The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrates children and families for a full week each year. The Week of the Young Child – #WOYC18 This is the week! Each day of the week will focus on a different theme. Create your own plan to incorporate these into your daily activities and send some fun ideas home for families to do.
Today is Music Monday!
What a great day to get that CD player going. Play some quiet music in the background while children are engaged in free-play. Be a marching band. Get those instruments out and march around the playground singing as you go. Learn a new song and have kids go home and sing it for the family.
Tasty Tuesday –
This is a good day to do a cooking project and incorporate some healthy habits at the same time. Most schools no longer use peanut butter, but you can still do “Ants on a log” using cream cheese on celery with raisins (Note: celery should not be given to children under 4. The stringy texture can be a choke hazard. You can safely use a peeled apple slice). Use a recipe together. Let children measure the ingredients. Some places (like Oregon) say you can’t let the children eat anything the other children have prepared for sanitation reasons. I worked with a teacher who brilliantly found a way around it. They made salsa. But the salsa they made was given to the staff, while they ate a salsa she had prepared at the same time by the teacher. Send the recipe home and encourage the family to make it together.
Work Together Wednesday –
What a great day to work on group projects! A large mural for the classroom on a long strip of butcher paper is a great “community” project. Have each draw a picture of their house and their family. When it’s finished, hang it up and caption it, “Our Neighborhood”. For toddlers, let them all paint on the paper – think of the rainbow of creativity you’ll end up with! Or build a giant block structure. Be architects and carpenters together. Take a picture of the project and the kids and send it home.
Artsy Thursday –
Remember art is a process, not a product. When I was a teacher, every Friday was invention day (a great word to explain to the kids and add to their vocabulary). This day would be great for that! Put materials out on the table and let the kids go for it. With older children you can ask them, “What should we invent?” and then let them go. Some ideas for materials are: Toilet paper tubes, tissue paper, glue, masking tape, construction paper scraps, wiggly eyes (older children), feathers, and stickers. Let your imagination go and come up with materials your group would have fun with. Make up a list of art projects kids can do at home with their parents.
Family Friday –
This is a big one. My philosophy has always been, we don’t serve only the child, we serve the family as a unit. Family and child are connected in so many ways. You can’t separate them out. So why not make sure you are including the whole in your activities. Our center is having a Jog-a-Thon fundraiser on this day. Not only are families asked to get pledges to the cause (I work for a non-profit center), they are invited to participate and have a party of fruit and cold water afterwards (praying for sun). You could also invite parents for picnic or to help with a project. Send a book home with each child to have the parents read to them (you can loan them or give them).
There are so many ways you can celebrate the week ( #WOYC18 ). I encourage you to try one or all, but remember, it’s a week to celebrate the child and the family. Now go and celebrate!