It’s Never Too Early to ENGAGE, CONNECT AND LEARN!
Join the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), early childhood education students, teachers, child care providers, parents and families across the nation to celebrate the Week of the Young Child’s 50th anniversary (WOYC) from April 10 – 16! Help 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.”
Since 1971, NAEYC has partnered with over 60,000 families, government, providers, nonprofits and other family-serving organizations nationwide to highlight the importance of the early years (birth through age 8) through its annual Week of the Young Child™ celebration.
The theme for #woyc21 is “Step It Up,” which will be celebrated virtually on marylandfamiliesengage.org and @MDEngageEarly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This year, family engagement is more critical now than ever as nationwide schools and programs work with communities to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
For additional support, the Maryland Early Childhood Family Engagement Framework puts forth seven goals for family engagement to be used across Maryland’s early childhood system and within individual programs. Specifically, the following activities celebrating WOYC meet Goal Two of the Framework: Family engagement initiatives should promote positive parent-child relationships.
Below are six fun-filled WOYC daily activities to engage children and families while promoting school readiness and positive parent-child relationships.
New Theme Added: As part of our Healthy Green Families project, we added a new daily theme for Saturday: Family Seed Challenge Saturday!
Seed Challenge Saturday (April 10)
Tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, oh my! It’s the spring planting season and the perfect opportunity to start a healthier lifestyle. Teach children the value of growing their food by planting a family veggie garden. Take the Family Seed Challenge.
Music Monday (April 12)
Making the Band: The Family Edition! As a guide, e-mail the Five Tips to Making Music at Home to families a few days in advance. Families can create their musical instruments at home, such as strings, brass, woodwinds and percussion. After completing their instruments, download a great song, check out a virtual dance party and make a WOYC music video at home using their instruments. Share your family band’s live performance with your program and other families on social media. Remember to tag @NAEYC and @MDEngageEarly using the hashtags #woyc21 and #MDFamiliesEngage.
Tasty Tuesday (April 13)
Help children develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. Share with your families tips on how to become a Healthy Green Family! Share nutrition tips, recipes and more with The MFE Nutrition Collection on the resources page. Ask families to share their healthy meal option ideas with other families in the program.
Work Together Wednesday (April 14)
Let’s learn something new together! Partner with families to host a virtual class or meet-up on Zoom or Google Hangouts. Start a group project and share learning activities that families can do at home with their children or just give the children an opportunity to catch up with friends or favorite teachers.
Artsy Thursday (April 15)
It’s a Family Affair! Ask families to use art supplies and a large piece of paper to create a family tree or portrait. Want to get really creative? Other options can include creating a Melted Bead Bowl or Decorated Egg Holder. No art supplies at home? Share the free coloring pages on Nickelodeon Parents or Art for Children Hub. Encourage them to take photos of their family art project. Share with the program and other families on Facebook and Twitter. #WOYC21 #MDFamiliesEngage
Family Friday (April 16)
Celebrate the end of WOYC by using the new virtual Maryland Family Engagement Toolkit for best practices, strategies and ideas on communicating with and engaging families, especially during this difficult time. It is more important now than ever to support families by ensuring they have the resources needed to be “their children’s best teachers.”
Help promote family engagement by making sure families have fun and creative learning activities to do at home with their children every single day.