Activity Plan 2-3: Taking Care of Babies
Children will feel very "grown-up" as they use play props and dramatize scenes that help them learn all about babies.
- Grades: PreK–K
- a baby doll for each child
- baby props, including bottles, rattles, baby toys, diapers, empty containers of wipes, lotion, bibs, blankets, old towels, diaper or tote bags, carriers, baby seats
- cassette recorder and lullaby tapes
- camera and film
- book-making materials: paper, glue, markers, stapler
- old baby catalogs, parenting magazines, toy catalogs
Objective: Children will engage in a variety of activities involving caring for babies that enhance dramatic play, language, and fine-motor development.
In Advance: Send a note home to families requesting donations of the suggested baby-care items.
Introduction: During group time, read a story about babies, such as Babies* by Susan Canizares and Pamela Chanko (Scholastic, Inc.; $3.71). Engage children in a discussion about babies. How should we care for babies? What do babies need? Explain to children that they will all get a baby doll to care for If you have an infant room, plan visits with small groups of children.
Preparing the Environment Place a variety of baby props in different areas of the classroom. Baby-care items, baby books, and a doctor's kit can be placed in the dramatic-play area, along with a cassette recorder and lullaby tape. Add books about babies and families to your library area. Encourage children to use the block area to make a doctor's office, baby play area, or vehides for taking babies to child care or shopping.
Baby Naming Party. Provide each child with a baby doll. Talk about how families think of names for their babies and ask children to give their babies a special name. They will share the name of their baby with the class and then have a special snack to celebrate. Record the baby names on a sheet of chart paper.
Bathing Babies. Use small basins or the water table for this small-group activity. Provide children with gentle soap, small sponges or wash clothes, towel and bathtime toys. After children have washed and dried their babies, they can use empty bottles of lotion or powder to care for their baby's skin.
Songs, Books, and Lullabies. Collect baby books, songs, and nursery rhymes. Invite children to bring their babies to story time to listen to and "read" baby books. Teach children a lullaby to sing to their babies before naptime.
Literacy: Baby Photo Album. Take a picture of each child with her baby doll as well as a picture of each doll separately, and make a baby photo album. Place both photographs on construction paper or oaktag. Encourage each child to dictate information about his baby, such as the baby's name, favorite book, favorite song, and so on. Bind the pages together, create a cover, and place it in your dramatic-play area or bookshelf.