May 2022
Activities aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards to help your preschooler prepare for Kindergarten. 
Your preschooler might have graduated preschool by now. Perhaps you've even registered your child for Kindergarten.  

What should you and your child do now?  
  1. Keep learning throughout the summer. Visit your local library for new books and activities that will keep alive her love of learning. Try some activities listed below.
  2. Stay active. Summer is the perfect time to help your child engage in fun activities, like swimming, biking, tree climbing and just playing.
  3. Share your child's preschool graduation with PA's Promise for Children! What made this year of preschool special for your child? Was your child involved in Head Start or PA Pre-K Counts? Send your story to Mary at marhal@pakeys.org

Because your child has will be entering Kindergarten in the fall, this will be the last edition of
Kindergarten, Here I Come news you will receive. The next enews you receive will be  
Kindergarten, Here I Am. You don't need to do anything to receive this--we'll take care of it for you.  

If you're an early learning provider, or have another child entering preschool, you can sign up for another enews.  

If you have questions, please email Mary at marhal@pakeys.org.
Let's Play and Learn
Did you know that when preschoolers play, they learn? It's true! Use these activities to encourage your preschooler to play.

We're learning Language and Literacy Skills  
Do it! 
Ask your preschooler to tell you a story. Write the words on a blank piece of paper. Give them the paper and a crayon and ask him to illustrate it. Turn your child's story into a book. Provide your child with pictures from magazines, newspapers or clipart to illustrate or recreate their story.
Read it! 
The Grumpy Morning by Pamela Duncan Edwards. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion.

We're learning through Play
Do it!  
Make a pile of different clothing items, such as a hat, pants, swim suits, etc. Ask questions about which items would be needed to do certain things. For example, "What would you wear when you go to bed?" Provide an opportunity for your preschooler to dress with the choices. As you help them dress, describe the clothing articles and the use. Be sure to include the color, pattern and size in your descriptions. Create a visual aid of clothing options for them to select their outfit.  
Read it!  
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom. Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina. 

We're learning Social and Emotional Development 
Do it! 
Together, use words and pictures to make a list of things to do to be clean and healthy. For example, draw a bar of soap and write SOAP next to the picture. Create a timeline of activities for healthy behaviors, and use a checklist to show your preschooler completed activities.
Read it! 
Mrs. McNosh Hangs up Her Wash by Sarah Weeks. The Flea's Sneeze by Karla Firehammer.   

We're learning Mathematical Thinking and Expression
Do it! 
Share a food items with your preschooler. For example, cut a piece of toast in half to share. Talk about who has the larger piece or who has a smaller piece. Develop a picture story about sharing. Use real objects for your preschooler to see, touch, and or feel parts of things. Be sure to describe equal, larger and smaller. Make a picture list of all the new words used. 
Read it!  
Spaghetti And Meatballs For All! by Marilyn Burns. Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore.  
It's Time to Apply for PA Pre-K Counts!
Quality pre-kindergarten can give your child a strong start in school and in life. Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides free half-day or full-day pre-kindergarten for at-risk children throughout Pennsylvania.
 
Each program offering PA Pre-K Counts classrooms will have their own guidelines, but PA Pre-K Counts is designed for children who:
 
  • are between age 3 and younger than the entry age for kindergarten;
  • live in a family earning up to 300% of the federal poverty guidelines; and
  • have a first language other than English, a disability or developmental delay, or other factors that put them at higher risk for failing in school.
 
If your child falls into these categories, they may be eligible for PA Pre-K Counts!
 
There are PA Pre-K Counts classrooms in most of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. To find PA Pre-K Counts programs near you, contact your local Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) and they can help you locate your local PA Pre-K Counts program. Find your ELRC at www.raiseyourstar.org.
The Importance of Independent Play
Sara, 18 months old, stacks blocks on top of each other, then knocks them down, only to build them again.

Chen, two and half years old, takes books off the shelf, looking through pages and tells stories to stuffed animals.

Jamal, four years old, hooks play trains together and runs them along imaginary paths.

What do all of these have in common? They’re all examples of independent play!

Research has shown the importance of play. Play can enhance brain structure and function and promote executive function (the process of learning). While interaction with adults and other children during play builds important cognitive, language, and self-regulation skills, independent play also has benefits. When a child plays alone, it can foster imagination and creative play, build persistence and problem-solving skills, and teach patience and resilience. Find out how you can help your child develop independent play skills.
Share Your Experiences About Supports for Your Child

  • Does your child have challenges with their behavior, like anger or impulse control or following directions?
  • Does your child easily make friends?
  • How supported do you feel by your child's early learning program when needing information on how to support your child?
 
Your feedback is needed if your child is between the ages of birth and Kindergarten, and participates in a Pennsylvania early learning program--like child care, Head Start, PA Pre-K Counts, Early Intervention, or home visiting!
 
Researchers from Vanderbilt University and Georgetown University are working with the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) to get your feedback. They’ve created a # question anonymous survey for families for their experiences with social-emotional supports for their child. This survey takes only # minutes to complete, but the information you provide is VERY important! Sharing your experiences means you could help improve the early learning support system for all Pennsylvania children.

Is Your Child Registered for Kindergarten?

It's not too late to register your child for Kindergarten! Registering your child now means that you, your child and your child's school will be ready when Kindergarten begins.

National Children's Mental Health Awareness
Often when we think of children's health, we think of things related to physical health, such as colds and flu, asthma, or broken bones. But children are much more than their physical bodies, and children's health encompasses more than physical health. 

The well-being of the whole child includes a healthy mental and emotional state as well. Just as children suffer from physical illnesses and injuries, they can also suffer from emotional and mental disorders. Your child's health can also affect how well they learn!

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day on May 7, 2022is a day for everyone to learn about and promote positive youth development, resilience, recovery, and the transformation of mental health services delivery for children and youth their families.

Click here to learn why positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth. There's also information on how a parent's mental health can affect their child.

Pennsylvania CHIP offers care for children by providing benefits to cover behavioral health care. Visit www.chipcoverspakids.com for more information on the mental health services covered by PA CHIP and how to apply.



The Our Kids....To Infinity & Beyond! on Facebook is for family members who have, and professionals who work with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The focus is on advocacy, self-advocacy, self-determination. This is a safe place to ask questions, get advice, or share stories!
 
Join more than 1,000 families connecting and engaging through the Our Kids....To Infinity & Beyond! Facebook Group
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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