20 Enrichment Activities for Infants and Toddlers


20 Enrichment Activities for Infants and Toddlers

enrichment activities for infants and toddlers

An enrichment activity encourages kids to learn, move, or think about something in a new way. In most cases, enrichment activities are hands-on learning experiences that are fun and engaging.

Children benefit from enrichment activities alongside formal learning. Enrichment can help children develop strong problem-solving skills. They can also build resilience, self-confidence, and a lifelong love of learning.

Babies and toddlers also need enrichment activities. Research shows that a child’s brain develops more during the first five years of life than at any other time.

This guide will outline great enrichment activities for infants and toddlers. Contact the Little Sunshine educators now to learn more about enriching your child’s life or our programs.

Enrichment Activities for Infants

Babies learn about their environment through their five senses. Here are some fun, enriching activities you can do with your baby to nurture their growth and development.

1. New smells

Your baby’s sense of smell grows each time they encounter something new. Give them plenty of new scents to explore. While cooking, you can let them sniff fragrant ingredients such as fresh veggies and herbs. Let them take a whiff of flowers as you take a stroll in your neighborhood.

Talk about what you’re smelling. When describing a scent, use descriptive words like “sweet” and “spicy.”

2. Texture touch

Gently run your baby’s hand over different textures. You can also lay your baby on a variety of baby-safe surfaces with different textures.

3. Sounds like fun

Play music, sing, and pay attention to the sounds around you. Point to your ears and talk about the sounds you hear, such as the tea kettle whistling, a car driving by, or a bird outside.

4. Natural life

Give your baby plenty of chances to explore natural elements. Let them look at leaves. Bring your baby outdoors and let them lie on a blanket to look at clouds. Let them feel the texture of grass and sand.

5. Safe water play

Many babies enjoy playing with water. You can introduce simple, baby-safe toys to bathtime. You can also fill a plastic bag with water and simple toys, seal it with duct tape, and let your baby explore without making a mess.

6. Shadow shapes

Make shadow puppets with a flashlight, or use a wall in a sunny room. Point out your baby’s shadow when you’re outdoors. Wave to your shadow and talk about what you’re seeing.

7. Tummy time

The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates for daily tummy time. Tummy time can help your baby develop gross motor skills and build important muscles. Place an engaging toy in front of your child during tummy time–or join them on the floor!

8. Swinging

People may not think of swinging as a developmental activity, but it is a great one. Swinging can make your baby feel calm. Talk to your baby while pushing them on the swing to build critical social skills.

9. Music in the air

Listening to music can boost babies’ cognitive skills. Sing old familiar songs kids love, including:

  • The itsy bitsy spider
  • Old MacDonald
  • ABCs
  • Row, row, row your boat
  • Twinkle, twinkle, little star

Play classical music or tune the radio to your favorite station. Tap a rhythm, sing along, or hold your baby and dance.

10. Look in a book

It’s never too early to start reading to your baby. Look at picture books together. Point to pictures and name the items. Talk about what is happening in the story. Even though your baby can’t talk yet, reading can help them make connections that will help them communicate later on.

Enrichment Activities for Toddlers

Toddlers are curious and active. As their bodies and vocabularies grow, enrichment activities become more important. Here are some ideas for activities to boost your child’s fine motor skills, build hand-eye coordination, and help develop their social skills.

1. Family pictures

Put pictures of friends, family members, and other important people around your house. Talk about the people in the pictures and ask if your child can name them.

2. Measuring up

Measure household objects with a ruler. Use words like “taller,” “shorter,” and “longer.” Compare familiar items. Ask, “What is taller: the coffee table or the counter?”

3. A place for everything

Help your child put things in their designated places. Explain that there are shelves for books, cupboards for dishes, and toy boxes for toys. Let your child help you put things back in place at the end of the day.

4. Explore the outdoors

Spend time in nature. Let your child explore a park or natural area. Talk about what you notice and listen to their observations. Point out interesting clouds, insects, or leaves you see. Create an outdoor obstacle course or explore new parks in your city.

5. Around town

When running errands or driving from one place to the next, ask your child what they see out the window. Point out familiar sights.

6. What’s the weather?

Talk about the weather. Look outside and notice if it’s sunny or rainy. Put a container out to measure the rainfall. Ask your child what kind of clothes they’ll need to wear for the weather you’re having that day. Talk about different types of weather all over the world.

7. Board games

Simple board games can be a lot of fun for toddlers. Board games help kids learn to take turns and follow simple, predictable rules.

8. Cooking in the kitchen

Cooking with young children can be messy–and so much fun. Give them a plastic knife and ask them to chop soft fruits or veggies. Have them help you mix up a batch of cookies or knead bread dough. Making simple dishes or baking an easy treat can help your kids build essential life skills they’ll use later on.

9. Label the room

Your child may be too young to read, but they can begin to recognize letters at an early age. Label items in their bedroom or other rooms. Read the names of these items and point out what letter the words begin with.

10. Art fun

Let your child be creative with a range of art supplies. Give them crayons, paper, safety scissors, glue sticks, and more. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, fine motor skills are essential for school success. Using a variety of art supplies can help develop hand strength and coordination–and it’s a lot of fun!

Learn More At Little Sunshine Preschool

Learn more about fun and educational activities for young children by contacting the team at Little Sunshine Preschool now.

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