## Playtime: Stop/Go

Infants

### Content Area:

Algebra
Geometry
Numbers and Operations

Indoor Play

## Playtime: Stop/Go

### 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.

• Music

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.

Young infants love a dance party and movement. Add music or rhythm into your play. Feeling rhythm is an important early math skill, and music is an excellent way to help infants explore STOP and GO. Sing a song or play a song and hold the infant and dance, saying “GO” before you start to sing or start playing the song. When the song is over, STOP dancing and say“STOP, the music is over.” Continue the dance party, giving each of the infants in your care a turn to be your dance partner.

## Playtime: Stop/Go

### 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.

• Music
• Musical instruments or toys that make noise

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.

Young infants love a dance party and movement. Add music or rhythm into your play. Feeling rhythm is an important early math skill, and music is an excellent way to help infants explore STOP and GO. Sing a song or play a song and hold an infant and dance, sayingGO” before you start to sing or start playing the song. When the song is over, STOP dancing and say: “STOP, the music is over.” Give all of the infants a toy or a musical instrument to shake as you sing and dance. Continue the dance party, giving each of the infants in your care a turn to be your dance partner.

Encourage infants who are cruising or walking to imitate you as you dance and sing. For infants who are on the GO, use the infants’ own movements to help them learn STOP and GO. When the infants are on the move—crawling, cruising with push toys or walking—cheer them on, saying: “GO! GO! GO!” When the infants stop, say: “STOP!” Then repeat “GO!” when the infants start moving again. Most infants love a cheering audience!

## Playtime: Stop/Go

### 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.

• Music
• Musical instruments or toys that make noise

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.

New walkers love to dance and spin. Play music and sing songs, encouraging the infants in your care to dance and move with you to the music. Feeling rhythm is an important early math skill, and music is an excellent way to help infants explore STOP and GO. Sing a song or play a song and encourage the infants to sing and dance. Say GO” before you start to sing or start playing a song. When the song is over, STOP dancing and say: “STOP, the music is over.” Give all of the infants a toy or a musical instrument to shake as you sing and dance.

When the infants are on the GO, use the infants’ own movements to help them learn STOP and GO. When the infants are on the move—crawling, cruising with push toys or walking—cheer them on, saying: “GO! GO! GO!” When the infants stop, say: “STOP!” Then repeat “GO!” when the infants start moving again. Most infants love a cheering audience!

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

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

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