15 Activities to Make Week of the Young Child Memorable

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.

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The Importance of Play

by Kelley Jilek

Baby newborn in the shirt closeup on white background.When children play, they develop their knowledge of themselves and others, learn to make sense of the world around them, and learn to communicate with peers and adults. As children grow and develop, play changes, but the importance of it remains. There are a number of ways that educators and other adults can support play for various ages of young learners.

But first, let’s learn how it evolves:

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Offering Loose Parts

by Judy Mullicanhappy family mother and baby daughter in an empty apartment wit

Loose parts is a term that we often see in early childhood articles these days. While that specific term may not have always been in use, the idea behind it is not new. Loose parts are objects that children can move around and combine or arrange in many different ways. While many people prefer to use natural materials as loose parts, manmade materials can also work very well. Some popular loose parts include rocks, shells, twigs, leaves, cardboard tubes, jar lids, boxes, bits of ribbon, and more. Any materials that are intriguing to children and offer many possibilities for play will work.

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Early Literacy – Language Development

by Kelley Jilek

Real People: Black African American Mother Talking with Toddler BoyLiteracy development for preschool children is an important part of providing appropriate early learning experiences. Research has shown repeatedly that literacy is a foundation for all learning and that careful consideration must be given to the types of activities and experiences offered to children in support of this. There are numerous ways to encourage and enhance literacy, particularly through language development, reading, and writing.

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Let’s Play Outside!

by Kelley Jilek

The boy and girl playing to a sandboxWhen you recall your childhood, do some of your fondest memories revolve around unstructured outdoor play? Did you make dandelion soup and mud pies, create sand castles, and run through sprinklers? Was your favorite grade school subject “recess?”

Although it is still just as exciting, young children today are spending less and less time outdoors. There are many possible explanations for why this is happening. Here are just a few:

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Learn to Play

by Kelley Jilek

Mother and daughter playing with finger toysNeed a refresher on how to play with children? Many of us have forgotten how! Set aside that small task you were about to tackle, and join in your children’s fun. Try some of the tips below to make playtime interactive, reflective, and a great learning experience.

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