Toddlers to preschoolers will enjoy letting their imaginations “run wild” as they take a trip over a bridge (carrying a baby doll, animal or other object) crossing a swamp where a hungry alligator lives. Children are to walk the beam and put the object they are holding into a basket at the other end of the beam. When crossing the “swamp” children chant, “I’m walking, I’m walking, I’m walking across the swamp. I hope that alligator doesn’t go chomp.” Explain that the alligator who lives in the swamp will not bother the children as long as they stay on the beam and don’t drop anything that they are carrying. If they do drop something or step off the beam, the alligator (you) will chase them until they deposit everything they are carrying in the basket. This is play with a purpose — promoting physical, cognitive and social emotional development. What fun…and learning!
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