April 16-20 is the Week of the Young Child

April 14, 2018

The Week of the Young Child is hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) every April to celebrate early learning, young children, their teachers, and their families. This year the Week of the Young Child is April 16-20, 2018.

Each day of the week has a unique theme. Use these ideas to keep the celebration going all week long, and visit https://www.naeyc.org/events/woyc to learn more!

Music Monday, April 16

Music is an important tool to help young children learn. It supports language acquisition, math skills, physical development, social and emotional development, and so much more! Incorporate more music into your child’s life with these tips:

  • Sing a song during routine activities, such as cleaning up, getting dressed, or washing hands
  • Make musical instruments out of recycled materials
  • Turn on the radio and have a dance party to practice clapping, drumming or stomping to the beat

Tasty Tuesday, April 17

Young children need healthy food and plenty of physical activity. Cooking together also fosters learning in the areas in math, literacy, and science. Try out some of these simple recipes:

  • Provide your child with veggies to decorate their own mini pizza faces
  • Roll bananas and peanut butter in a tortilla and slice to make “banana sushi
  • Bake these oat cups and have your child choose their own add-ins, like blueberries or shredded carrots

Work Together Wednesday, April 18

The more you work together, build together, and play together, the more your child learns. Young children learn through responsive interaction with caregivers. That means you can help your child learn by playing with him. Try these ideas:

  • Create a pillow fort in your living room
  • Ask questions that encourage problem solving, such as “Where did that ball go? Do you see it hiding over there?”
  • Try building a block tower starting with the biggest blocks on the bottom and smallest on top

Artsy Thursday, April 19

The process of creating art stimulates all areas of development for young children – social and emotional development, language, mathematics, spatial reasoning, physical dexterity, and so much more! The best kinds of art projects for young children are open-ended, meaning the focus is on the process of creating rather than getting a final product. Explore art opportunities with these tips:

  • Provide lots of blank paper (rather than coloring books)
  • Offer many drawing materials like markers, crayons, and colored pencils of different sizes
  • Make homemade play dough

Family Friday, April 20

Families are the first and most important teachers in the lives of young children. Family Friday is a time to celebrate your family’s unique story, and to focus on building your family’s strengths. Alaska’s Strengthening Families initiative promotes five “protective factors” that make a family strong and reduce the risk of child maltreatment. These protective factors are:

  • Parental resilience
  • Knowledge of parenting and child development
  • Social connections
  • Concrete support in times of need
  • Healthy social and emotional development of children

What makes your family strong? Share your family’s unique story with us on Facebook or Twitter using the #woyc18 hashtag.