June 2020
Fun activities, aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards, to help prepare children for school success!
We're Learning in the Neighborhood!
The activities below can all be done in the neighborhood while practicing social distancing.

Encourage your baby to explore different textures by providing them with items to feel, like bare feet in the grass or hands touching trees. Talk about what they are feeling and use words to describe the item (soft, rough, hard, smooth, etc.) Tell what they are feeling as it relates to their neighborhood. "This trees is in our backyard and gives us shade from the sun." If you cannot take your baby outside, bring the outside in. Put grass in a plastic container. Allow them to play with their fingers or toes. Pick up a blade of grass and tickle hands, arms, legs, feet, or face. Smell the grass and talk about the color.  Read more!

Encourage your toddler to still (just for a second or two!) and listen to the noises around her. What do they hear? Help identify the noises they are hearing. Listen for birds singing, dogs barking or church bells ringing. Try a verbal and/or visual cue to stop and listen. You may need to guide the listening, "What is that? I hear a bird. Do you hear it? Where is it?" When you are out in the community, listen for those sounds you may not hear at home. (Traffic, church bells, horns, etc.)   Read more!

Compare large and small as your preschooler moves throughout his neighborhood. Help them decided if items are larger than they are (like a tree) or smaller (like a dandelion) by having them stand next to the item. Now it's your turn. Have them help you decide if items are larger or smaller than you.  Read more!

Go for a walk with your kindergartner and have them help identify different items that begin with each letter. For those more difficult letters (like Y or Z), can they name items they'd like to see that begin with those letters? (Wouldn't they like to play with a yo-yo?) Take along homemade flashcards or a list of the letters of the alphabet so they have a reference to the letter and then the object that starts with the letter. Have them match the card with the correct letter by the object.  Read more!
9 Books About the Neighborhood
My Neighborhood  by Johnny Bregar
Keat's Neighborhood  by Ezra Jack Keats
Curious George Neighborhood Friends  by H. A. Rey
Welcome to My Neighborhood  by Quiara Alegria Hudes and Shino Arihara
What Do You See in Your Neighborhood?  by Bracha Goetz
Only One  by Marc Harshman
Jobs Around My Neighborhood  by Gladys Rosa-Mendoza
Night on Neighborhood Street  by Eloise Greenfield
In Lucia's Neighborhood  by Pat Shewchuk

Featured Article: Five Tips for Families Returning to Child Care After COVID-19
kids play with blocks
As families begin to re-enter the workplace after COVID-19, many children will return to their child care programs. This change may be hard for your child after months of not being at their usual child care. Returning to child care may bring a mix of emotions for everyone. The five tips from the Pennsylvania Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (IECMHC) Program can help make this transition as smooth as possible for families returning to child care after COVID-19.

What article was featured this time last year?
Keystone Scholars Helps Families Invest in Child's Future Education
Get a Head Start on Education Savings with $100 from Keystone Scholars! Keystone Scholars is available for every baby born to or adopted by a PA family after December 31, 2018.

A child with education savings is three times more likely to enroll in a two- or four-year college and four times more likely to graduate. That’s why PA Treasury is investing $100 for every baby born to or adopted by a Pennsylvania family after December 31, 2018 to be used for the baby’s future higher education expenses. The $100 will be invested by the PA Treasury Department and will grow through the years right alongside your child. Your Keystone Scholars account can be used for qualified expenses when your child pursues higher education. These expenses include tuition, fees, books, and more at vocational or technical school, community college, two-year college, four-year college, and more.

New and expectant parents are able to register for online access approximately five months after the child’s birth using information from the child’s PA state birth certificate. Find out more.
First Step: Kindergarten Registration!
The first step to a great school year is getting your child registered for Kindergarten! Registering your child now means that you, your child and your child's school will be ready when Kindergarten begins.

June is National Safety Month
Learn how to keep everyone safe where they live and play and all points in between. While the places your family spend time can be filled with wonderful experiences, they can also contain hidden dangers. By learning what environments are safe for your family and child, you can help prevent accidents and keep your children healthy and happy.    Learn how to be safe where your family lives and plays.
Summer Sun Safety
A few serious sunburns can increase your child’s risk of skin cancer later in life. Protect your child's skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays anytime they’re outdoors with sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and shade. More sun safety tips from the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Juice and Your Child
How much juice should your child drink? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children less than one year of age should not have fruit juice. Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit to children less than one year of age. The evidence is clear that over-consumption of juice can lead to weight gain and tooth decay.   Click here  to see if and how much juice your child should drink.
Six Tips for Summer Safety
Sun shining, warmer temperatures, it's almost time for summer fun! Help keep your child safe while having fun this summer season with  these six tips .

  1. Prevent heatstroke
  2. Secure pool areas
  3. Protect from bug bites
  4. Use sunscreen
  5. Stay hydrated
  6. Keep cool
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Do you have a preschooler?
Did your child start preschool?    Sign up for the FREE monthly Kindergarten, Here I Come eNews!   Each month get activities, tips and resources you can use to help your child prepare for and transition into their Kindergarten year.
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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