Government of New Brunswick
Suggested Activities

Examples of suggested learning activities for children

Children are constantly learning about themselves, others and the world around them. In a healthy environment with the right mix of relationships and playfulness, they can grow to their full potential, with a zest for living, learning and life.

Every little experience is a learning experience.

Developing recognition of self

Abigail (15 months) crawls over to a mirror placed at floor level, points at her reflection, laughs, and reaches toward her image.

Suggested Activites


Recognition of cultural identity

As Canada Day approached, Allison, a caregiver in charge of four five-year-old children, hoped to engage them in some cultural activities to help them feel proud about being Canadian. She asked the children to help her think of items that they would incorporate into their Canadian celebration. The children suggested ideas for food, decorations, music and stories. While they enjoyed their treats, Allison asked them what they would like to learn about their country.

Recognition of personal strengths and limits

Andrew (four years) struggles with complex, noisy group activities. He learns to remove himself to a quiet space in the classroom, and return when he is ready.

Taking initiative with personal interests and ideas

After capturing a ladybug to be the classroom pet, Deidre (three years) asks her educator to read a book about ladybugs. She then walks to the bookshelf and begins to pull out books about bugs.

Caring for others

Angela (three years) is new to the group, and still gets teary-eyed from time to time. Three children notice her tears one morning and approach her and give her a hug.  One says, “Our mommies and daddies are at work, but they’ll come back later.”


Suggested Activities

Experiencing trust and compassion in relationships

Sarah (15 months) appears anxious during her first days in the infant room. Being in a group with other children is new to her. Jennifer, her educator, holds her, comforts her, and plays next to her with the other children, allowing Sarah to participate at her own pace.

Learning about new environments

On Lee’s (aged three) first day at the centre, the children take him on a tour, pointing out where he can hang his coat, keep his artwork, and wash his hands.

Making connections between experiences

After a walk around town, Jason (4 years) is in the book corner looking at a brochure of the town. “Hey, we saw that on our walk, right Jennifer?” he says to his educator.

Building relationships through group activities

Claire (three years) says, “Let’s have a parade,” and begins to march. Her friends see her and join in. A line of children makes its way through the classroom, and the educator, noticing their excitement, pulls out rhythm instruments, and hands them out as the children march by.

Increasing fine motor skills

Jessica (10 months) sits in her high chair and carefully picks up her Cheerios one at a time.

Testing physical limits

Katie (three years) sits staring at the monkey bars. With great concentration she climbs up the first three rungs, then back down again. “Look Daddy, look! I did it. I climbed up myself,” she says in excitement.

Expressing creative ideas

Brendan (four years) says, “I’m painting the sky green…the frogs are going to invade!” The educator supports Brendan’s idea by responding, “I think green is the right colour for a froggie invasion.”

Distinguishing between real and imaginary worlds

Michael (four years) is playing with a train set. He places a barrier on the tracks, but another child pushes the train through the barrier. “You can’t do that!” says Michael. “You can’t do that on real train tracks. That might cause an accident.” He replaces the barrier.

Recognizing cause and effect

Catherine (three years) is pushing her toy lawn mower across the floor. As she moves more quickly, she sees that its lights start to flash. When she slows her pace, the lights go away. Wanting the lights to come back, she picks up her speed and sees that the lights are back on.

Suggested Activities

Encouraging group creativity in problem solving

A group of four-year-olds works together in building “the tallest building in the world” from building blocks. As the educator approaches, she wonders aloud, “How will you keep building when it’s as tall as you all are?” Sean looks around the room and pulls a chair over to where the blocks are stacked. He stands on the chair, with the help of his educator, and takes a block in his hand. “See?  If I use a chair, I can make the building taller than I am!”