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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Planning for the " Week of the Young Child"

The Week of the Young Child was established in 1971 by NAEYC, the world's largest early childhood association. The week is designed as an opportunity for Educators, Programs, Parents, Organizations and Communities to promote awareness and focus on the needs of young children and the families they serve.

Early Childhood Educators are wondering what they should be doing in their classroom. Since the week is more about how to get communities, law makers and politicians involved, It’s difficult to build a lesson plan around the Week of the Young Child.

Here are a few activities you might want to consider when planning for next week.

Activities For Your Students:
Discuss with your children how important they are and tell them you'll be celebrating them all week.
Talk to them about what makes them unique. You may want to pull some ideas from
your “All about me” unit.

Have the children put handprints on butcher paper. Paint/Write the words, “Week of the Young Child” and display outside your school or Child Care Center.

Roll out red paper for your students to make a grand entrance into class.

Have a pretend dinner party, gather extra dress up clothes so everyone is dressed for the occasion. Pretend to serve each child.

Make crowns for the boys, and sashes for the girls.

Trace the body of each student on butcher paper, allow them to decorate their bodies, then display them.

Give your children a “Children are important” party at the end of the week. Invite your parents.

Collect art work from you students throughout the week, and conduct an Art Gallery on Friday displaying each child's art on a black background.

For Your Community:
Ask your students what makes them special. Give them hints to what makes them special in your eyes. Write what they say on a piece of paper along with their handprints. Mail all of your letters to your local law-makers.

Plan a parade. Invite the local news station, radio stations, and email your city representatives. Use butcher paper and poster board to make signs. Have your children help design, plan, and color/paint the signs. Give each child a poster or an instrument to play. Parade around your parking lot and wave to friends, family, and representatives.

Ideas for signs:
I matter!
I am the future!
I love learning!

Send a letter home to parents asking them to email their local city commissioner some basic facts about their child. Then thank them for supporting Early Childhood Education.

For Example: My daughter is Jada, her favorite color is red. Her teacher says she plays in the Block Center everyday. I appreciate you keeping Jada in mind when decisions are made concerning Early Childhood Education.

Johanna Lee

For the Teacher:
Write to your local representatives and tell them what your job entails. Describe in detail the rewards of being an Early Childhood Educator.

Join or start a Preschool PTA

Keep up with Early Childhood News and Studies.

Support Early Childhood conferences and workshops by spreading the word and attending.

Invite your local representatives to you school, blog, or website.

In my classroom there is a plaque that was given to me years ago. It reads, “A hundred years from will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."

Visit NAEYC for more information on the Week of the Young Child.


  1. Wow, Centers~ thanks for all the wonderful ideas! I have to say I was stumped this year! :)

  2. Great ideas! At my center we are celebrating for two weeks! It's going to be great! Each day we have a different theme going on. For example, hat day, beach day, color day, show-n-tell day, etc.

  3. @jd6405 Don't forget to keep me posted on how it goes:)