Playtime: Under/Over

Infants

Content Area:

Algebra
Geometry
Numbers and Operations

Indoor Play

Playtime: Under/Over

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.

• Washcloth or cloth diaper

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.

Playing peek-a-boo with a young infant is a great time to introduce the math concepts of UNDER and OVER. When the infant is lying on his/her back and you are sitting facing the infant, cover your face with the washcloth. Then remove the washcloth and say: “Peek-a-boo, (your name) was UNDER the washcloth.”

Gently cover the infant’s face with the washcloth. Then remove the washcloth and say: “Peek-a-boo, (child’s name) was UNDER the washcloth.” Repeat as long as the infant is enjoying the activity.

Playtime: Under/Over

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.

• Washcloth or cloth diaper
• Squeaky toy (or any other safe small toy)

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.

Peek-a-boo: Infants at this age will begin to actively participate in peek-a-boo. While the infant is lying on his/her back on the floor or sitting up, gently cover the infant’s face with the washcloth. Wait a few seconds to see if the infant removes the cloth. If the infant does not remove the cloth, bring the the infant’s hand up to the cloth and help the infant remove it. Then say: “Peek-a-boo, (child’s name) was UNDER the washcloth.” Repeat the activity as long as the infant is enjoying it.

Hide and seek with a toy: Show the infant an interesting toy (a toy that squeaks works well for this activity). Let the infant play with and explore the toy for a minute. Then hold out your hand and say: “Give me the (name of toy).” Wait to see if the infant offers you the toy. If not, gently take the toy from the infant, repeating: “Give me the (name of toy).” While the infant is watching, partially cover the toy with the cloth. Say: “I am putting the cloth OVER the (name of toy).” Ask: “Where is the (name of toy)?” Say:”It’s UNDER the cloth.” Wait to see if the infant removes the cloth. If not, remove the cloth and say: “(Name of toy) was UNDER the cloth.”

While the infant is watching, completely cover the toy with the cloth. Say: “I am putting the cloth OVER the (name of toy).” Ask: “Where is the (name of toy)?” Say: “It is UNDER the cloth.” Wait to see if the infant removes the cloth. If not, squeak the toy, remove the cloth and say: “(Name of toy) was UNDER the cloth.” Allow the infant to play with the toy for a minute. Repeat the game as long as the infant is enjoying it.

Playtime: Under/Over

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.

• Washcloth or cloth diaper
• Squeaky toy or any other safe small toy

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.

Peek-a-boo: Older infants will often initiate a game of peek-a-boo. While sitting on the floor, hand the infant a cloth and say: “Let’s play peek-a-boo.” Wait for the infant to initiate the game by putting the cloth over or near the infant’s face. Ask: “Where is (child’s name)?” Say: “(Child’s name) is UNDER the cloth.” Wait for the infant to move the cloth. Say: “(Child’s name) was hiding UNDER the cloth.” Repeat the activity as long as the infant is enjoying it.

Hide and seek with a toy: Show the infant an interesting toy (one that squeaks works well for this activity). Let the infant play with and explore the toy for a minute. Then hold out your hand and say: “Give me the (name of toy).” Wait for the infant to offer you the toy or give you the toy. While the infant is watching, completely cover the toy with the cloth. Say: “I am putting the cloth OVER (name of toy).” Ask: “Where is the (name of toy)?” Say: “It’s UNDER the cloth.” Wait for the infant to remove the cloth. If the infant does not remove the cloth, squeak the toy and wait again for the infant to remove the cloth. Say: “(Name of toy) is UNDER the cloth.” Wait for the infant to remove the cloth. Once the infant removes the cloth, point to the toy and say: “You found the (name of toy). It was UNDER the cloth.” Allow the infant to play with the toy for a minute. Repeat the game as long as the infant is enjoying it.

Reflections on this lesson

How might you teach the math lesson UNDER-OVER during other daily activities and routines?

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

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