Fun activities, aligned with the PA Early Learning Standards, to help your child have a successful Kindergarten year. 
We Are Learning in August
Your child is getting ready to begin Kindergarten and you can help your child learn. Try these activities, then visit your library to check out a book about it .   Click here to print this list.

We are learning Language & Literacy Development
Do it!
Help your kindergartner write a letter to a friend or family member, then mail it. For children who do not write, have ask your kindergartner dictate a letter to you, through words, sign, braille, or through pictures in a book or on an adaptive technology device which tell the story of the letter to you. If your kindergartner is learning to read braille, add the symbols to the words in the letters you are writing.
Read it!
With Love, Little Red Hen by Alma Flor Ada.  The Jolly Postman and Other People's Letters by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg.

We are learning Social Studies Thinking
Do it!
Have your kindergartner draw a map of your home or other special place. Help them add labels to the map (example: kitchen, bedroom, etc.) You can be the artist while your kindergartner gets to label each room, add Braille, or sign the name for each room. Then they can describe features of the room with their senses. Your kindergartner can take or select photos to make the map, or add pre-made labels to the map. Later, play a game with the map, for example, "If we take five steps out of the living room, what room are we in?"  
Read it!
Mapping Penny's World by Loreen Leedy.  Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney.

We are learning Scientific Thinking and Technology
Do it!
Go outside with your kindergartner once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening to look for your shadows. What does it look like? Do you see it every time you go outside? Use all your senses during this activity! Describing what the shadow looks like to them, and then using non-standard forms of measurement to record it, such as measuring the shadow with each other's shoe. Then ask them how the sun feels on their skin during each part of the day, what part of their body feels warmth and cool. How does that feel change through the day?
Read it!
The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss.  The Black Rabbit by Philippa Leathers.

We are learning Health, Wellness and Physical Development
Do it!
Talk about something your kindergartner could not do before, but can do now. Maybe when they were four, they could not write their name, but now that they are five, they can. Talk about how your kindergartner learned that skill. Show them their preschool portfolio, with samples of their art and writing progress throughout the year. Share with them a story of something they learned, how they learned it, and where they learned the new skill. Look at old photos comparing how they have grown and changed.   
Read it!
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont.  My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook.
Featured Article: Teaching Children to Understand and Value Diversity

Do you think of cultural, racial and ethnic diversity as a melting pot, a mosaic or tapestry, tossed salad, vegetable soup, or some other equally picturesque description? All of these descriptions are pleasant and colorful reminders of the richness that comes from differences. Unfortunately, the differences among people also spark name-calling, bullying and violence, even by young children.
How can we teach children to understand and genuinely value people who look, sound and act different? To help people who work with young children and their families in early learning centers, the National Center for Cultural Competence developed a self-assessment checklist that gives specific examples of things you can do to create an environment where diversity is valued, modeled and taught. Read more

What article was featured this time last year?
Returning to Child Care

Families have been faced with important decisions about child care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Caregivers considering child care arrangements for their children should understand strategies used to reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19.  

This Frequently Asked Questions document—compiled by experts in pediatric primary care, infectious diseases, early childhood and child care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia—is intended to provide parents and caregivers with information and guidance for returning their children to child care. It reflects the latest evidence on safety protocols for home and center-based care. Read the document.
Community Inclusion during COVID-19

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a global health crisis and has a deep impact on the way we perceive our world and interactions with others in our everyday lives. Families of children with special needs are finding it increasingly difficult to explore ways of practicing meaningful community inclusion.

As a parent of a child with Autism, Sadia was worried about possible regression in social growth her daughter had accomplished over the last three years. She knew she had to do something to maintain the acquired skills and also to help her daughter understand and adapt to the new world. The biggest challenges were to help her understand what social distancing means and wearing a mask.

5 Promises to Make to Your Kindergartner for School Success

How can you help your kindergartner have a successful school year? PA's Promise for Children has five promises you can make to your child for school success.
Looking for a Child Care or a Before/After School Program?

There's a free, online resource to help you find a child care or before/after school program. Pennsylvania families can visit to search for programs in their community. You can also get information about help paying for child care, the different types of available programs, and how you can use Keystone STARS to find a quality program for your child.

Your local Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) at can help you find an early learning program or other resources to help your child learn. ELRCs provide a single point-of-contact for families, early childhood education providers, and communities to gain information and access services that support high-quality child care and early childhood education programs.
Don't Wait - Vaccinate Now!

The start of a new school year will be here before you know it! Make sure your child is ready to start kindergarten and has all the required immunizations before the first day of school.

Pennsylvania's school immunization requirements can be found in  28 PA.CODE CH.23 (School Immunization) . If your child will attend before or after school care, please contact the program for immunization requirements.

The Pennsylvania Health Department's Vaccine for Children Program (VFC) provides vaccinations to children who do not have health insurance. Children who are insured, but insurance does not cover immunizations (underinsured), are eligible to receive federally funded vaccines at public sites. To find a VFC-enrolled provider near you, call 1-877 PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).

If your child is not covered under Medical Assistance or private insurance, he may be eligible for PA CHIP. CHIP is short for the Children's Health Insurance Program - Pennsylvania's program to provide health insurance to uninsured children and teens who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance.  Learn more about PA CHIP.
A Family Activity that Encourages Healthy Eating

How can your child participate in a valuable learning experience, while having family fun? Where can you get the freshest fruits and vegetables for your family without having to dig or plant? Try a Pick Your Own farm near you!
Children of all ages can help pick fruits and vegetables. Helping also mean they're more likely to try an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable.
Pick Your Own farms allow families to pick and purchase fruits and vegetables that someone else has been planted. There are several locations throughout Pennsylvania where families can pick their own fruits and vegetables. How much you purchase depends on how much you can pick.  Learn more .  
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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