Learning is Everywhere
We’re telling our story!
Lots of fun ideas and activities for families!
Each month offers activities families can do together in a variety of settings. The activities within the Learning is Everywhere Calendar and on the website are aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards (ELS).
These guidelines can be used to determine what infants, toddlers, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten children may know or be able to do within specific age ranges.
The Pennsylvania Early Learning Standard is referenced after each activity.
Activities for Infants and Toddlers
Hold your baby and look into the mirror. Point out the different parts of her body (toes, head, fingers, etc.) and then point them out on yourself. Use words to describe the different parts of each of you. Tell her what each part does. Give butterfly kisses for eyes, Eskimo kisses for nose, naming each body part. Sing head, shoulders knees and toes, and change the words for other parts. Move her hands to the body part or lightly touch each part with your hands. (Social and Emotional Development)
Use a book to discover things in a neighborhood, and then take a walk around the neighborhood. Help her find objects such as a mail box, fire hydrant, spring flowers, squirrels or birds. Talk about what each item does, or what purpose it serves in the community. (Social Studies Thinking)
Ask a relative or family friend to make an audio or video recording of them reading their favorite children’s story, or telling a favorite story of when they were a child. Listen or watch this recording with your toddler and talk about who recorded the story. Follow along in a book which uses pictures, Braille, or sign to tell the story. If none are available, create your own computer or paper book together using personal photos, words, and illustrations. (Social and Emotional Development)
Activities for Pre-Kindergartners and Kindergarteners
Using a paper plate, encourage your preschooler or kindergartner to draw different faces, or use face parts cut from magazines, then glue to paper plate. Let each paper plate represent a different emotion (happy, sad, angry, etc.). Take turns with your child identifying which face would be used in different situations, such as if he got to eat an ice-cream cone, or if the ice-cream cone fell on the ground. (Social and Emotional Development)
Provide your preschooler or kindergartner with a magnifying glass to look at her hair, nails and skin. What does she see? Have her also look at your hair, nails and skin as well. What is the same? What is different? Is each part the same color, texture, or size? What makes each part different? Using the magnification tool on your tablet or computer, demonstrate how the size changes. Create personal dictionaries with pictures and icons as you introduce new descriptive words. Find items in the home for her to feel and explore to extend the sensory experience. (Scientific Thinking)
With your preschooler or kindergartner, create a family tree book. Use photos, stories, recipes, etc. to represent family members. Share stories about when you were a child, or family stories handed down over time. Talk about aunts, uncles and cousins, and how the family will continue to grow when they get bigger and have families of their own. If you have family who lives far away, talk about where they live, and find the location on a map. Include an individual or family time line— write down moments to remember. For a child, this may be a more detailed timeline. For a family time line, it may be more general. (Social & Emotional Development)
How will you celebrate Month of the Young Child?
Become your child’s biggest fan
You don’t need Facebook® to become your child’s biggest fan. Use everyday teachable moments to build up your child’s self esteem and encourage social and emotional growth and development.
Listen to your child. Listening to her will help you identify and encourage her interests, as well as allowing you to know where to provide her additional support or information. Does she request you to read a particular book over and over? Does a particular item or activity catch her attention? When she pretends, who visits her pretend world?
Create a culture of discovery in your home. Show your child how to learn new things by being a role model. Try something new and talk to your child about it. Let him see you do or try it. Want to learn something, but aren’t sure where to begin? Check the library, ask family or friends, or watch a video. Encourage your child to seek help when he needs to know more. Remember that it’s okay not to do something well on the first (or even second) try—practice makes us better!
Provide lots of opportunities to try and learn new things. Trying out a new recipe? Have your child help, and ask her to help measure or stir. Adding air to a bicycle tire? Explain to your child what you’re doing and ask her to help pump the air. When trying something new, ask your child what her solutions may be, or how she thinks something should be done. As you’re working through something, describe what you’re doing and why.
Notice things that your child is good at and let them know. Sometimes it may be something little that stands out about your child. Maybe it’s a variety of rocks in his pockets, or how he creates songs on his own. In your child’s eyes, you noticing his efforts make them big!
Offer praise and encouragement. Provide words of support when you see your child try something new, or when she hangs in there when something is difficult, or when she is working hard to solve a problem. Tell her specifically what you admired. “I liked the way you kept trying to throw the ball in the basket. I could see you were having a difficult time, but you really kept at it!”
Tell others. Is there something your child does well? Tell others, and let your child overhear! “Every morning, it’s Paul who remembers to grab his backpack for preschool. He has such a good memory for things we need to do every morning!”
Did you know that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month?
In Pennsylvania, there are many resources to help families cope with the demands of raising children. One of these resources is Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance. Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA) protects children by teaching citizens to recognize and report child abuse and neglect by provided information, educational materials, and programs that promote positive parenting.
Their programs adhere to some core beliefs about families and how they can best meet the needs of their children. Family Support Programs affiliated with PFSA follow some general principles in their approach to working with families. A few of these are:
- The program listens to the concerns of the family and treats each family member with respect.
- Staff and family members work together to access resources, find solutions, and build community for the family members to grow and develop.
- Family Support Programs are respectful of the cultural, racial and linguistic identities of the community in which they operate.
- Families are encouraged to reach out to other families, and to communities, in order to be part of the community-building process.
- The program is flexible and responds to newly identified needs of families.
- The Family Support Program provides ongoing services to families and designs services that create both formal and informal networks of support for families. Examples of such services are support groups, parenting classes, parent/child play sessions, home visits to support parents and early childhood learning programs.
When families call the PFSA toll-free line, they are referred to a program in their community, and are often mailed copies of PFSA’s parenting brochures (if they choose to give a name and address). For additional information about Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, or to find a program in your area, please contact them at their toll-free number 1-800-448-4906 or visit their website.
Pretend You’re a Community Helper by Karen Bryant-Mole
Hello Benny!: What It’s Like to Be a Baby by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley
When I Grow Up by P. K. Hallinan
Jobs People Do by DK
The Berenstain Bears: When I Grow Up by Jan and Stan Berenstain
When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic
When I Grow Up (Little Critter) by Mercer Mayer
Grow Up! by Nina Laden
Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling, Deborah Hembrook, Andy Robert Davies
April Songs and Rhymes
Does everyone have on their dancing shoes? Ready…set…sing! Engage your child in songs, rhymes and learning while telling your story.
The words to the songs can be printed, or you can visit your local library for CDs with the music.
I’ve Been Workin on the Railroad
Whistle While you Work
A Family Fingerplay
An April Day Raindrops
You can make up your own songs for anything and everything. It’s easy–just “piggyback” them to a favorite tune. Children love when their names and actions are included. For example, you can do a bedtime routine to “Hi-Ho-the-Derry-O”, like this…
It’s time to go to bed, It’s time to go to bed, Hi-Ho-Amanda-O, It’s time to go to bed.
Did you brush your teeth? Did you brush your teeth? Hi-Ho-Amanda-O, Did you brush your teeth?
Did you choose a book? Did you choose a book? Hi-Ho-Amanda-O, Did you choose a book?
What’s YOUR Story?
You know you have a story to tell about what quality education has done for your child, your family or your community–We want to hear it!
Tell about your child’s favorite PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start or Keystone STAR teacher, administrator, or classroom. Share all the great things your child has learned by participating in a quality early learning classroom. Let everyone know how important it is for your family to have access to quality early learning!
Share your story with everyone! – (Click here)