The National Association for the Education of Young Children has established an entire month each year to spread awareness to the incredible importance of high quality experiences for young children. Every April, purple can be seen in high quality Early Childhood programs all over, showing support for the field and the families served. One week in April is known as the Week of the Young Child. During April 23rd-27th 2012, Early Childhood programs are challenged to focus their efforts towards celebrating children through educating families, staff and children about how important early development is.
One way to have a simple, successful Week of the Young Child is organizing a spirit week! Using each to focus on one part of the curriculum is a fun way to educate families, bring unity to your program as a whole, and involve children as well. Check out this simple calendar…
• 4/23: Bring your favorite stuffed animal to school today! (Curriculum area: language and literacy) Suggested Activities: Make time to work one-on-one with preschoolers to write a story about their favorite stuffed friend! With younger children, encourage some role playing and use pictures to share any stories the group creates with families.
• 4/24: Mix and Match, Crazy Hat, Opposite Day! (Curriculum area: math) Suggested Activities: Encourage children to each bring in a pair of socks to use for matching, painting, puppet making, etc…This is just another fun way to share mathematic experiences with children in your program while also involving families!
• 4:25: Music Celebration Day! (Curriculum area: Art) Suggested Activities: Invite a local musician (high school band members, parent, maybe even Music with Ms. Carissa) to perform at your center for an inspiring, uplifting and engaging music experience!
• 4/26: Wear your purple today! Purple Parade! (Curriculum Area: Social Studies) Suggested Activities: Share with children historical parades and marches using video, pictures, and books. Invite families to wear purple and parade around your community (or just your school) to show your pride for the progress the field of Early Childhood has made for itself and for your young child!
• 4/27: Pajama Day! (Curriculum area: Social Emotional Development) Suggested Activities: Invite your program director, principal or other leader to read Llama Llama, Red Pajama to the class. Ask children to share their experiences about bed time, including fears, joys and how they cope.
Whatever you choose to do, be sure to send home information to families about what you’re doing and invite them to participate! This is a fun way to celebrate what we as educators and families are doing for the littles ones we love! For more ideas visit http://www.naeyc.org/woyc.