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School Age Activities for Daycare

Snehal Motkar
Nowadays daycare is where children spend their time the most. This change demands even a change in the organization of daily activities in the daycare.
Taking into consideration the growing needs of daycare centers, organizers are taking extra efforts in planning various activities for school going kids. Every daycare has a planned routine schedule that contains activities like arts and crafts, games, reading, writing, etc.
A good daycare will always include these activities as well as something unique apart from mundane activities. As a child stays in the daycare center for a long period, he/she must be properly protected and should undergo overall development in all areas after performing daycare activities.
It should not be that a child has wasted his/her important years of childhood and has learned very little at the daycare as compared to other children of the same age. Hence, it's a must, to plan certain activities to help children grow in mental aptitude.
Creative Activities for Preschoolers
Infants and toddlers (belonging to the age group of 2-6 years) fall under the category of preschoolers and planning preschool activities for these groups requires good organizing skills.

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Firstly, these children are staying away from their parents for a considerable amount of time. They normally won't listen to the teacher and keep crying.
This is the responsibility of the teacher, to keep them engaged in some activity and not allow them to remember their parents for that period. Some of the activities are listed here:
Identifying Shapes and Colors
You can show colorful objects or pictures and ask the children to name different colors in them. The same can be done to identify the shapes. You can give a small reward for the correct answer, which will motivate the child.
Crayons, color pencils, sketch pens and paper are the basic materials required for coloring. You can ask children to color individually or even in groups. With this activity, children will learn and will be able to decide which color is apt for each item to be colored.
Painting can be done in many ways other than using paint brushes. The teacher can make use of broomsticks, cloth, cotton, etc. If cotton has to be used, then it has to be tied to a stick with a thread, dipped into any water-color paint and used like a paint brush.
Printing is another interesting activity that can be carried out for school age children in the daycare. Vegetables like lady finger and cauliflower are commonly used. But how is the printing done using a cauliflower?
Cut a small cauliflower floret down the middle so you have a flat surface on one side. Now, ask the child to paint the flat side of the flower and press it on the paper to print it. Innovative options involve palm printing, thumb or finger printing, foot printing.
Language Development
Listening, speaking, reading and writing are the basic yet extremely important skills to be acquired by preschoolers because it contributes to a child's language development.
The teacher should arrange activities that have the scope of developing these skills in children. The teacher can organize conversations amongst kids to increase their vocabulary.
They will develop the ability to listen to others while they are speaking and putting forward their own thoughts. For developing reading skills, the teacher can simply ask them to identify the alphabets and read them aloud.

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After the first three skills are mastered by the child, he/she can be introduced to writing. Writing will involve only alphabets. Singing and story sessions also play an important role in the overall development of the child.
Children of all ages love to participate in craft activities. But, care should be taken that very small kids are not allowed to do it as it involves the use of scissors and other materials that can injure them.
Activities like making greeting cards, flowers, stick puppets are some activities which can be given to older kids who can use scissors safely. Use of origami techniques is also a very good idea that can be introduced to preschoolers.
Fun Games
Apart from common outdoor games, there are games which can be beneficial in enjoying as well as learning. Generally, games planned for preschoolers involve songs which can be sung using 'actions'. For example, a song that allows children to identify the body parts.
All in all, a perfect daycare should have these activities for all round growth of children. It is also the responsibility of the parents to look for a suitable daycare that will contribute to their child's grooming and development.