January 2022
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 they liked best about the story. 

You and your preschooler can work together and come up with your own story. They could illustrate while you write what they are 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 yesterdaytomorrow or next week. Print or draw pictures of special events where it can be visible near the calendar. Provide an opportunity for them to put a small star or cross the days off the calendar to count down until the special event. You can help develop their understanding of time by talking about the days that have passed and how many are yet to come. Use puffy numbers or stickers on the calendar and let them 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 their own winter clothes by making an area where they can keep their winter clothing together. Put mittens, hat, scarf, boots and coat for them 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 them dress, increase awareness of color and texture by describing each item. Explain why hats, mittens, gloves and other cold weather apparel are so important to good health. Check to make sure clothing is not too tight, cutting off circulation or restricting breathing, or too loose, exposing them 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 how the light helped them find the object. You can also play the game of "what's missing." Place the items in front of your preschooler and have them close their eyes and you take an item from the pile. When they open their eyes, have them guess which item you took. This is a great turn-taking activity. Describe the items in the pile. Allow them to explore the items with their hands and feel them close to their 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. 
Eat Right When Money Is Tight

Are you struggling with your food budget? Are you looking for ideas for healthy, budget friendly meals and snacks for your family?

Take a look at the SNAP-Ed Connection page of resources on the USDA's webpage, Eat Right When Money's Tight. It has meal planning and budgeting tips as well as links for food assistance resources in your area. You can also find helpful information on the Stay Safe and Healthy at Home page. 
Power Kids: Pennsylvania's Electronic Library
Do you know about Power Kids, Pennsylvania's electronic library? With Power Kids, you and your child can access things like:
  • BookFlix: Watch videos and read books
  • CyberSmarts: Learn how to be a safe, responsible and smart citizen with eBooks
  • TrueFlix: Learn about people, places, nature, history and science from videos and eBooks
  • Chat with a Librarian

In addition, many libraries throughout Pennsylvania offers their members access to downloadable or streaming eBooks and audiobooks through Axis 360 and Hoopla. Enjoy new bestsellers and old favorites on your compatible digital device! Check with your library for additional info.
PA Farm Show Complex and Expo Center logo
2022 Pennsylvania Farm Show

The 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show will be held Saturday, Jan. 8 through Saturday Jan. 15, 2022, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. Check out the Schedule of Events to help plan your visit.

No plans to visit the PA Farm Show? You can still use the resources to help your preschooler learn! PA's Promise for Children has activities and resources relating to the Farm Show you can use at home or in your community.

Activities to do relating to the Farm Show
  • Cows and other animals: Count the legs on a cow. Help your child identify what other animals have the same number of legs as a cow. Can you find an animal with two legs?
  • Quilting: A quilt can have many different colors. Help your child identify the different colors on a quilt. A quilt can also have different shapes of fabric. Help your child identify the different shapes, like square, rectangle, star, or circle.
  • Sheep, Pigs and other items: A sheep may feel soft, while a pig may feel rough. Help your child identify other items that may feel soft (like a blanket) and items that may feel rough (like a piece of wood). What other words can you use to describe items? How about smooth, wet, or cold?
  • I Spy: Have an adult or your preschooler describe something they spy in the environment. Use descriptive words (like round, or tall or blue) and have preschoolers guess what is being described. 
  • Comparing Size: Preschoolers can start learning about size differences by comparing the sizes of the animals, tractors, etc. Be sure to use words like: smaller, smallest, bigger, largest, etc.

Books Related to the Pennsylvania Farm Show

Looking for a book relating to the Pennsylvania Farm Show? Pennsylvania's Promise for Children has a variety of books about butterflies, horses, cows and more!

Find your favorite book list, then safely visit your local library and ask your librarian to help find the books from the list. Use the books to explore your child’s interests or introduce them to new ones.
Search at the Farm Show

Who loves a treasure hunt? The Pennsylvania Farm Show is full of treasures and PA's Promise for Children has searches to help you and your child find some of them.

Download Search at the Farm Show, then help your child find each item on the list. Cross off or circle each item as you see them.  

Not visiting the Farm Show? No worries! Visit your local library for a book that contains the items. PA's Promise for Children has Book Recommendations that contain the items from Search at the Farm Show. Look through the books with your child to locate items on the search. Which item is the most challenging to find? Which is the easiest to find?
Coats and Car Seats
Winter means keeping kids warm, but did you know that babies and young children 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 child's car seat to not fit properly, leaving a dangerous situation.

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

Try these tips to keep your child warm and safe while in their car seat:

  • Dress your young child in snug layers, like leggings. Add long pants, a long sleeved shirt, a hat and shoes and socks. You can even include a jacket.
  • For preschoolers, after securing them in the car seat, 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. 
Want to make germs disappear? Try this!
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