Setting Up a Toddler Room
A toddler room for early learning programs must take into consideration the ages and stages of the children served. The room should be inviting, with toys and activities displayed low to the ground. Don’t bother with decorations at an adult’s eye level for the most part. Toddlers will notice things that are waist high and lower. Keep this in mind when planning any toddler program room set up. Age appropriate activities should be available. Safety measures must also be a big part of planning a toddler classroom. Keep any cabinets or doors containing craft supplies or other potential hazards locked up. Also, make sure any toys do not contain small parts, since toddlers may still put toys in their mouths.
Fall Leaf Color Match Bulletin Board
Place this oversized file folder game on a low to the ground bulletin board. The board should be at toddler level. Cut out large construction paper leaves in 4 different colors. You will need 2 leaves of each color. Try colors like yellow, orange, red, green, and brown. Laminate each leaf and attach several strips of velcro on the back of each leaf.
Use a green background for the ground and blue for the sky. Cut out a very large tree with 4 branches, and no leaves, from poster board. Paint the tree with brown paint. On each branch, attach the opposite side of two pieces of velcro. You will have 2 pieces of velcro on each of the four branches. Staple the tree to your bulletin board.
Staple half of a basket to the bulletin board, positioning it at the bottom of the tree. Place the leaves in the basket. When toddlers are playing near the location of the bulletin board, encourage children to try to match the leaves by color by placing the two matching colors on each of the four tree branches. Adult assistance may be needed, depending on the child’s age and developmental level.
Five Sunflowers on the Wall
You can set up 5 sunflowers along a wall that are as tall as your toddlers. Simply cut out the green stems from construction paper and laminate. Attach a silk sunflower head to each stem with hot glue. Place the sunflowers along a wall for an early fall decoration that doubles as a counting activity. Count the 5 sunflowers together during circle time.
Big and Little Pumpkins
Make your own classroom pumpkin patch. You’ll need 7-10 plastic pumpkins, some big and some small. To make the patch, choose a corner of the room and scrunch up some green tissue paper, and place the paper on the floor. Add some plastic green vines, then put the pumpkins in the patch. Ask your toddlers to pick up a big pumpkin or little one. This makes great big and little hands-on practice, as well as a really cute room decoration.