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 51 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 Step It Up (SIU) and 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.
There is so much children learn as they sing, cook together, build together, create art, and celebrate with their families. Download the 2022 America for Early Ed + Week of the Young Child toolkit, which features resources, action steps, and sample social media posts as a guide for your 2022 WOYC celebrations. Together, we can make sure #ECEwins—across the country and in your community!
Use #WOYC22 and #prek.club 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 included below. Also, look for more posts next week with additional resources for each day!
Kick off Saturday (April 2)
- 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 #WOYC22 and how they can prepare for your Family Friday activities
Music Monday (April 4)
Young children explore music through play. Through music, children develop math, language, and literacy skills – All while having fun and being active!
Music plays an important role in cultures all over the world, in addition to having a positive effect on children’s development – educationally and socially.
- Integrating Music, Drama, and Dance Helps Children Explore and Learn
- Experiencias Musicales
- 10 ways you can use music to boost your child’s development
Tasty Tuesday (April 5)
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.
Cooking together connects math with literacy skills, science, and more while encouraging healthy nutrition and fitness habits at home and in the classroom.
- Baking Math for Families and Young Children
- Buon Appetito: Sharing a Love of Food with Infants and Toddlers
- Additional articles and resources on cooking and nutrition for the classroom and home, along with resources for other days this week.
Work Together Wednesday (April 6)
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.
When children build together, they explore math and science concepts and develop their social and early literacy skills.
- STREAM Education at Work—No, at Play! A Toy-Making Unit
- Breaking Down STEAM For Young Children
- Activities that encourage team building among children
Artsy Thursday (April 7)
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.
- Mathematical Masterpieces: Exploring Math Through Art
- Art at the Heart: Creating a Meaningful Art Curriculum for Young Children
- 7 Simple Art Activities for Toddlers
Family Friday (April 8)
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!
Engaging and celebrating families is at the heart of supporting our youngest learners. NAEYC applauds family members’ role as young children’s first and most important teachers.