In 1971, The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) started a weeklong celebration to recognize that the early childhood years lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later years in life. This week long celebration is called “The Week of the Young Child.” It is a time to plan how we—as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation—will better meet the needs of all young children and their families. Early childhood professionals, community members, and children and families all over the country will take part in various fun activities to celebrate our most precious investment in a promising future—young children. The theme for 2016 is “Celebrating our Youngest Learners!” To kick off the festivities this year, the Early Learning Hub of Marion and Polk Counties is partnering with Salem Public Library to highlight some of the many different ways families can rejoice in the beauty of supporting development of young children during the the early years.
Sunday, April 10th. Make an easy do-it-yourself banner to hang in the window or outside to announce the Week of the Young Child. Cut out different shapes of cardstock or construction paper for each letter (W-E-E-K-O-F-T-H-E-Y-O-U-N-G-C-H-I-L-D-2-0-1-6). At the top of each card, use a hole puncher or make two holes at the top. Take a long ribbon, streamer, or twine to weave in and out of each hole making a long strand of the phrase. You can also use clothespins to hang drawings or pictures of your children from the banner. Be creative! Once finished, hang the banner proudly in your window or outside your front door. It will be a great way to show your community you care about youngest citizens.
Monday, April 11th. The Salem Public Library is hosting an event called Music Monday. Children and families can come sing and dance all the while developing physical skills and counting. Be ready to tap your toes and clap your hands to some jammin’ tunes! For more ideas on how to support young children in their development of music and movement click here.
Tuesday, April 12th. Taco Tuesday and early literacy! After learning some new moves and new songs on Monday, come back to the library for a healthy cooking experience where children and parents can make tacos together. It will be a great opportunity to learn about nutrition and ways to enhance a fun cooking activity by expanding language and early literacy. Moreover, the mess stays at the library so all parents and children have to do is come with empty bellies and an eagerness to participate! Need more kid-friendly cooking recipes? Here are two that are recommended by NAEYC, Corn and Bean Salsa or Black Bean Dip
Wednesday, April 13th. Who wants to build a castle? How about a bridge to the zoo or spaceship to Neptune? Wednesday is the day to be creative and BUILD! Be creative and use anything and everything (well, within what’s appropriate and safe for your child) to capitalize on the imagination and innovation of young children. Go outside and rummage through the cardboard/plastic recycle bin and watch creativity unfold as children use loose parts to build structures that will transport them to another place or time. The Salem Public Library will have a variety of materials available for young children to use if you don’t have anything readily available at home. Join us at the library to see what ideas come to life with everyday items!
Thursday, April 14th. Artsy Thursday at the Salem Public Library. Crayons and glitter and stickers, oh my! Gluesticks and paints and paper, OH MY! There will be a plethora of different art media available to young children for Thursday’s celebration of the Week of the Young Child. Your little ones will not want to miss out on the opportunity to allow their inner Picasso or Van Gogh feast on the blank paper and canvases waiting to channel their art expression. Come and take advantage of the easy, yet enriching experience that art provides in supporting the development of the whole child. If you can’t make it to the event, here are some ways that you can still make sure to provide meaningful art for your children at home.
Friday, April 15th. On Friday come to the library and check out the Discovery Room where the theme is Grocery Store. The Children’s Level at the library has many cozy areas for parents and children to spend some snuggle time together while reading a book. Story Time sessions will also be scheduled where the whole family can listen to books out loud, sing songs, and participate in music and movement. Families can share their own stories and also capture the memories of this special Week of the Young Child by taking pictures.
Saturday, April 16th. Below is a list of even more fun ways to spend the weekend celebrating the Week of the Young Child for 2016. Which one do you plan to do with your little one? The Parenting Hub would love to hear about it! Please send your stories and/or photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
10 Ways Babies Learn When We Sing to Them
Read and Eat
Children Learn So Much From Cooking
What’s Big Body Play and Why Is It Important?
Help Your Child Develop Fine Motor Skills
Eight Tips for Creating Homemade Books
Salem Public Library, The Lily Pad
The Week of the Young Child FAQ
Playing with Music at Home
Corn and Bean Salsa
Theory of Loose Parts
Meaningful Art Projects that Can Fit Into a Busy Day
Personal Stories to Help Children Get Ready for School