Fun activities, aligned with the PA Early Learning Standards, to help your child have a successful Kindergarten year. 
We Are Learning in September
There are many ways you can help your Kindergartner learn! Try these activities, then visit your library to check out a book about it. Click here to print this list.

We are learning Social and Emotional Development
Do it!
Give your kindergartner various throw away items that are found at home, like paper towel rolls, old mail, lids, etc. Ask them to arrange them into a sculpture or create a masterpiece. The throw away items can also be added to a sensory bin at home to explore, observe and create. Talk about the different textures, shapes, and sizes. Be sensitive to your kindergartner's feelings about textures and encourage them with things that interest them. For example, "Can you use these items to make a train?"
Read it!
Just a Mess by Mercer Mayer. Monster Mess! by Margery Cuyler and S.D. Schindler.

We are Approaches to Learning Through Play
Do it!
Ask your kindergartner to help you plan for a family meal. Encourage them to help cook and set items on the table, then clean up. Becoming involved in the cooking process might make them more willing to try new foods. For example, if you make a casserole and they help add the ingredients, they might be more willing to try it when it is mixed together. Involvement can be as simple as making a list for shopping, dumping pre-measured ingredients, or mixing something with a spoon.
Read it!
The Berenstain Bears Lend a Helping Hand by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Herman the Helper by Robert Kraus, Jose Areugo, and Ariane Dewey.

We are learning Scientific Thinking and Technology
Do it!
Play "Who's my baby?" Name an animal and ask your kindergartner to tell you the names of the baby. For example, dog-puppy, cat-kitten. Then ask them to name the animal and you name the baby. Show them pictures of the various animals and their babies with picture cards, word cards, sign or braille. If possible, make the noise of each animal with your kindergartner or listen to it using technology. Some books even offer opportunities to feel the textures of the animals skin and fur.
Read it!
Puppies! Puppies! Puppies! by Susan Meyers and David Walker. The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems.

We are learning Social Studies Thinking
Do it!
Ask your kindergartner to tell you about a time when they felt angry, mad or upset. What did they do to feel better? If they are unable to give a solution for their situation, offer some suggestions. You can create a simple social story with your kindergartner using words or pictures for them to refer back to if they are in that situation again. Use words to help them identify feelings. Explain how you have felt when you have been upset, how your body reacted and ways you were able to calm yourself down. Explain that emotions are all okay to feel and express, but there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to do so.
Read it!
Polly's Running Away Book by Frances Thomas and Sally Gardner. How to Take the Grrrr Out of Anger by Elizabeth Verdick and Majorie Lisovskis.
Is Your Family Ready for an Emergency?

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. Use this month to help your family prepare for an emergency like floods, fires, winter storms and more. 

Check out these resources to help your family prepare for emergencies. 

Eating Healthy in September: Peppers

Each month, Pennsylvania's Promise for Children explores healthy foods through the Pennsylvania Harvest of the Month program. September’s featured item for PA Harvest of the Month is peppers.

Peppers are a good source of vitamin C which is important in the body’s healing process and may play a role in guarding against heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron. Red peppers are a good source of vitamin A which is important for eye health and immune function. 

Peppers are tender, warm–season vegetables that can be classified into two groups — bell peppers (mild and sweet–tasting), and chili (hot and pungent). Bell peppers come in a wide variety of colors such as green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown, and black. Chili peppers range in color from green to deep red to almost black. The color of chili peppers is not a sign of the heat (flavor) of the pepper.

Visit the PA's Promise for Children website for resources and family-friendly recipes!
Tips to Partner with Your Kindergartner's Teacher
As your child's first teacher, you know a lot about your kindergartner. What's the best way to communicate that to your child's Kindergarten teacher?

These tips can help you communicate with your child's teacher to help your kindergartner learn.

  1. Paperwork! Fill out all paperwork from the school. Provide correct contact information. If information changes during the school year, let the school know in writing.
  2. Make an appearance. Back to school night and meet-and-greet events are great times to introduce yourself to the teacher and school staff.
  3. Volunteer. Offer to help with your child's class or the school. Some help can be done at home, for only a short amount of time, or a few times per year. Every little bit helps. Your child will be proud to have your help at his school.
  4. Share important information. Has your child recently experienced the loss of a loved one? Have her parents divorced? Did she get a new baby brother? Share this with your child's teacher or school staff.

Get ways you can help partner with your kindergartner's teacher in Be Your Child's Champion (available in English and Spanish). Be Your Child's Champion walks you through the four parts of having a conversation about your child. Download and print it for free!
Traveling Safely with Your Kindergartner 

These one page graphics from the Centers of Disease Control demonstrate how to avoid the most common mistakes while using a forward-facing car seat or booster seat for your kindergartner.
The Monster in Your Home

There may be a monster in your home and it's right in front of your eyes! It's your television or tablet!

Spending time watching TV or using a tablet means your kindergartner may not be engaged in creative or learning activities, like reading, playing or just being a kid.

Many homes have one or more TVs or tablets. Too often, a kindergartner 's free time may center around what's playing on TV or on the tablet. Watching excessive, or inappropriate shows or games can lead to:
  • violent and aggressive behavior, 
  • obesity, 
  • poor body concept and self-image, and later, 
  • substance abuse and early sexual activity. 

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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