February Infant Classroom Lesson Plan Ideas
Valentine's Day Hearts Are Simple
February Infants Lesson Ideas
In the infants classroom, the teacher must have flexible lessons that will adjust to immobile, mobile, and advanced infant students. February is full of exciting holidays and events that can translate to the infant classroom easily.
To have enough lessons for the entire month, the teacher should choose a theme. The February theme could begin with Groundhog's Day and end with Leap Day. The year 2012 is a Leap Year. Valentine's Day, Boy Scout's Day, President's Day and Mardi Gras all happen in February.
The February Theme:
Animals are an easy fallback when a teacher can't think of something to plan for their students. Children love animals. February is a good month for animal lessons. Infants like bright, large toys that move and make noise. Using these two items of knowledge, create a monthly lesson plan that incorporates the groundhog, bright red handprints, and frogs.
Groundhog's Day Lesson
There are no other holidays in the week following Groundhog's Day, so you have to milk that one for all it's worth. Create a pop-up groundhog in a hollow log to surprise the infants, young and old. Build a hollow log by cutting up a cardboard box, wrapping it into a circle and taping the two ends together. Paint the cardboard brown and put a piece of black cloth over the top, with a hole in the middle. Find a brown groundhog-type animal that will fit inside the hollow log. Place your hand in the log, from the bottom, and pop the groundhog out once in a while to make the children laugh.
Cut out groundhog shapes, hills with holes, and paw prints from construction paper. Have the children paint or color these to the best of their abilities. Read them groundhog stories, such as Gretchen Groundhog, It's Your Day! by Abby Levine and Nancy Cote. Make them little brown felt hats that have animal ears. Many infants will not like the hat and try to rip it off, but it is good practice having the child wear a hat since it is winter outside. Take a picture of them wearing their hats, while sitting in a cardboard hole.
How Would You Teach This Lesson?
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True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships
Valentine's Day Lesson
Valentine's Day is the 14th of February. Some schools do not permit teaching lessons about this holiday, but each of the following ideas can be adjusted or spoken without the words "Valentine's Day," thus avoiding any problems with the administration.
Handprints and footprints are precious to parents, especially parents of infants. The baby's hand grows so quickly. Make red and white handprints on heart shaped, thick construction paper or another more sturdy paper. Hang these handprints on a heart-shaped mobile using pink string.
Continuing the animal theme, Valentine's Day can incorporate doves, bunnies, kittens and other soft, plush animals. Reading stories about such animals discussing friendship, such as
Friends: True Stories of Extraordinary Animal Friendships by Catherine Thimmesh
and Help!: A Story of Friendship by Holly Keller can bring this lesson together.
Water play is also a fun project for infants. Splashing the water is something all infants find amusing. Place rubber hearts, found at Hobby Lobby or local party supply stores, in the water play basin.
Small Stuffed Horses for Texture
President's Day and Mardi Gras Lessons
President's Day may have connections with animals, depending upon which president you want to learn about during that lesson. President Theodore Roosevelt founded national parks. He loved animals, such as horses. The lesson can include a picture of the president on the ground level mirror. The children can look at President Roosevelt and themselves to notice the differences and similarities.
Stuffed horses, all different colors, can be incorporated into play. Teach the older students to neigh. Be careful to not teach the students to ride the horses or younger infants may become unwilling participants in violent play.
Mardi Gras is a celebration in many areas of the United States, Brazil and Europe, where the Catholic religion is predominant. Mardi Gras celebrates the day before Ash Wednesday which starts off Lent. Fat Tuesday is another name for the holiday because the celebrants eat fatty, rich foods due to the tradition of banning such items during the period of Lent.
The colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold. Cut out hand or footprints in these colors. Attach shiny streamers to the prints and hang them from the ceiling. Some day cares do not allow ceiling hung items, in that case, hang the streamers from the top most part of the walls. Get a flashlight, turn down the lights in the room, and flash the streamers with the flashlight.
Animal masks are used in the Mardi Gras celebrations. Infants should not and will not wear a mask. However, you can place masks on the dolls in the play area and along the walls. The costumes are made of a multitude of items to create unique designs. Create a small costume covered doll using multiple textures and allow time for each child to explore that doll's feel.
Be creative with your lessons. In the infant classroom, it is easy to spread a lesson over a couple of days. It is often very hard to come up with ideas for the younger children who cannot crawl. Mobiles are excellent projects for the older students to create to share with the youngest in the room.