Do you happen to have an old calendar? Does it have a few big images of animals, or trucks, or even nature scenes? You can use it for this simple learning activity that can be adapted for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Even my first grader had some fun with it.
No leftover calendar? I have some options for you in the post.
I try to create activities that can be adapted for multiple age groups, because I have children in multiple age groups! It is much easier to do an activity that can be interesting to all of them at once than try to always have three different learning activities ready to go.
This calendar photo crawl activity uses two supplies-that’s it!
Calendar Photo Crawl Activity for Infants
2) clear packing tape
Start by removing the staples and cutting apart the calendar photos from the calendar pages.
(You can use one of the months as a great counting chart for learning to count numbers and number order. More on that later.)
Then you tape the calendar pictures down to the floor using the clear tape. (It doesn’t have to be clear. You can certainly use duct tape or masking tape-whatever you have on hand.)
The others I taped in a narrow walkway in our living room.
We do have tile floor in our house in California, so the tape removes easily, but if you have carpeting just remove the tape after a day so it doesn’t stick too much.
As an alternative, tape these to the wall low enough for a crawling infant to see as they move by or a walking toddler can view as they pass.
The point of this is to engage children in movement while teaching animal names. It is similar to the activity I shared called Learning Animal Names with Animal Nametags. This calendar crawl activity is more of a listen, move and learn activity rather than one about print.
Guide your baby to crawl over the images while you say the name of each animal or object. Our calendar was really fun because it showed images of zoo animals which were perfect for keeping the interest of my infants.
I patted the animal image, and said its name, as my infants crawled or walked to the animal image. Then I moved to the next image and repeated.
My preschooler jumped from animal to animal saying each name. I quizzed her by asking what letter the animal name started with, and emphasized the letter sound to help her figure it out. (This was a bit challenging for my almost-4 year old, so we worked through it.)
We worked on identifying letters with another simple activity using stickers as well.
Calendar Crawl Activities
-Guide your baby to crawl to the animal and pat it. You say the animal name and sound.
-Guide your baby to walk onto each animal (if they are a newly walking infant).
-Talk about the colors of each animal.
-Walk on the letters, stopping on each one. Ask your child to name the image.
-Try walking backwards from image to image to work on balance and spatial awareness.
-Tell them what letter or sound the image name begins with to extend learning the alphabet and letters.
-Talk about the colors of the image, what sound it makes or what it does.
-Count the numbers pointing to each number on the grid side of the calendar pages that you cut away from the big images.
-Point to numbers individually and ask your child to identify them.
For School-age children:
-Ask your child to try spelling the animal/object names.
-You can provide them with paper and pencil to take a risk and sound out the words to write them out as well.
I found this was a great activity while preparing a meal. I could easily distract my kids with this learning activity and focus on cooking. That time of day is always challenging!
I also left the pictures taped to the floor when we had a playgroup come over. It is an easy way to give kids an activity that does not need to be adult-led.
Do you have any other ideas for using this activity for learning and play in your home?
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