Activity: Ice Cream Sensory Bin
Lesson plan developed by Ms. Erika Geelhoed, BA Ed
* Lesson plan objective and assessment can be adapted to use this activity with toddlers or preschoolers.
Prepare for activity by creating the ice cream sensory bin. Fill the bin with pom poms, ice cream scooper, spoons, bowls, and clean ice cream containers. Place the bin in an appropriate area for the child to explore. Invite them to join you in play. This is the perfect time to introduce new vocabulary to the child, as the information is relevant to them.
Note: Please provide appropriate supervision to the children in your care when completing all activities. You will need to decide what types of activities are safe for the children in your care. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when providing art and sensory experiences for children. Infants require special caution, only use non-toxic materials, and do not allow infants to put things in their mouths that are a choking hazard.
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Encouraging Intellectual Development in Infants and Toddlers
Research has confirmed that there is an astounding amount of development in children's brains during the infant and toddler years. This development sets the stage for later capabilities. Early childhood teachers create learning experiences that allow children to reach their maximum potential. As infants and toddlers gradually explore their environments, they are observing and learning cause and effect. “If I do this … then this … happens.” This learning can be observed when infants discover their toes, learn to roll over, crawl, balance and walk.
We observe children’s intellectual development as they learn that shaking a rattle produces noise; something is not gone when out of sight (peek-a-boo); items can change shape (doors open and close, lids come off and go back on); or that items must be smaller than the hole in order to go inside (such as shape sorters or stacking blocks).
Children must have repeated and varied experiences with these concepts in order to build understanding. Intentional planning by the teacher ensures materials and experiences are offered to children to enhance intellectual development.