Parents want someone to not only look after their children, but to help them learn and have fun. Introducing stimulating day care activity to a child's day can help them physically, mentally, and emotionally.
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How to Plan Day Care Activities

Day care activities can help draw many new customers. More and more parents want someone to not only look after their children, but to help them learn and have fun. Introducing stimulating day care activity to a child's day can help them physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Any day care activity should be tailored to the ages of the children. Infants and young toddlers will need more basic, gentle play, while older children will need more challenging activities. When you are dealing with a wide range of children, it may be more challenging to come up with day care activity to meet all of their needs. With a little creativity and patience, however, it is possible.

Infants and toddlers need good day care activities as much as older children, but they need activity suited to their age. Younger infants need plenty of floor time to help with muscle strength and mobility. They will also love playing with brightly colored rattles and soft toys. As they get a little older they may enjoy pull toys, riding toys, large blocks, and stacking toys. Games like peek-a-boo are very popular at this age, as is music and singing.

Older toddlers need day care activity that helps them learn new skills and concepts. Puzzles, building blocks, arts and crafts, and outdoor play are all important at this age. Memory games would be a fun day care activity, as well as dress up. This age group is learning not only mental skills, but social ones as well. Try to find activities that help in both of these areas. Older toddlers also like to help adults. With close and careful supervision, they could be encouraged to play with and 'help' the younger babies.

Pre-schoolers need books in any day care activity. Books and reading are crucial at this age. Read to them as often as possible. Keep plenty of colorful picture books and encourage children to create their own stories to go with the pictures.

If you are dealing with multiple age groups, day care activities should be scheduled for each. You could, for instance, have preschool activity during infant naptime, or vice versa. All schedules should be flexible however, as children do not always cooperate with your plans. Combining age groups for day care activities when possible is one option, but you may need to make sure you have at least one adult for each group if you are dealing with a large number of children.

Outdoor play is an important day care activity for all age groups, even infants. Older children may prefer games such as baseball, tag, or hide and seek. Most children of any age group love to swing and slide. Babies may simply enjoy the sunlight, but many like to swing or play in the grass.

With a little careful planning, you can easily find suitable day care activities for any age group you are working with. Above all, listen to the children. If they enjoy certain day care activities, try to find other similar things to do. If they don't like something, look for alternatives. Even the most well intended day care activities will be worthless if the children do not cooperate.

©CG Groth Inc. 2007 The "Daycare Diva", Christine G. Groth, is the creator of "The Guide to Instant Daycare Profits". To learn more about this step-by-step program and to sign-up for her FREE "How to Start a Daycare" tips and articles, visit Experts at Daycare

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