I have owned a daycare for almost 2 years, but have worked there since I was about 15. My grandmother owned it for 22 years, and I took it over from her when she retired, so I have seen many activities she did with younger children. Now, I take kids age 1-5 years, and have some after school kids too. At this time, I don't have any kids who take a morning nap, as most of them realize about 1.5 years that they're "missing out" on something sleeping!
Anyway, for the younger kids, I do not force them to do anything, but sit them down with the older kids and let them color a picture. We read to them, sing with them, do nursery rhymes, count, go over colors and shapes, and randomly say the alphabet, months, and days. One of my employees and I also spell their names VERY frequently. I have a one year old now who can already spell her name, and almost all of the older kids can too. Now for circle time, which includes calendar, shapes and colors, counting, patterns, seasons, etc etc etc, I start them when they seem to WANT to sit down and pay attention with the other kids. Usually, this is around age 3, but I have three or four 2 year olds who do circle time now.
I find lots of ideas online. prekinders.com has some good ideas to build on, and this website, http://www.123child.com/UBB/showthread.php?p=50992
, I have always liked to use for fingerprint activities, which I have found all ages can do.