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!!

All about me…..

So I got to thinking (not always a great thing, but….) maybe you would want to know a little about me and why I think I qualify myself as someone who could host successful discussions on topics pertaining to Early Childhood.

Well it all started a few years ago, well 30+ years ago actually, when I was a young teenager. I started volunteering after school at an early learning Montessori center for children located in the suburbs of Washington DC. This particular school accepted children 2 1/2 years through Kindergarten. When I turned 16 my volunteering became my first job and I worked 3:00-6:00, Monday through Friday and all day, every day in the summer.

That afternoon/summer job pointed me in the direction of what would become a rewarding career choice. After high school, I attended one of those small colleges, one that has since matured into a university. Then came the fun stuff (well there might have been a little fun in college too–but we will save that for another blog), my journey in early childhood development and education. I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want to work in the public school system, I wanted to spend my days with children that were too young to attend school. The precious years between newborn through the age of 5. Now don’t get me wrong, I love school age children too but my heart has always been in early childhood.

I have been an assistant teacher, a lead teacher, an assistant director and a Director of child care centers. I have owned my own center, and bought a 2nd one. When I sold those, I started working for other child care companies and now I am the Director of an Early Childhood Academy owned by a great organization and I couldn’t be happier (well most days). I have never attempted any other job, I knew I wouldn’t have been happy. It’s always been about the children. You might say, I knew at an early age it was my calling. my gift and my purpose.

Through the years mentioned above I was also married for 10 years and had two wonderful children. A boy and a girl, both are now adults. Let me be honest and say, after all the positions I have held in the early childhood field, nothing compares to the joy (and stress) of motherhood. I have given a lot of advice to many parents but I always start with a little disclosure, just because I can offer you advice, does not mean I was successful using the same advice with my own children. It just isn’t the same. But what I do know is my children survived and thrived and through my trials, triumphs, mistakes and regrets, they are both great people and pursuing their own goals at this time and are still talking to me. They survived my divorce, visitation disputes, my continuing education, my sometimes long days and weeks running my own centers, my dating days, my new marriage, having a step father and 2 step brothers, and oh I’m sure they could tell you more they endured to survive, but you get the picture. I was human, worked full time, made mistakes, sometimes had poor judgement on my parenting decisions but they survived, and so did I.

That’s what this blog is all about. It is all survivable. You will question your self as a parent, a preschool teacher, school director, home care provider or just weekend caregiver but it will be okay. I want this to be a “safe” place that we can talk, vent, question, bitch, yell and ask for help, I just want you to know if you love the children in your care you are already on the way to being a successful influence in their lives.

I don’t quite consider myself an expert, but then again, 30+ years in the field, some education and my own parenting adventures, I have seen and experienced a quite a bit. Take my word for what it’s worth, its all my opinion, and my opinion is that children deserve the best we can give them and we deserve to cut ourselves a little slack. Hope you will join me on this journey.

Coming soon: “That Mom” or “Bat Mom”?