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Monday, November 24, 2014

Age Appropriate Toys and Nursery Activities

It can be a struggle to find age appropriate and safe toys for nursery. Many of the items are donated, worn out or missing parts. I found it helpful to keep a running list of possible items to try to stock.
It's good to rotate the toys out, not dumping everything out at once, rather set different ones out weekly so the children don't get bored.

Toys for Playtime
Plastic Animals
Table toys (small vehicles, people)
Small people

Dramatic Play
Kitchen, Dishes , Play food
Dolls & doll clothes
Doll Crib, buggy, bed, high chair

Dress Up clothing:
Hats, scarves, gloves, purses, wallets, ties,
  vests, belts, bandanas, shoes, jewelry,
Doctor kit,
Chef hat, apron

In addition to toys, some possible Nursery activities

Flannelboards/ Magnetic Boards
Roller Box

Keep a running list of their favorites (separate post)

Check out appropriate books from library
Set out a corner of room for children to be read to

Gross Motor Skills
Bean Bags; Ball/Ring toss; Bowling (w/ cardboard tubes); Stick horses
Cars made out of boxes; Balance beam (plank of wood on floor)
Pom pom hockey; Moon Ball
Swimming pool noodle for a limbo stick
Scoop ball (plastic milk jug)
Flashlight chase: Move a flashlight beam slowly around the room. Let the children try to stomp on it. If each adult has a light, you can keep a number of children occupied at once.

Classification/sorting activities
Sorting buttons by size, shape, color, etc
Plastic tongs w/ muffin tin for sorting;
Match games
I spy bags

Crayons & paper
Paint (using watercolors & q-tips)
Play doh (has to be used with careful supervision and well established rules, but play doh can be, depending on the leaders, a very good activity.)

Water play, Sand play (in plastic bins) again this one has to be used judiciously
Squishy Bags
Texture Boards

Additional activities
Bubbles, Ribbon wands,
Mailbox (w/ stickers, stamps, envelopes)
Stringing rubber bands between nails
Make telephone (two empty juice cans and a string ten to twenty feet long.  Poke hole in bottom of can, put string through bottom, and tie a knot inside can. Let children talk to each other)
Play store (play food, shelves, grocery cart, cash register)
Cardboard box boat & magnet fishing
Parachute w/ stuffed animals (use an old blanket, put stuff animals on top and bounce them off)
Gas pump & cardboard cars
Train/town village
Cardboard tube put at an incline, put cars through it
Busy box & quiet books

What else would you add to the list? What has worked well in your Nursery?

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