Learning Is Everywhere
In an Early Learning Program!
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.
Please find the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standard referenced after each activity.
Activities for Infants:
Use a song to describe every day activities. The tune of “London Bridges Falling Down” is an easy one to use. Simply insert the description of what is being done. “Now we’re putting on your socks, on your socks, on your socks. Now we’re putting on your socks, my dear baby.” Sing and sign the song to your child, while holding your child’s hand to your throat so they can feel the vibration. If your child avoids music, make picture cards or signs and braille to make task cards. Picture cards posted in the area where they frequently need to preform the task are very helpful. If your child responses to movement, add fun gestures that make the activity more enjoyable. Creative Thinking and Expression
Summer Fun! While your baby is in a wading pool (or the bath tub), take a cup full of water and pour it in front of her. Hold the cup higher, then lower as you pour so it makes different sounds and different sized splashes. Describe what you are doing. Ask her if she hears the water splashing. (Don’t leave standing water for extended periods of time and never leave a child unattended around water.) Approaches to Learning through Play
Summer Fun! Use a pan of water and a paper bag or newspaper and make prints by dipping hands or feet into the water, then onto the paper bag/newspaper. Watch them disappear as they dry. Approaches to Learning through Play
Activities for Toddlers:
Use a song to describe every day activities. The tune of “London Bridges Falling Down” is an easy one to use. Simply insert the description of what is being done. “Now we’re putting on your shirt, on your shirt, on your shirt. Now we’re putting on your shirt, my dear baby.” Let your toddler decide which item to do next. Creative Thinking and Expression
Summer Fun! Use a wading pool (or the bath tub) and plenty of different sized cups and containers to allow your toddler to pour water from one place to the next. Help your toddler select the big cup or the little cup, and help him distinguish between full and empty. This activity develops fine motor and gross motor skills in a fun, stress free way! Ask your toddler to make predictions about what will happen when the parent manipulates the containers. Will the large jar of water fit in the small jar? How many small cups of fill the large cup? Use your hands to explore the containers and feel the water moving. Explore what does the water sound like/ feel like when It’s dumped out of the container? Approaches to Learning through Play
Summer Fun! With a pan of water and a paper bag or newspaper, make prints by dipping hands or feet into the water, then onto the paper bag/newspaper. Use other items such as the top of a cup, a stick or a leaf to make other water marked shapes. Which items makes the bigger mark? Watch them disappear as they dry. Which marks disappear the fastest? Approaches to Learning through Play
Activities for Pre-Kindergarten:
What is your child’s routine for starting her day? With your preschooler, create a routine chart which has activities for getting ready for an early learning program, like going to bed and waking up at a specific time, and eating a healthy breakfast. Help your preschooler choose the next day clothes and pack backpacks the night before. Discuss what types of clothing she needs to wear and what items need to be in the backpack. Approaches to Learning through Play
Summer Fun! Make giant ice-cubes by using clean yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream plastic containers filled with water, then set into the freezer. Add a small item to the water filled container, like a small toy or other item. Have your child decide what item will be added. Is it too big or will it fit? Can she see the item when the ice is frozen? Once it’s frozen, remove from the container and use the ice block as ice puck to kick around in the grass or hard top (such as a sidewalk). How fast will it melt? What happens when it melts? (To get the ice out, briefly run warm water on the outside of the container. The ice block should slip out!) Approaches to Learning through Play
Activities for Kindergarten:
Create a book of your family’s story about Kindergarten! Share your favorite thing about kindergarten. Did you walk to school or ride the bus? What was your teacher’s name? Have your child draw pictures, then when your child starts school, add more pages. Creative Thinking and Expression
What is your child’s favorite book about Kindergarten? Visit your local library to discover books with different characters who go to Kindergarten, or check out 10 Books About Going to School (below) or 11 Family Recommended Books About Going to School. What does he like best about each book? Try to find books that show a child similar to themselves in the illustrations. If your child uses a wheel chair or wears glasses they will enjoy seeing similar characters in the books. Or if your child is especially concerned about a certain aspect of school try to find a book or write a social story that directly addresses that concern. Language and Literacy
Summer Fun! Make giant ice-cubes by using clean yogurt, cottage cheese or sour cream plastic containers filled with water, then set into the freezer. Add a small item to the water filled container, like a small toy or other item. Have your child decide what item will be added-is it too big or will it fit? Can she see the item once the ice is frozen? Once it’s frozen, remove it from the container and use the ice block as ice puck to kick around in the grass or hard top (such as a sidewalk). How fast will it melt? What happens when it melts? Provide your kindergartner opportunities to touch the containers, feel the water before and after freezing, feel the weight and compare the containers empty, filled with water, and filled with ice. Approaches to Learning through Play
Summer Car Safety
Every year, there are terrible stories about children accidentally left in vehicles. On sunny days the interior of vehicles heats up rapidly and get very hot. This happens even on relatively mild or cool days.
