The Week of the Young Child is April 16-20 this year. Each year, National Association for the Education of Young Children hosts the week to focus on young children and their early years of education. Each day has a focus to help you engage your students in the classroom. Read on for fun activities to host in your classroom throughout the week.
Week of the Young Child Activity Ideas
Music Monday: Monday, April 16Music engages children and helps them develop the parts of their brain that power math, literacy and language skills. To have fun in the classroom today, here are a few ideas:
- Learn about different instruments. Bring drums, keyboards, horns and more into the classroom and teach children the names of the instruments and how you play them.
- Teach your children a new song; it can be an old favorite like “Mr. Sun” or a new children’s tune you find on YouTube. Either way, get the kids moving with choreographed moves that help them remember the words and use other parts of their brains while singing.
- Create your own song. Have each child come up with a line and create your own classroom tune. It can be to the music of a classic children’s song, or you can try your hand at writing your own music to go with their lyrics.
Tasty Tuesday: Tuesday, April 17On Tuesday, we focus on healthy eating and fitness. This is a great chance to have discussions with your childcare class about having a lifestyle that allows for lifelong wellness. Here are some activity ideas to enjoy with your students:
- Bring in fruits and vegetables and ask kids where they come from. Do they know apples and peaches grow on trees while potatoes and carrots grow inside the ground? Helping kids understand where their food comes from can help them know when a food is healthy or not.
- Discuss the food groups with building blocks. Build a pyramid out of blocks together just like the food pyramid and discuss with kids the importance of making healthy choices.
- Encourage fitness through activity. Ask the kids what sort of things they can do for exercise. Do jumping jacks, run in a circle and talk about your favorite sports. These will make kids more aware that their favorite outdoor activities promote fitness and should be done throughout life.
Work Together Wednesday: Wednesday, April 18Working together not only builds a child’s social skills, but their math and problem-solving skills. Encourage teamwork in the classroom with some fun activities:
- Pair children up and have them build with blocks. Tell them to be creative and create a tower together. Be sure to praise teamwork when you hear it while the children build together.
- Host a teamwork race. Have the kids hold hands and play Simon Says to see who can work with their partner to use their listening skills to win the race.
- Start a garden together. Work as a classroom to plant some fruits and vegetables to reinforce yesterday’s healthy eating lesson and show kids how to work together to care for the environment.
Artsy Thursday: Thursday, April 19Art helps children develop their creative and social skills as well as fine motor skills. Teaching them to draw and paint now could also instill in them a passion for fine art later in life. Teach art at a young age with these activities:
- Give the kids in your classroom a clean sheet of paper and art supplies and see what they come up with. No directions and no requirements, just pure creativity. You’ll get to see each unique personality come out.
- Design a spring craft. This can feature flowers, plants, butterflies and more fun spring images to help the kids bring together the season with art.
- Talk about famous artists and show your classroom some of their work. This is a great way to do some light exposure to fine art with the classroom to build appreciation for art later in life.
Family Friday: Friday, April 20Families are what make a child who they are. Celebrate that with your childcare classroom and teach them the importance of listening to their parents and sharing with their siblings by celebrating the role the family plays in their daily lives. Teach these lessons with activities like:
- Have each child talk about which family member inspires them and why. This will teach the kids about how to share with the classroom and listen when others are speaking.
- Discuss ways the children can be good family members and help out around the house. Teach about chores that are easily attainable for their age group and the importance of cleaning up toys to help out mom and dad.
- Do a family tree craft. Keep it simple though because each student’s family make up could look different. Talk more overarching about what an aunt and uncle is, how grandparents are actually their parent’s parents and more.