This post originally appeared on the blog Mrs. Plemons’ Kindergarten.
My littlest pumpkin is 16 months now and SOOOO ready to get in on our “school” time at home. She’s too young to really follow our tot school plans because 97% of things still end up in her mouth… so my solution? Baby Bins!
These super simple themes and activities will be designed with the 1-2 year old in mind. Activities will be quick for those limited attention spans, easy for limited fine motor skills, and taste safe for those kiddos like mine that can’t resist putting everything in their mouth. We are starting each week with a story, then doing one activity a day.
We will begin with a color theme each week but will sprinkle in seasonal and holiday themes as they pop up. Here is a look at what we have planned for the first 6 colors:
This week our theme was RED, and here is what we did:
Red Read Aloud:
One of our favorite book characters is Llama Llama, so choosing a book for the red theme was easy peasy. Miss Aubrey does NOT usually sit still for books longer than a 6-8 page board book, but our Llama Llama board books are some of her favorites so she happily listened to Llama Llama Red Pajama no problem. It helped that we have a cute little stuffed llama that she could snuggle and hold while we read 🙂
Red Sensory Bin:
For each color theme, I first put together a sensory bin full of items of that color. Sometimes putting toys together in different ways gives them new life and you’ll be surprised how new and exciting they are again. I had my 3 year old help me gather lots of items while Miss Aubrey napped, but you could definitely have your little one help find items to add, too!
What was in our RED bin?
Play Food (tomatoes, apples, strawberries, ketchup and peppers)
Toy Vehicles (tractor, fire engines)
Llama Llama Plush
Red Puzzle Card
Play ideas for this bin:
1. Find all of the vehicles and drive them around
2. Put together the red octagon puzzle card
3. Find all of the food, and feed it to Mommy
4. Build a house for llama llama
5. Read a small red board book
6. Dump all the toys and use the bin to climb the furniture
(Just kidding! Well sort of….this may be how I knew we were done for the day…)
Apple Tree Sticky Window:
For this activity, I drew a large tree outline on contact paper, then taped it to a window sticky side out. Next I gave Aubrey die-cut apples that I found at the Dollar Tree. You could also use foam apples or paper shapes. These shapes were laminated so they were easy to remove and re-position, which is always a plus since it kept Aubrey busy a bit longer.
Apple Paint in a Bag:
For this baby safe painting activity, I put an apple outline in a resealable bag with a few drops of red tempera paint. Then I sealed it up for some fun no-mess and no-stress painting. Before the paint dried, I carefully opened the bag and peeled it away from the top to allow it to dry.
Water Painting Llamas Red Pajamas:
For another “painting” activity, I printed some jammies on red construction paper and gave Aubrey a brush, a few small sponges, and a tray of water. The paper turned a nice dark red as she got it wet, giving me the idea of painting without any mess or worry about eating paint.
Red Color Collage:
At the end of each color week, we plan to make a color collage that I will put together in a book for Aubrey to flip through.
To make the red book page, I first cut out a large rectangle from the center of 2 pieces of red cardstock. Then I cut two pieces of contact paper that were slightly bigger than the red rectangles. I took the backing off of one piece of contact paper and stuck one rectangle on it.
Then, I gave Aubrey a tray full of red pictures, stickers, sequins, and feathers to create a red collage.
After she was finished, I glued the second red rectangle on top of the first and pressed the remaining piece of contact paper over the top to seal the collage inside. Next, I trimmed the excess contact paper around the red rectangle. I hole punched the top corner and added a small metal ring so that I can attach each color page as we finish it to form a unique color flip book.
She loves the fun see through pages, and its nice not having to worry about glue and pieces falling off later. But if you are looking for a quicker version, you could also print the red page from our baby bin pack and just use stickers and different coloring tools to create a simpler color book for your little one.
Want all of this week’s printables and plans? You can grab them here:
And don’t forget to check out all of our Baby Bin themes here:
Jessica Plemons is a kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom to 3 little girls – ages 5, 3, and 4 months. She is passionate about making learning fun and engaging for the littlest learners through hands-on discovery, play, and exploration. Jessica loves sharing all of her early learning ideas on her blog, and turns her ideas into fun, easy to use resources for both teachers and parents. You can find tons of bright ideas for your little learners by following Mrs. Plemons’ Kindergarten on her blog, TpT, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.