Little Learners is a club for 2-5 year olds and their caregivers that explores stories, art, science, music, physical activity, and more.
Amy K mentioned a program NYPL does, where you tape roads onto the floor and kids drive cars on them. I thought, how easy and fun!
When it came time to prepare for the program, I didn't have any concrete ideas for the activity stations, but I thought I'd just pull together some easy activities the morning of.
And then the morning of, I work up at 6:15am with all these activity station ideas magically planned out. The brain does crazy wacky stuff sometimes.
Why not turn it into an opportunity to talk about what different places in our community do?!
Here are the 7 stations I went with:
1. Car Dealership -- I had a few extra cars in case families forgot to bring one from home. They could choose one to take for a "test drive" instead.
2. Car Wash -- I set out a bucket of lightly soapy water, one of clean water, and some dish towels from home for kids to wash their car and dry it off.
3. Construction Site -- I put our wooden blocks out along with legal sized plain white copy paper. Grownups were instructed to wrap the blocks in paper and the kids drew buildings that they got to set out on the road system.
4. Restaurant -- I have a set of food that velcros together. Kids cut up the food to help the chef get ready for dinner.
5. Library -- Kids were supposed to practice balancing a book on their heads and walking.
6. Art Gallery -- Kids drew pictures to add to the Art Show (aka, a piece of paper saying Art Show taped to the wall).
7. Police Station -- I printed off pictures of people stealing, vandalizing property, trespassing, fighting (no blood!), and bullying. On the sign I explained that the police help keep our community safe by finding people who are making very bad choices. Sometimes these people might have a consequence like picking trash up from the road, or maybe they need special classes to learn a new way of doing things, or they might even need to take a break from our community for a while so they don't hurt themselves or anyone else. I taped the pictures around the children's area and the kids were supposed to hunt for them.
By far, the car wash, construction site, restaurant, and art gallery were the most popular stations. Several kids just really liked driving their cars around on the roads. Which is just fine too.
If/when I do this program again, here are other ideas I came up with but didn't use. The possibilities are endless!
- Fire Station -- spray bottles with water at a chalk board to put out a fire; count spots on a Dalmatian
- Grocery Store -- flannelboard sort food into a grocery cart, toys into a toy box, etc. ; relay race with toy shopping carts
- Hospital -- science exploration with thermometers; putting pretend bandaids on stuffed animals
- Park -- raking pretend leaves; hula hoops; bean bag toss; activity cube
- Coffee Shop -- coffee grounds sensory play; coffee playdough; pouring from a pitcher
- Clothing Store -- pick out clothes and dress a doll
- Recycling Center -- Recycling sort boxes; sort actual items into recycling/trash/compost
- Community Garden -- plant seeds; does this grow in the ground or on a tree game
- Gym/Fitness Center -- physical activities
- Bank -- money identification (quarter, penny, dollar bill, etc.)