A to Z Toddler Activities-Part 1

Keeping it light for the Christmas season, here are some activities for teachers to try out with toddlers. These are activity ideas for toddlers from A to Z. Remember, toddlers learns through play. Play is a way to explore the environment and gain some kind of knowledge, whether it is social, physical, emotional, or intellectual. PLAY is good! Many of the activities provided can be simplified for use with toddlers. Gross and motor skills will be strengthened and social skills will provide a better means of communication. Tons of goals will be met with these “We Learn By Doing” activities. Follow through and be consistent day by day.

Ants Go Marching – The teacher paces a slow poetry poem for marching.
The ants came marching two by two. Hurrah! Hurrah! (Children walk in pairs – side by side in a circle.) The ants come marching two by two. The toddlers stopped to tie their shoes. They all go marching down around the town. Boom, boom, boom. (Use coffee cans to make the boom sound.)

Other verses:
The ants came marching three by three …
The little ones stopped to climb a tree.
The ants came marching four by four …
The little ones stopped to shut the door …
The ants came marching five by five …
The little ones stopped to duck the beehive,
The ants came marching six by six …
The little ones stopped to pick up sticks.
The ants came marching seven by seven …
The little ones stopped to look towards heaven.
The ants came marching eight by eight …
The little ones stopped to shut the gate.
The ants came marching nine by nine …
The little ones stopped to pick up the dime.
The ants came marching ten by ten …
The little ones stopped to shout “THE END!”

Balloon Jump – Blow up balloons and tie them with long strings. Then hang the balloons from the ceiling at a height that will tempt the children to stretch, jump, and bat the balloons around.

Copycat – Stand in front of the group and demonstrate a movement like shaking an arm or making a funny face. Challenge the children to copy you. After several turns, invite the children to take turns being the leader.

Ducks – Have the children pretend to be ducks out for a walk. As they waddle, ask them to make the sound of D.

Egg Roll Exercise – Doing egg rolls on mats begins in a sitting position with knees up. Then the child rolls sideways down the mat holding their knees tightly with their arms.

Fish Tale – Using the fish from the Fish game, have the children make up some stories about the ones they caught or got away.

Go Hopping – Make foot shapes and place them along a play area. Let the children hop along the trail making the sound of H, as they go.

Hunt H- Have the children hunt for words that begin with H in the room. See how many words can be found in the room in a 5-minute span. Teacher writes the words found and shows those words on the blackboard.

Icicles – Show and describe an icicle. Choose someone to be the sun. When the sun touches an icicle, the child must melt and lay down very still.

More next week!


These are easy games for children to increase their dexterity, sharpness, coordination with their body movement with objects:

a.  Rolling  – Rolling objects at different speeds

– Rolling objects with accuracy

– Keeping eyes on the target

– Maintaining rhythm and continuous movement of rolling

Activity:  Bowling Chair– Use a chair and roll the ball at the chair from a certain distance.  If the ball goes in-between the legs of the chair, you get 2 points; if you hit the leg and it goes in, it is 1 point; if you miss, 0 points.  Play several rounds.

b.  Throwing  – Toss a Frisbee at a target like a hoola hoop or a basket

– Toss a beanbag into a basket or in a hoola hoop and try different distances

Activity: Sheet of Paper Toss-Stand straight up with your piece of paper near a hoola hoop or trash can and toss it in.  You cannot fold it or bend it.
c.  Underhand – Release the object upward and forward

– Shift weight to the left foot forward as the object is tossed

– Swing arm further back to gain distance

Activity: Underhand Toss-Stand several feet from a trash can and underhand a toss into it.  You can play for points at different distances.

d.  Overhand – Straighten the arm as the ball is released

– Shift the weight to the left foot forward

Activity: Overhand Toss-Same as underhand toss.  (Overhand seems to be more difficult than underhand toss.)

e.  Bouncing – Bounce the ball at different intensities

– Look at the ball

Activity: Large Ball Bounce-Use a larger ball to bounce like a beach ball and have them count the number of bounces.

g.  Catching – Cup the fingers with the thumbs together when the ball is thrown above the waist

Activity:  Catch the Beach Ball-In pairs, use the beach ball, have the child toss the ball underhand to the other child and count how many catches they make.

h.  Kicking – Keeping eyes on the ball or object

Activity: Chair Soccer Goals-Like the bowling game, have the child kick a large ball between the legs of a chair.


Relay Race Games for Children

Relay Games

a. Bounce-A-Ball Relay — This activity improves coordination and exercise.   Two-teams are selected with 5 on each team.  A large ball like a beach ball is used that can bounce.   At the start of “go,” each child will bounce the ball, catch it and is allowed to take a few steps but must bounce it again until they make it to the second relay child.  The winning team is the one who completes this task first!

b. Clean Sweep — This activity improves coordination and fitness.  Two children are selected and handed brooms.  In the middle of the floor is debris like crushed up paper and small other items.  Each child at the sound of go must sweep the debris to their assigned corner marked by masking tape.  All debris must be in the marked corner.  Again, you can create two teams.  Whoever wins 5 sweeps, wins the game.

d. Blow Hard Relay — This activity promotes teamwork and cooperation.  Select 5 children and 2 teams with 2 tables.  The first child on each team must blow a feather on a table to the other side where the second child is ready to blow the feather back the other way.  Game is over when the 5th child finishes the task and becomes the winner.