comes to creative arts. Child learn by doing and when children can act out experiences, they aren’t just gaining knowledge, but they are able to begin to act out and understand the world around them, cope with their emotions, problem-solve and practice skills for real-life situations.
Put together something you and your infant can curl up into. Add your teddys, some pillows and books. After you have made a cave, pretend you and your infant are bears and crawl and roar into the cave. Practice loud roars! Curl up and hibernate. Use your imagination. What games do you think a baby and parent bear play together?
Skills to Practice: Creative Expression – Calming, Self Regulating
Using senses to investigate the environment to discover new findings
Extended Learning: Have a teddy bear picnic. Have your lunch (or pretend food,) on a blanket with some stuffed animal friends around. Dress up and wear a fancy hat. Practice sharing food, using manners, shooing the flies away pudding or yogurt for an extended sensory experience.