April 10th through 16th, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. What it hasn’t changed, and is possibly even more important than ever, is the crucial role early learning and care plays for children and their families. The week of April 10th through 16th, 2021, is our chance to celebrate and support children and the adults who love, care for, and educate them.
The Week of the Young Child® (WOYC) is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world’s largest early childhood education association. The purpose of the Week of the Young Child® is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
Celebrating 50 years, NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child® in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life. The Week of the Young Child™ 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.
Teachers, families, providers, and communities are invited to celebrate and highlight your activities, advocacy, and engagement via social media. NAEYC asks members, centers, higher ed programs, and everyone in the early education community to spread the word about the importance of high quality early learning and the critical role early childhood educators play in a child’s development and learning. Use #WOYC21 to share all the creative ways you celebrate with children this week! We hope you and your children continue to be inspired by the activities below.
- Post a video, blog or social media post sharing why you celebrate Week of the Young Child and what you do to prepare
- Plan a virtual event with your social media community
- Share your local proclamation
- Take some time for yourself, reorganize and re-energize so that you’re ready for the week ahead
- Create a dancing playlist for Music Monday
- Search your kitchen for ingredients for your Tasty Tuesday activity
- For Work Together Wednesday, work with other educators in your program to draft a group letter to your elected officials, emphasizing the need to #InvestinECE
- Gather your arts and crafts for Artsy Thursday
- Draft an email to parents explaining what they should expect during #WOYC21 and how they can prepare for your Family Friday activities
Young children explore music through play. They make discoveries through trial and error—”If I hit the tambourine lightly, it makes a soft sound. If I hit it hard, it makes a loud one.” They listen to the musical beat and dance along with it. They make up new words or add choruses to familiar songs.
NAEYC provides this resource for Playing with Music at Home
Explore culture-specific foods that children may enjoy at home. Connect with families by engaging them in the history and tradition of meals from their countries of origin. Consider having families share a story or a recipe about their favorite dish. Introduce children to new ingredients and discuss where they are grown.
Here are additional articles and resources on cooking and nutrition for the classroom and home, along with resources for other days this week.
Work Together Wednesday
Young children develop social skills such as cooperation, sharing, problem-solving, communication, listening, creativity, and self-esteem by working together. Children can learn to work together at school and at home. Contributing to the family by having small daily jobs help them to feel important, independent, and confident.
At home, laundry time can become learning time! Try these activities the next time you are doing a load of laundry.
Here’s a great website with activities that encourage team building among children.
Children develop creativity, social skills, and fine muscles with open-ended art projects that let them make choices, use their imaginations, and create with their hands.
Here are a few tips from NAEYC for meaningful art projects.
Also, see 7 Simple Art Activities for Toddlers.
Celebrate the day by playing together! Children learn to communicate and behave by watching their parents interact with each other and other family members. Family time builds a child’s self-esteem and strengthens family bonds. It develops positive behavior and makes the child feel important and loved. Plus, it’s fun!
Try bubbles! Not only is it fun, but helps teach children to cooperate, take turns, and solve problems. Use these tips to make bubbles and play bubble games.
Need other ideas? Here are 101 Fun Things To Do With Toddlers.
With this America for Early Ed toolkit, we encourage you to take time during #woyc21 to lift up your advocacy voice on behalf of the children, families, and educators in your community to make sure #ECEwins!