On days when the outdoor temperature is just 72°F, the internal vehicle temperature can reach 117°F in an hour. Most of the temperature rise (80%) occurs in the first 30 minutes.
On days when outdoor temperatures exceed 86°F, the temperature in a vehicle can quickly reach 134 to 154°F. These temperatures put children at significant risk.
86 degrees outside = 134-154 degrees inside a vehicle!
Cracking open windows does not effectively decrease either the rate of heat rise or the maximum temperature reached. In fact, sunlight coming through open car windows makes the car work like an oven.
It is easy to accidentally leave sleeping children in a vehicle. Anyone who puts a child in a vehicle needs to know about this big risk. Parents and child care staff must be sure that each child put into a vehicle is removed promptly at the destination.
A child’s body has more surface area than an adult’s body, so children heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults. It only takes minutes for a child to become dangerously overheated.
Every year, more than 30 children die because they are alone in a car. Don’t let a child you know die or suffer injury from being overheated in a car.
For additional information on how to keep children safe in the summer, please visit Health Link ONLINE.
This information is from a flyer prepared by the PA Traffic Injury Prevention Project of the PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. For a copy of the flyer, contact PA-TIPP at 1-800-CARBELT or 484-446-3036.
An activity for the entire family: Pick Your Own Fruits and Vegetables!
How can your child participate in a valuable learning experience, while having family fun? Where can you get the freshest fruits and vegetables for your family without having to dig or plant? Try a Pick Your Own farm near you!
Pick Your Own farms allow families to pick and purchase fruits and vegetables that some one else has been planted. There are several locations throughout Pennsylvania where families can pick their own fruits and vegetables. How much you purchase depends on how much you can pick!
Pick Your Own is more than getting delicious fruits and vegetables for your family. The experience allows children to learn:
- Food comes from a place other than the kitchen or grocery store.
- Different types of food (has your child tried apricots fresh from a tree?)
- Numbers and counting (how many pears will fit into a basket?)
- Colors (tomatoes are ripe when they’re red)
- Weights (is a basket heavy or light when it’s full of apples?)
- Fine motor skills (plucking fresh blueberries from a bush)
- Large motor skills (climbing a ladder to pick a cherry)
- Working towards a goal (fill the basket with blackberries)
- How much fun it is to spend time with the family!
Check the Pick Your Own website for locations close to you.
Books, Songs and Nursery Rhymes to Learn Together
Print this list! (pdf)
August Songs & Nursery Rhymes
Anytime is a great time to break out in song! Many children love being engaged through music and songs. They may love hearing the repeated sounds and words as you sing a song together. Although some nursery rhymes may have planned movements that go along with the song, you can make up your own movements that fits best with your child’s development.
Songs and nursery rhymes to celebrate the month of August:
John Buchanan is a certified PQAS Trainer to do music and has presented the workshops Safety Themes Through Music (accompanying CD and DVD with 20 safety songs for young children to familiar tunes); Early Reading/Literacy Through Music (2 DVDs – over 400 songs on each DVD with scrolling lyrics); MUSIC: Increasing Children’s Self Esteem & Confidence (accompanying CD and DVD with 38 sample songs); Creative Movement and Role Play Activities (accompanying CD and DVD); and Twinkling With Our Animal Friends (includes 5 animal bingo game ideas, accompanying CD and DVD with over 150 farm animals, pets, insects and zoo animals featured in an individual song).
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)