April is a special month for parents, young children, and early childhood professionals. During this time of the year, a week long national celebration kicks off to recognize the beauty of being a young child. This celebration is called Week of the Young Child (WOYC). Since 1971, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has campaigned to recognize and honor the responsibility communities have to their most vulnerable population–young children. It’s important for communities to support all young children in order make sure every child has the opportunity to live a strong, healthy, and successful life. NAEYC states:
“WOYC is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment–at home, at child care, at school, and in the community–that will promote early learning.”
NAEYC has many resources and tools to help families and local communities celebrate WOYC. The idea is to be easy and fun so that everyone can participate and enjoy the festivities. NAEYC provides an outline for how you and your child can celebrate each day of the week together. Suggested examples include:
April 16th is Music Monday. Find the beat to connect music, movement, and math by counting out the rhythm. Or, invent your own musical instruments with recycled materials and play them along to silly lyrics.
April 17th is Tasty Tuesday. Use measuring cups when preparing snacks. Talk about concepts of “more” or “less” and introduce vocabulary like “one half” “two thirds,” and “one quarter.” Use a blindfold to have children rely on their other senses to guess what kind of food they are about to eat.
April 18th is Work Together Wednesday. This day is to celebrate working together. Choose games and activities that encourage social interaction such as, playing a board game or matching game. Breaking down household tasks to complete as a team can be fun! For example, “Mommy will move the pictures frames out of your way while you use your super sponge to wipe off the dust bunnies!”
April 19th is Artsy Thursday. Experiment with different types of media. Go beyond crayons and paper and try pastels, clay, or natural materials found outside. Arrange to visit shops by local artists to view their work.
April 20th is Family Friday. This a special day to celebrate everyone in the family! It’s also important to recognize parents as their child’s first teacher. Use this day to carve out extra cuddle and snuggle time. Building a living room fort is an easy way to spend time together. Everyone loves a fort! Spend time just going through family photos, making sure to share unique stories about all the special people in your lives.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear how you celebrate WOYC 2018. Please send your comments and stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org