This year, the Week of the Young Child (WOYC) occurs from April 11-17. As many of you know, the WOYC was established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to shed light on the needs of young children and families and to recognize the work of early childhood educators. This year marks the 49th celebration of WOYC! Be a part of this amazing lineage by celebrating in your setting and encouraging families to commemorate the occasion at home. Make the WOYC memorable by celebrating with something special each day! Choose from the following activities, and get the word out by choosing one of NAEYC’s recommended activities for Kick-Off Saturday.
by Patricia Dietz
Children are naturally curious and love hands-on learning through multiple senses. A great way to encourage more hands-on learning is through cooking in the classroom. Cooking with young children has many benefits for early learning and development, such as fostering early math skills, increasing fine motor skills, developing language and literacy development, engaging the senses, promoting healthy eating, and connecting cultures. Here are some tips and recipe ideas to help you get started with cooking in your classroom.
by Teresa Narey
The month of December can feel like a whirlwind. As educators, we often think about how to approach holidays in our classrooms this time of year. Three major holidays are highlighted this month—Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah—but culturally, we know that so much more is at play in the lives of the children in our care and in the world at large. If all of the children in your setting celebrate the same December holiday, then you may simply embrace it and move along. However, for more diverse groups, it may be a struggle to know what to do—to know what families would like for you to do. Before promoting any holiday in your setting, it is best to talk with families and caregivers about their preferences. You might also consider taking an anti-bias education approach, which seeks to promote fairness and inclusion in school settings by offering alternative and informed approaches to celebrating mainstream holidays. Here are 5 examples to consider: Continue reading
Healthy food choices can’t start early enough. If children participate in the preparation of meals, they are more likely to eat the foods. Other tips to get your little ones to enjoy vegetables include familiarity, satiety value, social context, modeling, and “hiding” vegetables. You can learn more about these tips here.
Try these fun vegetable recipes that children can help you make!
by Judy Mullican
Welcome spring with some healthy, refreshing treats! Nutritious and tasty recipes include Spring Garden Pizza, Shamrock Sandwiches (perfect if you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!), and Banana Kiwi Frozen Dessert!
by Katie Brazerol
For those who have an apple tree (or several), fall can provide an abundance of the fruit—sometimes too much! Don’t let those extras go to waste! Here are ten ways to get the most out of your apples in preschool.
Whether you are packing snacks for little ones to carry to child care or school or preparing snacks for children in your care, you are probably always on the lookout for tasty snacks. The challenge is to find snacks that are both good for children and fun to eat. Here are a few snacks you may want to try!
by Judy Mullican
A Valentine’s Day party can bring excitement and fun in the middle of a cold winter month. But often parties feature gooey cupcakes, sticky candy, and other treats that fill children up without providing much nutrition. Why not offer party foods that not only taste good, but also provide important nutrients? Here are 4 ideas to try!
We asked our staff to share their favorite family holiday treat recipes for you to try. Graham Cracker Treats, Buckeyes, Rolo Pretzel Rings, Teacakes, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Caramels, Angel Food Candy, and Chocolate Pie.
Include these treats as a cooking activity with children. Cooking provides many benefits across several learning domains. Simple tasks children can help with include pouring, scooping, stirring, and clean up. Have fun and embrace the mess! To read more about the benefits of cooking and safety tips, see our post Cooking with Kids.