Lesson Plan Ideas for Infants 6-18 months:
There are a multitude of ways for you to develop infant lesson plans and early development activities for your little ones. The activities & lesson ideas listed below are simply suggestions and types of play for babies ranging in age from 6 months old to 18 months old. These help to introduce your baby to many new things to improve their early development by letting them discover new things using their different senses.
As teachers or parents there are also suggested areas of learning & ideas for planning out weekly lessons.
Areas of Learning
- Language (Listening & Talking)
- Motor Skills (Fine & Gross Motor Skills)
- Sensory & Science (Learning from the World around Us)
Pick 1 related learning activity for each of the above Areas of Learning for each day of the week. Examples of lesson plan ideas for infants could be as follows.
Language: Itsy Bitsy Spider Song
Motor Skills: Grasping Objects
Creative: Finger painting
Sensory/Science: Make a Happy Face (smile)
You would then continue to create more daily lessons for each day of the week using new related activities for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
Monthly/Weekly Theme Based Lesson Plans
Keep in mind that each month can have a specific theme. (ex.) August could be a Summer theme. October could be a Fall theme. The video below shows a simple way to set up your monthly themes. You can then have each week be a different theme as well.
If you want to keep things simple, each monthly lesson plan could be based solely around 1 particular theme for the entire month (ex.) Bugs, Circus, Farm animals, ABCs & 123’s etc.
Heuristic Play for Infants
Heuristic play is a type of play meaning “the discovery of the properties of various objects”. It is a child psychologist created term and form of play.
Keeping young children entertained with simple items is usually pretty easy to do. How many times have you seen a child more interested in playing with an empty box than the item itself. Many babies and little ones are more interested in playing with and crinkling the wrapping paper or playing with the bright colorful bows than the gift inside. Even something like bubble wrap, kids and adults are obsessed with and love bubble wrap. These items are unique, have different textures, make noise, are colorful etc. They stimulate different senses and simple discovery.
Make Discovery Baskets
These play ideas should be used once your infant is able to sit up. You can make simple discovery baskets full of various types of items. You can use a simple shallow wicker gift basket, a plastic basket or even a sturdy cardboard box for these baskets.
Items placed inside the boxes should make up a wide range of properties like, different textures, different shapes, natural and man-made items, colorful, shiny and dull, flexible and solid.
These types of items will stimulate the senses and provide exciting new areas of discovery and exploration for your baby.
*Use Non Toxic Items Only **DO NOT USE SMALL OBJECTS THAT COULD POSE A CHOKING THREAT! (babies love to put things in their mouth as we all know) ** ALWAYS SUPERVISE your baby while playing with these discovery baskets
Types Of Discovery Baskets to Create
Sound or Noisy Discovery Basket
Place items that make noise or sound when moved or shaken, tipped etc. Items such as:
- Rattles or simple homemade rattles (*use a small plastic bottle fill it with uncooked rice or popcorn kernels, soybeans or something similar. Use glue gun and reattach cap back on bottle. You now have a fun homemade rattle)
- Music shakers *see above
- Bell (make sure no small loose parts)
- Small toy drum etc..
Fabric & Textiles Discovery Basket
Place a series of items that have different textures and different properties for tactile development etc.
- Small clean wash cloth
- Bath sponge
- Silky or shiny fabric like silk or satin
- Crocheted item or doily
- Knitted sock or hat
- Large feather
- Bubble wrap
- Tooling (mesh netting)
Natural/Wood Discovery Basket
- Wooden spoon
- Wooden bowl
- Wooden toy
- Large seashell
- Larger smooth stone
- Pine cone
Reflective/Shiny Discovery Basket
- Small plastic mirror
- Old CD
- Small Pot lid or Toy pot lid
- Metal spatula
- Shiny serving spoon
- Shiny (safe-plastic) ornament
- Shiny shell
- Shiny piece of jewelry (not too small-think bracelet) etc.
These discovery boxes are great activities for your 6-18 month old infant to play with and discover the difference between various objects and their properties. These will keep curious babies busy for hours.