Week of the Young Child
Posted on April 18, 2018 by CHS
The Week of the Young Child is celebrated from April 16 – 20, 2018 in recognition of early learning, young children, teachers, and families. Throughout the week, educators and parents are encouraged to host activities that will encourage the academic success and development of young children. Below are ideas provided by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for celebrating a different area of child development and learning each day of the week.
While music can seem like simple entertainment and fun for children, it can also help them develop a variety of skills. For example, a child can dance along to a song to develop his motor skills, rhythm, and self-confidence. Play a children’s song and have a dance party or use musical instruments to create your own music. You and your child will have a lot of fun. To learn more about music and children, visit our blog on the benefits of music for your child.
Use this day to encourage healthy eating and exercise habits for young children. Have your child help you with basic prepping to cook healthy dishes. Cooking together teaches a variety of skills such as literacy while reading recipes, math when measuring ingredients, and science from seeing what happens when ingredients are combined. Read more about healthy eating habits for children at our Diabetes Awareness and Childhood Nutrition blog. After cooking together, you and your child can go outside for some exercise. Exercise is important for child development because it improves brain development, builds muscles, and prevents obesity. Some activities to try include hide-and-seek, playing catch, visiting a playground, and hiking around a park. For more ideas, and to learn more about why your child needs exercise, visit our Sports and Exercise blog. Additional resources are also available through our Family Education Program Brochures on Nutrition and Exercise.
Work Together Wednesday
Spend the day teaching children the importance of teamwork and working together to accomplish a goal. Learning to work together will help children develop their social skills and improve their ability to communicate with their peers. Try playing a game called Pass the Can. To play this game, all you need is an empty coffee can or plastic cup. Ask children to sit in a circle with their legs straight out. The goal is to pass the can/cup around the circle using only their feet and verbal communication. If the coffee can falls, they need to start over again and continue until they pass the can around the full circle. Here is a list of games that teachchildren to work together.
On Artsy Thursday, let imaginations go wild by having children create whatever kind of art project they choose by using craft materials. Give children markers, crayons, paper, safety scissors, glue, and more! You can also create art with recycled materials from around the house. Once everyone is finished, children can show off their creations. This will develop children’s creativity and support them in developing the flexible mindset needed for problem-solving. See our blog on developing a child's creativity to learn ways to foster your child’s creative expression and play, or read our blog on spring activities for more ideas.
Families have the biggest impact on a child’s development. Child care providers and educators can celebrate this day by inviting parents to visit the class and have a family a Show and Tell. Children can introduce everyone in their family and describe what they value most about each family member. If you are a parent, you can spend this day by going on a special adventure with your child, visiting with relatives by calling them on the phone or using FaceTime, and enjoying a family game night. For more ideas on activities that you can do with your child during the Week of the Young Child, please read our blogs on Fun Family Outdoor Activities and the Importance of Family Time for Your Child.