WOYC Preschool Activities

Preschool Activities for each daily theme during
Week of the Young Child (April 8th – April 12th, 2019)

The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the world’s largest Early Childhood Education Association, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, also known as NAEYC.

On their website https://www.naeyc.org/events/woyc they describe the purpose of the week is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet their needs.

Early Childhood schools and centers celebrate children throughout the week using the daily themes suggested by NAEYC. I have listed a few ways that you can celebrate the week that is so important to children,

Music Monday:

Host a dance party: What preschooler doesn’t love to dance? Turn on the music and have them dance their hearts away. Try different types of music-Jazz, Blues, Classical, Country, Folk, Pop, Rock, Hip-Hop, and Latin. Encourage them to dance the way the music makes them feel

Musical Instruments: Plan to have teachers, parents or even the local high school band bring in their musical instruments to demonstrate the sound of each. Let the children hear and touch each (and maybe even try them).

After seeing the instruments for themselves, provide various materials for them to make their own version of each.

Lip-sync: Have the children create their own microphone with large pom-poms and paper towel rolls and put on some of their favorite kids music and let them enjoy singing.

Outdoor music: Take the music outdoors. Bring the CD player or Bluetooth speaker and let the children enjoy a recess with background music.

Art: Provide a variety of art materials such has markers, crayons, stamps, paint, or colored pencils and have the children draw/paint to music.

Tasty Tuesday:

            Fruit kabobs: Using kabob sticks have the children make fruit kabobs using fresh fruit—strawberries, blueberries, grapes, pineapple chunks, apple chunks, kiwis, melon chunks—anything you want. Have the children make their own tasty snack.

            Flavors/taste buds: Have a sample of foods that children can sample that have different tastes—something sweet, sour, bitter, salty.  Use a variety of flavorings (orange, vanilla, grape, lemon, cherry, strawberry, etc.… have the children guess what flavor.

            Decorating Cookies: Everyone’s favorite. Pre-make Gingerbread men shaped sugar cookies and have the children use colored frosting and other items to decorate their “self” on their cookie, and then enjoy.

            Personal Pizzas: Using English muffin halves have the children add pizza sauce (tomato paste), their favorite pizza toppings, and sprinkle with cheese and have them enjoy their pizza for lunch

Work Together Wednesday:

            Easel Sharing: Have two children partner at the easel to create an original masterpiece painting.

            Parachute play: Pull out the parachute and have the entire class work together to move balls or bean bags from one side to another.

            Class quilt: Provide fabric squares and have each child decorate their own with fabric markers, and then tie each square together to create a class quilt. This can also be done with large index cards, cardstock, construction paper or other types of paper and can be connected together. What a great piece of work to display in your center/school.

Artsy Thursday:

            Tie-dye T-shirts: Have each child bring in a t-shirt to tie die

            Class Mural: Using a large piece of white butcher paper, cover table and have the children decorate. I like to use inkpads with stamps or small paint brushes and paint.

            Outdoor Easels: Move the easels outdoors and have the children paint while outside.

            Collages: Provide one side of sturdy shirt box and every type of collage material you come up with—use all those scrap pieces you have been saving, tissue paper, sequins, glitter, cardboard toilet paper rolls, Styrofoam peanuts, craft sticks, pom-poms and whatever isn’t glued down and have children create a collage inside the box top

Family Friday: My favorite day of the week, great day to connect with families to celebrate children. You can go big today or keep it small.

            Family Tree: We have parents bring in family portraits all week and we hang them up on a HUGE family tree in our school Library (which is also in our entrance).

            Trail Mix bar: At pick up time, we set up a trail mix bar for children and parents to create their own snack as they leave on Friday afternoon. We provide sandwich bags or cups to fill. Some items we have available include marshmallows, chocolate chips, gummy bears, fruit ring cereal, Chex mix cereal, raisins, pretzels, candy cover chocolates, butterscotch morsels, white chocolate chips, banana chips, dried cranberries, cheese its, bugles. We try to avoid nuts due to allergies at our school but they might be an option at your school. The children LOVE creating this together with their parent.

Planting station: Provide small pots, potting soil and either small flowers or seeds and when parents come in a pickup time they can sit with their child and plant their family plant to take home to watch grow. We also provide stickers and markers to decorate the pots and put their names on them

Family Photo Booth: Using the thicker project boards (not the trif-old) we cut out a large picture frame for families to hold as we snap their picture for them. We also provide picture props so they can be silly if they want. We will use their phone and/or our school camera to capture the memory and have then printed and hanging up on Monday morning.

Whatever you do, make it a great week of fun and celebration for all the children in your life!! Enjoy!!

“That Mom” vs “Bat Mom”

As an early childhood Academy Director, I often have parents, mostly moms, ask to meet with me. Through the years, I know this usually doesn’t mean they want to tell me what a great job I am doing but none the less, I am always happy to oblige.

This week alone I had four of these requests (at least). As expected, all were to share concerns. On Monday, it a was mom of a preschooler. She was concerned because her son no longer wanted to come to school. Her theory was maybe he had no friends or it could be a personality conflict with his teacher? The next mom was upset because her infant child was not eating every two hours as she wanted him to. She didn’t understand why our nursery caregivers couldn’t get him to eat on schedule? Another was worried that her toddler was being bullied because when her grandpa picked up the day before, he witnessed another little boy (toddler) pushing her. Lastly there was a concern about potty training. Would her soon to be 3 year old ever stop going #2 in his pants?

All of these moms shared something in common. Every mother shared a different concern. Every mother had a valid concern. AND, Every mother started the conversation the very same way, “I don’t want to be that mom, but…..” There it was, and I always have to catch my breath when I hear it. Their doubt, their worry about being labeled, and their hesitation to speak up and reach out with their concerns for their child. They don’t want to be “that mom”.

“That Mom”. What is that mom? Who is that mom? Why are they worried about being “that mom“. A mom concerned for their child? A mom who has noticed something going on with their child? A mom who wants to do everything within her power to help their child? A mom reaching out for answers for her child? “That mom”?

Well, dog-gone it, I let them know right away, I don’t call them “that mom”. I call then “Bat Mom”, that’s right, Bat Mom–you know the superhero. That’s right they are using their very own super powers to do good for their child and to obtain whatever their child might need.

“Bat Mom” is their child’s biggest advocate.

“Bat Mom”, like Batman relies on his “genius level-intellect and detective skills” among his many other tools to do good.

“Bat Mom” is a genius when it comes to her child. She knows them best and their radar goes up when something just isn’t right.

“Bat Mom’s” detective skills are sharp (and trust me they will need these skills to be very sharp during the teenage years). They will seek, search, research and use all means necessary to meet the needs of their child and protect them from “evil”.

So please, next time you feel like “that mom”. Put on your cape, pick up that bat phone or jump in the bat mobile and go forth. YOU are your child’s personal super hero. Never doubt your need for clarity or answers when it comes to your child. They need you.

As a Director, trust me, “Bat Mom” is my favorite type of mom. I know when she shows up in my office she has her cape behind her and she is there out of pure love and concern for her child. I love seeing her and I encourage her to never stop. She is the one person who will always have their child’s back, the one person who will provide that unconditional love and that my friend makes her a true SUPER HERO. “BAT-MOM”

It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me” — Bruce Wayne/Batman