September 2021
Activities aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards to help your preschooler prepare for Kindergarten. 
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! 
Have your preschooler to read a book to you by using the pictures to tell the story. There are several wordless picture books your preschooler can use to make their own story. You can also use a book they have listened to several times so they can recall the story from memory. You can start a story and they can select what happens next with words, sign or picture cues. 
Read it! 
It is Night by Phyllis Rowand. The Bus for Us by Suzanne Bloom.

We're learning Social Studies Thinking
Do it!  
Play shape-and-color-hunt with your preschooler. Ask them to find something shaped like a circle or find something that is blue. Do the same thing with other shapes and colors. Always show your preschooler what you're asking for or give them examples, such as, "This block is green, take this block with you and look for other things in the house that are the same color." Use this as an opportunity to reinforce the vocabulary with words, picture cards or braille. 
Read it!  
Actual Size by Steve Jenkins. Say Please, Little Bear by Peter Bentley.

We're learning Science Thinking and Technology 
Do it! 
Look at fruits, vegetables, cans and boxes in a book, grocery store, or farmer's market. Talk about the different shapes, colors and sizes. Use words like same and  different. Continue reinforcing this concept with word cards, sign and braille. 
Read it! 
Mrs. McNosh and the Giant Squash by Sarah Weeks. Put it on the list by Kristen Darbyshire.

We're learning Mathematical Thinking and Expression
Do it! 
Make a height chart with paper. Place the paper against the wall or door and ask your preschooler to stand with their back against the chart. Mark their height and date it. Try this again in three months and talk about the change. Your preschooler could also lay on the paper or use measurements to draw the line on the paper. Ask them to stretch out their arms and measure their arm span. Use the information about their height compare it with other object in the house. For example, "You are taller than the sink" or "You can reach the shelf now and you couldn't before." Use that information to talk about the circumference of objects. For example, "Do you think your arms could fit around that tree?"
Read it!  
One Mole Digging a Hole by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt. 365 Penguins by Jean-Luc Fromental and Joëlle Jolivet.   
Is Your Family Ready for an Emergency?
September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. Use this month to help your family prepare for emergencies like floods, fires, winter storms and more. 

Check out these resources to help your family prepare for emergencies. 

Eating Healthy in September: Peppers
Each month, Pennsylvania's Promise for Children explores healthy foods through the Pennsylvania Harvest of the Month program. September’s featured item for PA Harvest of the Month is peppers.

Peppers are a good source of vitamin C which is important in the body’s healing process and may play a role in guarding against heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C also helps the body absorb iron. Red peppers are a good source of vitamin A which is important for eye health and immune function. 

Peppers are tender, warm–season vegetables that can be classified into two groups — bell peppers (mild and sweet–tasting), and chili (hot and pungent). Bell peppers come in a wide variety of colors such as green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown, and black. Chili peppers range in color from green to deep red to almost black. The color of chili peppers is not a sign of the heat (flavor) of the pepper.

Visit the PA's Promise for Children website for resources and family-friendly recipes!
Four tips to help find a quality child care or preschool program
You want your preschooler in a quality child care or preschool program, but may not know what to look for in your search. It can be hard to know what will help your preschooler be safe, happy and learning. 

Start with these four tips to help look for a quality child care or preschool program! 
  1. Safety and security for your preschooler. When you trust your child to someone else, you want to be sure your child is in a safe place and your child feels safe. Children are learning all the time, but if they feel unsafe or don't feel well, it's harder for them to learn.
  2. Good teachers and specialists that support you and your preschooler. Your child's teacher shapes her whole day, and affects who your child will become. The quality of the teacher is one of the most important pieces of a child care or preschool program.
  3. An atmosphere that is kid-friendly with learning areas & activities that are right for your preschooler's age and development. Young children learn by exploring & using many skills at once. Classrooms need to be designed to fit activities that work best for children.
  4. Reach for the STARS! Keystone STARS can help you pick programs that have quality staff & activities that are the right fit for your family. Child care, PA Pre-K Counts, and Head Start programs that participate in Keystone STARS meet quality as part of the STARS standards. They receive a STAR 1 to STAR 4 rating based on these quality standards.

Get more information about choosing a quality child care or preschool program at PA's Promise for Children. When looking for a program, visit or contact your local Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC). Find your ELRC at
The Monster in Your Home
There may be a monster in your home and it's right in front of your eyes! It's your television or tablet! 
Spending time watching TV or using a tablet means your preschooler may not be engaged in creative or learning activities, like reading, playing or just being a kid.
Many homes have one or more TVs or tablets. Too often, a preschooler's free time may center around what's playing on TV or on the tablet. Watching excessive, or inappropriate shows or games can lead to: 
  • violent and aggressive behavior, 
  • obesity, 
  • poor body concept and self-image, and later, 
  • substance abuse and early sexual activity. 

Traveling Safely with Your Preschooler
These one page graphics from the Centers of Disease Control demonstrates how to avoid the most common mistakes while using a car seat for your preschooler.
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