December 2021
Fun activities, aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards, to help prepare children for school success!
We're learning while in the car or on the bus!
Babies
Attach plastic decals to the side windows (both sides), so when the light comes through the windows, your baby can see the different shapes and colors. Talk to them and share the colors, naming the ones they might see. Read more!

Toddlers
Take a travel break. In a park, rest stop, or even the less populated corner of a parking lot, get out of the car and encourage your toddler to move. Have them pretend they're a little bird and flap their fingers, then a bigger bird (flap their hands), and then an even bigger bird (flap their arms). Read more!

Preschoolers
Before your trip, help your preschooler cut out pictures from a magazine of things they might see while in the car, such as a stop sign, a bicycle, a bus, etc. and store in an envelope or plastic zip-top bag. Allow your preschooler to help pack a bag to take on the trip. Include special items to help them feel at home, as well as some surprises. Read more!

Kindergartners
Give your kindergartner a puppet while traveling. Have the puppet sing the alphabet and count to ten. Ask the puppet to name as many colors as it can. 

Using a book, have the puppet read the story. (See the book list below for some great suggestions!) The puppet can sing children's songs or say nursery rhymes as well. Use different voices to increase your kindergartner's interest in the activity. 

Use the puppet to teach your kindergartner a new skill, or increase their communication by teaching them a new sign. Read more!
10 Books About Riding in the Car or on the Bus
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry
The Wheels on the Bus by Paul O. Zelinsky
The School Bus Driver from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
Wee Sing in the Car by Wee Sing
Riding In My Car by Woody Guthrie
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willem
Follow That Bus! by Pat Hutchins
Rattletrap Ca  by Phyllis Root
My Car by Byron Barton
The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Car Trip by Stan and Jan Berenstain
 

Families: You Input is Needed!
Families of children receiving Early Intervention Services and Supports are invited to share their input. Pennsylvania’s Bureau of Early Intervention Services and Family Supports needs your ideas on improving the Infant Toddler and Preschool Early Intervention Program. Join virtually for one, two or all of the input sessions. Learn how progress is measured and provide your feedback as targets are set and the State Performance Plan is developed.

  • December 9, 10-11:30 AM (repeat of session on Dec. 15): Engaging families in Early Intervention
  • December 9, 6-7:30 PM: Enrolling children in Early Intervention as early as possible
  • December 15, 12:30-2 PM: Settings where preschoolers in Early Intervention receive services
  • December 15, 6-7:30 PM (Repeat of session on Dec. 9): Engaging families in Early Intervention

Click here to register for any of the sessions. For more information, contact Sarah Holland at saholland@pa.gov. Childcare reimbursement offered (per guidelines) for families of children receiving EI services. ADA accommodations must be requested two weeks in advance (during registration).
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 5 Gifts to Give to a Child This Holiday Season
Need a gift this holiday season for the child in your life?  Learning is Everywhere has the perfect gift list!  Click here to print the list.
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.
Winter Safety Tips for Kids
Whether winter brings severe storms, light dustings or just cold temperatures, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has valuable tips on how to keep your children safe and warm. 
Do you have a Preschooler? Help them prepare for Kindergarten!
If you have a preschooler, every day gets them closer to starting kindergarten! The Kindergarten, Here I Come Activity Guide and newsletter has activities, tips and resources you can use to help your preschooler prepare for entry into Kindergarten. 

If you're a preschool teacher, you can sign up to get the monthly newsletter with activities aligned with the PA Early Learning Standards you can do with your preschoolers and share with families.
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The PA 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
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