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First Five Years & Beyond February Newsletter

Black History Month

Look beyond the struggle to celebrate Black Achievements

In addition to recognizing the civil rights movement, parents can use Black History Month to call attention to the achievements of Black Americans in other areas. The most common names you hear about during Black History Month are likely Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman because of their significance in the struggle for civil rights and abolition. You might even hear about music and sports icons like Billie Holiday and Michael Jordan. Names you’d hear less often would be those of famous millionaires, inventors, scientists, writers, and other Black American influencers from diverse industries and sectors. To celebrate Black achievement, here are some resources you can share with your children.


The Backpack Connection Series

First Five Years & Beyond is excited to promote the The Backpack Connection Series, created by TACSEI to provide a way for parents/caregivers to work together to help young children develop social emotional skills and reduce challenging behavior. Each Backpack Connection handout provides information that helps parents stay informed about what their child is learning at school and specific ideas on how to use the strategy or skill at home. Click on the image for more information.

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Throughout January, over 100 parents discussed these topics of common behaviors in early childhood development.

Whining: Children whine to ask for help. You can help your child figure out why s/he is whining and help him to find a better way to communicate.

Your child will continue to whine until you teach them a new skill. you can teach them to use their words to tell you about his feelings and, together, you can come up with a way to solve the problem.

Morning Routines: Getting your entire family up and out the door is no easy task! It is important to understand that your morning routine serves as the foundation for your family’s entire day. You can create a morning routine that not only helps your day to begin more smoothly, but also teaches your child important skills that he needs to become more independent and confident. A morning routine can also reduce challenging behavior such as crying, whining and tantrums.

Collaborations & Supporters

Through a collaboration with the Seattle Foundation/AllInWA, we launched the Vaccine Equity Program, encouraging youth 5-12 to get the Covid-19 vaccine. Our program reached 100% capacity! Thank you to all of the youth who protected themselves and others against severe illness from Covid-19!

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Looking Back At January

We rang in the new year by moving boxes of books, toys, supplies, diapers, and furniture upstairs to suite 201. We are also labeling boxes of book titles, binders with parent names, setting 2022 up to be very successful.


Our Kaleidoscope Play & Learn Theme for January was "Daily Activities"

On January 8, 2022 caregivers and their children worked on fine motor skills and vocabulary skills. We incorporated Baby Doll Circle Time to discuss things you can do at bath time at home to strengthen these skills. These include: washing your fingers, brushing your teeth, washing your face, filling the tub, and telling them what part of the body you're pointing to in efforts to teach them new vocabulary words.

On January 15, 2022 caregivers and their children learned about Getting Dressed, as part of our "Every Day Activities" Series. From tying shoes and zipping up to putting on gloves and buttoning shirts, kids practiced patience, focus, working through frustration, and problem solving!

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On January 22, 2022 Miss Amy took us on a virtual field trip to Safeway! Caregivers and their children interacted with Amy as she explored a variety of healthy food in store departments. We learned about food items not common in some households, which strengthened vocabulary; we zoned in on pricing which enhanced math and literacy skills; we also learned about the variety of colors and textures, highlighting color recognition and sensory experiences.

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On January 29, 2022 caregivers and their kids pretended to make meals with play food, wow! Children practiced meal preparation and setting the table, strengthen hand-eye-coordination and ways to help the family. The popular book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar was read and made available for each child to take 1 book home. Thanks for joining us this month!

Kaleidoscope Play & Learn in February

Saturday, February 5, 2022 we're going to make traffic lights on construction paper to honor the late Garret Morgan, an African-American engineer who improved upon the existing traffic signal to include the yellow light which is standard today. Caregivers will strengthen their children's recognition of the alphabet when we spell out the colors of the traffic lights: R-E-D, Y-E-L-L-O-W, and G-R-E-E-N!

Saturday, February 12, 2022 we are going to cut diamonds, squares, and triangles to make rocket ships to honor the late Katherine Johnson. She loved math and helped NASA put an astronaut into orbit around Earth. Later on, she helped put a man on the Moon. 

On Saturday, February 19, 2022 we are going to recite the "I Have A Dream" speech to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was known to encourage people of all races to do the right thing. 

On Saturday, February 26, 2022 we're going to sing our hearts out to the Black National Anthem called "Lift Every Voice," praised for its power in voicing a cry for liberation and affirmation for African-American people.

February Events & Programming

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First Five Years & Beyond is launching its after school program designed for elementary and junior high school students. High school students are encouraged to volunteer. In person activities will follow local Covid-19 regulations, masks are required. 

Masks Required. If your child is sick, please keep them home until they receive a negative test.

Transportation is not provided

Mondays and Wednesdays 3-6pm in Kent, WA


  • 3:00-3:30p Check-in, water/snack
  • 3:30-4:30p Homework Help & Tutoring
  • 4:30-5:30p Structured Activities
  • 5:30-6:00p Pack up/Clean up/Check out

It's FREE! Register here.

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First Five Years & Beyond is offering a free series of Leap Into Science workshops for our preschool and elementary school aged youth. We will learn about Light and Shadows, by making shadow puppets, exploring shadows with objects, and animals using flashlights. Kids can also find shadows in nature underneath trees and buildings. Last year, some siblings found a stop sign and traced the hexagon on the sidewalk with chalk (pictured on the right).

Our Leap Into Science Workshop will be listed on our events page in the coming weeks for registration.

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Julia, our Early Education Specialist has prepared activity binders for parents to take home and keep. These binders are loaded with tools to track their child's progress and suggested parent-child home activities, aligned with Brooke's Ages & Stages Questionnaire parent resources. First Five Years & Beyond offers a free, comprehensive and confidential online screening tool to help guide and keep track of your child’s growth and development during these first five years. Children develop skills and reach milestones at their own pace. How is your child doing? Use the ASQ to celebrate your child’s milestones! Visit our Birth to 5 Support page to learn more about the ASQ.

Take the ASQ Screening

Family Resources

First Five Years & Beyond provides parents with skills, tools, and resources to support their children. Check out our website for more information on resources near you! Translate any page in 100+ languages around the world by scrolling to the bottom of the website, choosing the language that works for you.

Past Newsletters

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First Five Years & Beyond

Providing parents with the skills, tools, and resources needed to support their children 206-504-9560

302 W. Harrison St, Suite 101 Kent, WA 98032