Fun activities, aligned with the PA Early Learning Standards, to help your child have a successful Kindergarten year. 
We Are Learning in January
Try these activities to help prepare your child get ready for Kindergarten. Then contact your library to check out a book about it. Click here to print the book list.

We are learning Social Emotional Development
Do it!
Discuss the difference between real and pretend, and use a bear as an example. A stuffed bear can be hugged, but not a real bear. What other differences are there? Close your eyes and feel the teddy bear--use words to describe the texture. How does your kindergartner think a real bear would feel?
Read it!
Corduroy by Don Freeman. Bears by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak.  

We are learning Mathematical Thinking and Expression
Do it!
Find pictures of art work or look at art in your house or community. Encourage your child to talk about the colors, shapes and lines they see in the art work. If your child has difficulty with sequencing or communicating verbally, take pictures as you find artwork. After printing the pictures, help put the pics in order of color, size, or shape. Put the pictures on card stock and create a fun memory book to share with friends and family. 
Read it!
Art Lesson by Tomie dePaola. The Doorman by Edward Grimm. 

We are learning Scientific Thinking and Technology
Do it!
Place some water in a glass, then find a window that the sun is shining through. Hold the glass in the sunlight. A rainbow should appear. Where is it? Can you make it move? Can you make it larger or smaller? Describe what you see. Include words about color, light and movement. Sign the words as you say them. Allow your kindergartner to play with the light and manipulate the rainbow. Look for examples in nature, on the computer and TV in the days to come and remind your kindergartner of the experience. Add the new braille and sign words to your family dictionary.   
Read it!
Rainbows by David Whitfield. The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. 

We are learning Social Emotional Development
Do it!
Talk to your kindergartner about bedtime routines. What happens first, next and last? For example, they take a bath, puts on pajamas, then brush teeth. Come up with a visual schedule that includes the steps during the bedtime routine. It's a great visual reminder for your child, so they know what is expected. Ask them to help pick out the pictures to create the schedule. Be sure to add the corresponding written, braille or sign word of each icon to your schedule. The shapes and words can also be traced with puffy glue so they can feel to identify the next step.
Read it!
There's a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer. Dreams by Ezra Jack Keats.  
Eat Right When Money Is Tight
Are you struggling with your food budget? Are you looking for ideas for healthy, budget friendly meals and snacks for your family?

Take a look at the SNAP-Ed Connection page of resources on the USDA's webpage, Eat Right When Money's Tight. It has meal planning and budgeting tips as well as links for food assistance resources in your area. You can also find helpful information on the Stay Safe and Healthy at Home page. 
Power Kids: Pennsylvania's Electronic Library
Do you know about Power Kids, Pennsylvania's electronic library? With Power Kids, you and your child can access things like:
  • BookFlix: Watch videos and read books
  • CyberSmarts: Learn how to be a safe, responsible and smart citizen with eBooks
  • TrueFlix: Learn about people, places, nature, history and science from videos and eBooks
  • Chat with a Librarian

In addition, many libraries throughout Pennsylvania offers their members access to downloadable or streaming eBooks and audiobooks through Axis 360 and Hoopla. Enjoy new bestsellers and old favorites on your compatible digital device! Check with your library for additional info.
PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center logo
2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show
The 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show will be held Saturday, Jan. 8 through Saturday Jan. 15, 2022, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. Check out the Schedule of Events to help plan your visit.

No able to attend the PA Farm Show? PA's Promise for Children has fun early learning activities and resources relating to the Farm Show to can use at home or in your community.

Activities to do relating to the Farm Show
  • Cows and other animals: Count the legs on a cow. Help your child identify what other animals have the same number of legs as a cow. Can you find an animal with two legs?
  • Quilting: A quilt can have many different colors. Help your child identify the different colors on a quilt. A quilt can also have different shapes of fabric. Help your child identify the different shapes, like square, rectangle, star, or circle.
  • Sheep, Pigs and other items: A sheep may feel soft, while a pig may feel rough. Help your child identify other items that may feel soft (like a blanket) and items that may feel rough (like a piece of wood). What other words can you use to describe items? How about smooth, wet, or cold?
  • Growing Food: When exploring the food, prompt your kindergartner by asking, “Who grew it? How did it get from the field to our plates? How long does it take to grow the items and then sell the items?”
  • Scientific Thinking: There are many living and non-living things. Explore the differences between the two and talk about how plants and animals grow and change.

Books Related to the Pennsylvania Farm Show

Looking for a book relating to the Pennsylvania Farm Show? Pennsylvania's Promise for Children has a variety of books about butterflies, horses, cows and more!

Find your favorite book list, then visit your local library and ask your librarian to help find the books from the list. Use the books to explore your child’s interests or introduce them to new ones.
Search at the Farm Show

Who loves a treasure hunt? The Pennsylvania Farm Show is full of treasures and PA's Promise for Children has searches to help you and your child find some of them.

Download Search at the Farm Show, then help your child find each item on the list. Cross off or circle each item as you see them.  

Not visiting the Farm Show? No worries! Visit your local library for a book that contains the items. PA's Promise for Children has Book Recommendations that contain the items from Search at the Farm Show. Look through the books with your child to locate items on the search. Which item is the most challenging to find? Which is the easiest to find? 
Coats and Car Seats
Winter means keeping your kindergartner warm, but did you know that kindergartners in car seats should NOT wear puffy coats or snowsuits when in their car seat? The video below shows how a coat or snowsuit can compress under the harness of a car seat, sometimes up to four inches! This compression can cause the straps of your kindergartner's car seat to not fit properly, leaving a dangerous situation.

How should you keep your kindergartner in the car seat warm when it's cold?

  • Dress your kindergartner in snug layers. Add long pants, a long sleeved shirt, a hat and shoes and socks. You can even include a jacket.
  • After securing your kindergartner in the car seat (without wearing the coat), turn their coat around and put it on backwards (arms through the armholes) so the coat is on top of the harness, or use a blanket in the car. 
Want to make germs disappear? Try this!
Safety To and From School
What children do in school is important, but getting to school is important, too. Use these tips to help your kindergartner get to and from school in the safest way possible. 

If your kindergartner rides the bus, tell them to:
  • Sit quietly in their seat so they can hear the driver.
  • Remain in her seat until the bus comes to a complete stop.
  • Stay away from the curb while they wait for the bus.

If your kindergartner will be walking to school, tell them to:
  • Always walk with friends
  • Stay on the sidewalk and NO shortcuts
  • Follow the instructions of the crossing guard and school safety patrol

If you drive your kindergartner to school:
  • Buckle up! Most accidents occur within ten miles of home.
  • Children weighing 40-80 pounds should be in a belt-positioning booster seat.
  • Don't let your child wear their backpack in the car. When children wear their backpacks on their back, they are not receiving the proper head support in case of an accident.
Did you get this from a friend?  Sign up to get next month's enews to your email!
The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) provides families access to high quality services to prepare children for school and life success. 
Find more information about Quality Early Learning in Pennsylvania