Over the past few weeks, I have had folks on facebook ask me to help them find ideas for celebrating the Week of the Young Child (WOYC). So today, I attended a session at our local IAEYC conference that was designed to help foster better understanding of this event and how to implement it.
According the the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the purpose for 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.”
According to both the presenters and the attendees at the conference the purpose is also to..
Remind or Inform others that early childhood educators are not just babysitters
To foster new relationships with community leaders
To network with others in your local community and neighborhood
To get families more involved in early childhood education
To educate or enlighten others on the value of early learning
To promote your program and the quality it provides for young children
Ultimately I was told that during the week of the young child, you should…
Choose your message – the week of the young child is what you make of it!
So now that we know the purpose, let me share some of the ideas that I heard today..
How to begin celebrating the young child…
If you have never celebrated the week of the young child, then start small. A very nice lady at the conference said that it is best to start by doing something simple and meaningful and build up to bigger and better each year.
Notes from the conference…
These are some of the ideas shared by the folks at the IAEYC conference…
- Make a “This worker made possible by quality childcare” button for parents to wear to work.
- Send home a letter to parents sharing what WOYC is all about.
- Pass out WOYC fliers in your community.
- Team up with local public schools and colleges to create community wide events
- Let children make artwork and frame it – then make arrangements at local restaurants or stores to put the children’s artwork on display – make sure they know it is in celebration of the week of the young child.
- Notify local media outlets such as newspapers, television, and radio of any special events that you are planning so they can help to promote the week of the young child along with you.
At your school or home
- Have a bubble day kick off for the week
- Donuts with Dad day
- Muffins with Mom day
- Invite parents to come in a read a story or share something from their work or home with the children
- Have an open house and invite community members to come and take a tour of your program to see what the children are learning.
- Invite community members to visit the school to share their talents or skills with the children.
Have Purple Day!
To publicize this event, NAEYC is encouraging teachers and parents and others in the community to wear a purple ribbon this week.
I simply cut a length of ribbon and put a dot of glue where the ribbon crosses over to hold in place. Then a second dot of glue on top to add a little figure or shape…
Wear purple to school, have a purple party, and have a purple show and tell day!
Purple Ribbon Painting
Painting with purple ribbon might be a simple way for the children to participate. I cut a child shape out of paper and a paintbrush by taping some purple ribbon to a craft stick. Add some purple or red and blue paint and your good to go…
Read more on WOYC
10 Ideas for WOYC from Centers and Circletime!
You can read more from NAEYC about WOYC here!
If you have other ideas to share – I would love to hear them!