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

Child Pebbles

Loose parts play is popular in early childhood settings. Play experts value it as a form of open-ended learning. Loose parts are objects that children can move around and combine or arrange in many different ways. While some educators prefer to use natural materials as loose parts, manmade materials also work well. Loose parts may 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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