Fun activities, aligned with the PA Early Learning Standards, to help your child have a successful Kindergarten year. 
We Are Learning in December
Now that your child is in kindergarten, there are new ways you can help them learn. Try these activities, then visit your library to check out a book about it. Click here to print this list.

We are learning Mathematics Thinking and Expression
Do it!
Get different sizes of bowls, spoons, pillow, toys, cups, plates, shoes, etc. Help your kindergartner sort them by small, medium and large. You can also trace the objects being sorted on separate pieces of paper. To use the tracings as a matching activity, place the pictures in the correct order and then have your kindergartner match the items. To use as a self-check activity, let your kindergartner sort the objects and then put the pictures in the correct sequence in front of the objects to see if they match.

Talk to your kindergartner as you manipulate the objects using a variety of vocabulary. Including synonyms for small and large, like tall or short. Introduce the sign for those vocabulary words. Include their favorite toys to increase their desire to participate. Make sure the objects are easy enough for your child to manipulate. Increase fine motor success by using objects that have handles and are easy to grasp.
Read it!
Five Creatures by Emily Jenkins. Sort it Out! by Barbara Mariconda.

We are learning Scientific Thinking and Technology
Do it!
Find the Arctic or Antarctic on a map or globe. Find Pennsylvania and then talk about how far away we are from those places and what their weather is like. Try to find a 3D globe for your child to touch the continents, mountain ranges and oceans. Show your child the name in print of the places you are exploring. Look for pictures of what it is like in Arctic or Antarctic. Go outside and take pictures of Pennsylvania, then compare the pictures. Allow your kindergartner to touch an ice cube or feel the steam over a cup of tea to give a tactile experience of the weather.
Read it!
Snow Bears by Martin Waddel. Polar Bears by Gail Gibbons.

We are learning Scientific Thinking and Technology
Do it!
Talk with your kindergartner about textures. Find pictures or items around your house that are smooth, rough, slippery and bumpy. Ask your kindergartner to find objects that are the same texture. Make a feel box from a tissue box or baby wipe container. Gather items from your home that are identical in texture. Place one item from each pair in the box. Keep those which match in a bag. Have your kindergartner choose an item from the bag and then, without looking, have them try to find a matching item in the box.

This activity can increase your child's communication skills. Use many descriptive words to explain what they are feeling when they touch the textures. Introduce the sign for smooth, rough, slippery and bumpy as you speak the words. You can try a similar activity at meal time. For example, smooth yogurt, crunchy carrot, and rough cereal.   
Read it!
Spiky, Slimy, Smooth: What Is Texture? by Jane Brocket. The Trouble With Cauliflower by Jane Sutton.

We are learning Social-Emotional Development
Do it!
Make a gingerbread person that is like each person in your family. Talk with your kindergartner about how they are different and how they are the same. Expand their vocabulary by using descriptive words to describe each member of the family. Gingerbread people can be made out of clay, play dough, or paper. Share the descriptive words in sign to help increase your child's communication.
Read it!
The Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst. Snipp, Snapp, Snurr and the Gingerbread by Maj Lindman.
Keeping Families Healthy

Staying updated with information to keep your family safe and healthy can be confusing and overwhelming. These reliable resources can help!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) from KidsHealth: Information about the signs and symptoms, how Coronavirus spreads, how it can be dangerous to children and more.

Navigating Flu Season: Resources to keep kids safe and healthy from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: What you should know about the flu, why it's important to get a flu shot, how to get vaccinated and more.

Influenza Vaccine Clinics from the Pennsylvania Department of Health: The flu vaccine is offered statewide throughout flu season at many locations, including your doctor's office, pharmacies, grocery stores with pharmacies and also at numerous Department of Health facilities. Find an upcoming flu vaccine clinic near you.

COVID-19 Printables from Conscious Discipline: ABC's for Parents of Little Ones, Adult Weekly Commitment Calendar, At Home Brain Breaks and Active Calming, and more.
Top Five Gifts for Your Kindergartner

Looking for the perfect gift to give your kindergartner this holiday season? PA's Promise has the perfect options! These gifts won't cost a cent, but will last a lifetime. Click here to print the list.
School Success Starts at Home

Families who play with their kids and provide learning materials like books and craft supplies help ensure their kids get started on the right foot.

This quick video from our friends at Child Trends has ideas for low or no cost solutions to help your kindergartner be successful in school.
Discipline Without Spanking 

Spanking a child may increase aggression in a child, and may actually do long term harm to a child, says a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The use of spanking is also ineffective in teaching a child responsibility and self-control. New evidence shows that it may actually cause harm by impacting a child's normal brain development.

Research has shown that striking a child, yelling at or shaming them can increase stress hormones and lead to changes to a child's brain. Harsh verbal abuse is also linked to mental health problems as children get older.

There are other methods that teach children right from wrong and are safer and more effective. Depending on the age and development of a child, other methods may include redirecting their attention, distraction, changing the subject, positive reinforcement, time out and natural consequences. Visit the PA Promise website and watch the video below for resources related to parenting and discipline.

Contact your Early Learning Resource Center for more information about programs to support families in your community.
Mindfulness with Kindergartners

Children of all ages can benefit from mindfulness, the simple practice of bringing a gentle, accepting attitude to the present moment. It can help parents and caregivers, too, by promoting happiness and relieving stress. This article from The New York Times offers basic tips for children and adults of all ages, as well as several activities that develop compassion, focus, curiosity and empathy. And remember, mindfulness can be fun.
Winter Safety Tips

Whether winter brings severe storms, light dustings or just cold temperatures, the  American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some valuable tips on how to keep your kindergartner safe and warm.
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