January 2019
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. Then visit the library to find a book about the activity.

We're learning Language and Literacy Skills  
Do it! 
Look at pictures in a new or unfamiliar book. Ask your preschooler to think about or predict what might happen in the story. Read the story and compare your child's predictions to the actual story. Once you finish reading the book, ask your preschooler what he liked best about the story. 

You and your preschooler can work together and come up with your own story. He could illustrate while you write what he is narrating. Find photos or pictures that tell a story. Find the sign or braille word to describe the picture. Use them to help your child learn the sequence of events. 
Read it! 
Hide and Seek  by Janet Wong.  Surprising Sharks  by Nicola Davies. 

We're learning Mathematical Skills
Do it!  
With your preschooler, write down special events on a calendar. Talk about when the events are happening. Use words like yesterday, tomorrow or next week. Print or draw pictures of special events where it can be visible near the calendar. Provide an opportunity for her to put a small star or cross the days off the calendar to count down until the special event. You can help develop her understanding of time by talking to her about the days that have passed and how many are yet to come. Use puffy numbers or stickers on the calendar and let her feel the days and the numbers of the dates. You can add the braille word for the day or number as well. 
Read it!  
And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon  by Janet Stevens.  Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten  by Joseph Slate.  

We're learning Science Thinking and Technology 
Do it! 
Help your preschooler find her own winter clothes by making an area where she can keep them all together. Put her mittens, hat, scarf, boots and coat there for her to find when it's time to go outside. A great way to make this accessible for your preschooler could be to have open stacked baskets with pictures of the winter items with the name of each on the pictures. Add the sign or braille word for each article of clothing. As you help her dress, increase her awareness of color and texture by describing each item. Explain why hats, mittens, gloves and other cold weather apparel are so important to their good health. Check to make sure her clothing is not too tight, cutting off circulation or restricting breathing, or too loose, exposing her to the elements. 
Read it! 
The Snowy Day  by Ezra Jack Keats.  Snow Friends  by Christina Butler.   

We're learning Social and Emotional Development
Do it! 
Ask your preschooler to find a specific items in the house using a flashlight. Ask him how the light helped him find the object. You can also play the game of "what's missing." Place the items in front of him and have him close his eyes and you take an item from the pile. When he opens his eyes, have him guess which item you took. This is a great turn-taking activity. Describe the items in the pile. Allow him to explore the items with his hands and feel them close to his skin. Use words to describe the colors, shapes and sizes of the items. Add the words in pictures, braille or sign to your family dictionary. 
Read it!  
The Mitten: A Ukrainian Folktale  by Jan Brett.  Yesterday I had the Blues  by Jeron Ashford Frame. 
Want to make germs disappear? Try this!
  1. Put a small amount of hand lotion or petroleum jelly on hands. This represents body oils.
  2. Sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon. This represents germs.
  3. Find out the next step!
Coats and Car Seats
Winter means keeping your preschooler warm, but did you know that preschoolers in car seats should NOT wear puffy coats or snowsuits when in their car seat? The video below shows how a coat or snowsuit can compress under the harness of a car seat, sometimes up to four inches! This compression can cause the straps of your preschooler's car seat to not fit properly, leaving a dangerous situation.

How should you keep your preschooler in the car seat warm when it's cold?

  • Dress your preschooler in snug layers. Add long pants, a long sleeved shirt, a hat and shoes and socks. You can even include a jacket.
  • After securing your preschooler in the car seat (without wearing the coat), turn their coat around and put it on backwards (arms through the armholes) so the coat is on top of the harness, or use a blanket in the car. 
Kindergarten Registration NOW?
Cold temperatures? Snow on the ground? Kindergarten registration? It's the season! Many schools will soon host Kindergarten registrations for children starting Kindergarten in the fall. 

Visit  PA's Promise for Children  to find Kindergarten registration information for your school.
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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