At our daycare center, my class creates “All about me” books. The pages of the books are filled with things like: My hair is ____, my eyes are ______, my mom and dad are _____, i like to_______. On the cover is a photo we take of the child at the center and on the last page we include an art project. (for the younger children, hand and foot prints) At the end of the week we have a continental breakfast and parents come and eat with their children and take home the books as a gift. The parents really cherish these books and we make a new one every year showing how the children have grown.
I had an idea to study children from other countries or cultures. We talked about there toys, things they learn, and how their daily events are different from ours. We also learned how to speak in their language. We even tried some of the children’s favorite dishes from each country.
When I was doing my work/study, I planned and carried out a balloon release. The director, teachers and children loved this so much, the director said that they will make this a yearly event! I gave each child a helium filled balloon. I then attached a card with a ribbon. The card read: “Hi! My name is (child’s first name). I attend (name of school or daycare) at (address). April 8 – 12 is The Week of the Young Child. I would be so happy if you would write to me and tell me how far my balloon traveled! Thank you!
(Date at bottom)
We then went outside, said a short prayer, counted down from five and we all let our balloons go! Well, that is where I ran into my only problem: one little girl did not want to give up her balloon. After some coaxing from her classmates, she finally let go. Out of 13 balloons that we released, we only had one response. But it was a fun and meaningful way to celebrate our beautiful children! Our local newspaper even came out to capture this exciting moment! If you try this, feel free to let me know how it goes!
To conclude the week of the young child we have a spring arts show on that Saturday. Weeks before, the teachers start saving art work. On Saturday they are displayed all throughout the center for friends, family, and relatives to see! We also have a “Make it and Take it” project during the art show where children and parents can work on something together.
Every year, we start off the week by having a center-wide celebration on Monday. For example, we have had a “Cake-Kick-Off” where everyone (infants through Kindergarten) met on the playground to enjoy juice and cake. The following year, we had a “Bubble-Blow-Out” where each class came up with some interesting bubble wand inventions and we had them share them together on the playground. We also have banners, signs or flags that each classroom has decorated to display outside each year! The parents just love walking around the school and looking at all of the different classroom creations!