When you provide care for a mixed age group, you spend a lot of time planning different activities to meet the varying skill levels of the children. While this is a necessary part of providing care to a multiage group, it’s sometimes nice to have all of the youngsters participate in the same activities. Here are some activities that can be easily modified to accommodate mixed age groups.
• Painting: No matter how old kids are, you can never go wrong with painting activities. Older kids can use nontoxic paints to create one-of-a-kind designs. Since young kids love to sample things, let them create their Picassos with pudding instead of paint.
• Class Mural: Youngsters of all ages can get on board with a class mural. Younger kids can scribble on the mural with crayons. Older kids can use markers, paint and collage materials to create a masterpiece they’ll be proud of. When the mural is complete, hang it on the wall for everyone to see.
• Sensory Table Activities: A sensory table can boost fine motor skills, introduce math and science concepts, and enhance brain development in children. To accommodate mixed age groups, fill the table with jello, beans, rice or other things that won’t harm kids. Young kids will put things into their mouths, so supervise them carefully when they’re playing with the sensory table.
• Wordless Picture Books: Big kids can look at the pictures in wordless books and come up with their own interpretations of the stories. Older children can then read the stories to the younger tykes.
• Music and Movement: Pop in a CD and let kids groove to the music. It doesn’t matter how old the kids in your care are, they can listen, rock, jump, crawl, bounce or sway to the beat. To add to the excitement of music and movement activities, give the kiddos scarves and ribbons to dance with.
• Block Play: Kids love to use their imaginations to construct things, so blocks are always in demand. Young kids can move the blocks around while older kids build fun things with them.
• Puppet Shows: Puppets can entertain kids and help them develop those all important communication skills. The older children in your care can use puppets to put on puppet shows to keep the younger tykes amused.
Wordless picture books, class murals, blocks, painting activities, puppet shows, sensory tables and music and movement activities are all easy to modify so children in mixed age groups can participate in activities together.