Playtime: Open/Close

Math Lesson for:

Infants

Content Area:

Data Analysis and Probability
Geometry

Routine:

Playtime

Playtime: Open/Close

Lesson plan for infants 0 to 6 months

Step 1: Review developmental stage: 0 to 6 months.

Play: Infants begin by using their eyes to explore toys and then begin to use their hands and mouths to explore. Their play is primarily shaking, banging and mouthing. At the end of this stage, they begin to look for dropped toys and may find a partially hidden object.

Communication: Young infants recognize their parents and familiar caregivers. They smile and laugh during playful interactions such as peek-a-boo. They make early cooing and babbling sounds.

Motor: When placed on their tummies, infants learn to hold up their heads and reach for toys. They begin to reach and grasp for objects, beginning with the caregivers’ clothes and hair and then moving on to toys and objects. At the end of this stage, many infants may help hold their own bottles and help bring the bottles to their mouths. They may also begin to take pureed food from a spoon.

Step 2: Gather materials.

  • Jack-in-the-box toy (you can also use an empty wet-wipes box with a small toy inside)

Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.

Step 3: Engage infant in lesson activities.

Tummy time is especially important for the development of motor skills, especially since the launch of the “back to sleep” campaign. Infants need entertainment during tummy time. Place the infant on his/her tummy on the floor and place the jack-in-the-box toy in front of the infant. Activate the jack-in-the-box toy. Say: “OPEN” when the jack in the box OPENS. Slowly CLOSE the jack in the box and say “CLOSE.” Repeat as long as the infant is comfortable and happy on his/her tummy.

Playtime: Open/Close

Lesson plan for infants 6 to 12 months

Step 1: Review developmental stage: 6 to 12 months.

Play: At the beginning of this stage, play is mostly shaking, banging and mouthing toys. By the end of this stage, infants begin to combine objects that go together in play. They reach for and hold two objects and may begin to reach for a third. Many infants will look for dropped toys and find partially and completely hidden toys. Many infants enjoy taking objects out of containers and putting them back in.

Communication: At this age, infants respond when their names are called. They may turn their heads, make eye contact and sometimes smile and vocalize. They may look for family members and pets when called by name. They may respond to simple requests made with gestures, such as: “Come here.” They may understand “No” or “Stop.” They may lift their arms to be picked up, clap hands and wave bye-bye. They love to shout and squeal and may be babbling with many different sounds. They may be participating in and sometimes initiating peek-a-boo.

Motor: During this stage, many infants begin to sit by themselves and play. They begin to move by rolling, crawling and cruising. They pick up toys by using a raking motion with their whole hand and, by the end of this stage, they are using their fingers and thumbs to pick up small objects. They may feed themselves small bits of food.

Step 2: Gather materials.

  • Pop-up toy (if you don’t have a pop-up toy, any containers with easy-open lids and small toys inside will also work)

Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.

Step 3: Engage infant in lesson activities.

Sit on the floor with the infant. Sit behind the infant if the infant still needs support while sitting. Place the pop-up toy in front of the infant. Pop up the first door and say: “OPEN.” Name the character hiding under the door and say: “Bye-bye and CLOSE.” Show the infant how to CLOSE the door.

Pop up the second door and say: “OPEN.” Name the character hiding under the door. Assist the infant hand-over-hand to CLOSE the door. Say: “Bye-bye and CLOSE”.

Pop up the third door. Wait a minute to see if the infant will attempt to CLOSE the door. If not, provide hand-over-hand assistance once again. Repeat with the fourth and fifth doors.

Pop OPEN all of the doors, saying: “OPEN” each time. Allow the infant to CLOSE all of the doors in any order, using hand-over-hand assistance if necessary and saying: “CLOSE” each time you CLOSE a door.

Playtime: Open/Close

Lesson plan for infants 12 to 18 months

Step 1: Review developmental stage: 12 to 18 months.

Play: At the beginning of this stage, many infants are imitating the use of everyday objects such as cups and spoons. This moves into early pretend play, when the infant may feed you or pretend to drink from a cup or eat off of an empty spoon. They also are great imitators and may enjoy imitating daily activities. They may enjoy putting multiple objects into containers and systematically searching for hidden toys and objects. Many infants will pat pictures in books and sometimes vocalize while looking at books.

Communication: At the beginning of this stage, many infants begin to respond to one-step directions such as: “Give me the ball.” They may need gestures to help them understand the direction. At the end of this stage, many infants follow a related two-step direction without the help of gestures, such as: “Get the ball and give it to Daddy.” They may be pointing to ask for wants and needs and to ask you to name objects. At around 12 months of age, many infants say one to three words on their own and, by the end of this stage, may say up to 15 words or more. Many infants play turn-taking games at this stage.

Motor: At the beginning of this stage, many infants are crawling and cruising to get around and, by the end of this stage, infants are walking with good balance. They may also enjoy walking while carrying large objects and pulling toys. When given a crayon for the first time, they may mouth the crayon or mark the paper. By the end of this stage, many infants are scribbling on paper. They may be starting to scoop food with a spoon and actually get some to their mouths. Infants may also be using a straw or an open cup to drink.

Step 2: Gather materials.

  • Pop-up toy (if you don’t have a pop-up toy, a few containers with easy-open lids and small toys inside will also work)

Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.

Step 3: Engage infant in lesson activities.

Sit on the floor with the infant. Place the pop-up toy in front of the infant. Pop up the first door and say: “OPEN.” Name the character hiding under the door and say: “Bye-bye and CLOSE.” Wait for the infant to CLOSE the door.

Pop-up the second door and say “OPEN.” Name the character hiding under the door and wait for the infant to CLOSE the door. Say: “Bye bye and CLOSE.” Repeat with the third, fourth and fifth doors.

Leave all of the doors closed and allow the infant to attempt to activate the toy. Give the infant hand-over-hand assistance as necessary. Pop OPEN all of the doors, saying: “OPEN” each time. Allow the infant to lead the play, saying: “OPEN” and “CLOSE” each time the infant opens or closes one of the doors.

How might you teach the math lesson OPENCLOSE during other daily activities and routines?

What books do you have in your child care setting, that reinforce the math concept of OPENCLOSE?

What songs or finger plays do you typically use in your child care setting that reinforce the math concept of OPENCLOSE?

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