To help families with young children adjust to the current situation brought on by the public health emergency, DC Child Care Connections developed a system to provide useful information and resources to help with at-home learning, maintaining mental health and other important early childhood topics.
We have worked with community partners to identify a series of daily resources and activities from nationally-recognized organizations that families can use to keep children engaged and to continue the learning process. All resources are developmentally appropriate for the ages specified and are aligned to the DC Early Learning Standards.
Oral Storytelling as a Tool to Support Language Development
Storytelling is perhaps the most powerful way human beings share experiences and cultural values and norms. A Fine Parent reminds us that reading and storytelling with children provides many benefits, such as enhanced imagination to help visualize spoken words, improved vocabulary and enhanced communication skills. Storytelling also strengthens bonding and relationships between adults and children.
Oral Storytelling, Building Community through Dialogue, Engagement, and Problem Solving, an article published by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, provides a host of strategies and activities to support oral storytelling with young children. A few ideas include:
- Learn a few simple stories. Use fairy tales, folktales and stories from your own life.
- Tell stories with refrains or dialogues that repeat and can be easily remembered and predicted by children, such as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” “We’re Going on a Lion Hunt,” “The Enormous Potato” and “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.”
- Identify parts in the story—while planning or as opportunities arise—when children can perform physically or express themselves through words and sounds. Invite children to act out or make sounds for these parts.
- Ask questions related to the story that prompt children’s imagination. For example, “Why do you think Goldilocks chose to sleep in the baby bear’s bed?” or “How do you think she feels once she’s found the perfect chair?”
- Retell stories that children enjoy. The more familiar they become with a story or character, the more they will want to perform it independently.
Reading Rockets Storytelling Literacy Apps provides a list of literacy apps designed to support literacy and language development in young children through storytelling.
Center for Disease Control’s Essentials for Parenting Toddlers and Preschoolersprovides a host of videos and activities to help address daily issues.
Fall Family Fun
As autumn continues, this is the perfect time to continue appreciating nature’s bounty! Share seasonal oral stories on scarecrows, cornucopias, turkeys and the changing color of the leaves. Enjoy time outdoors and explore a community orchard or a hayride. Here are a few books and activities to support storytelling and time with families.
Let’s Read Together!
Read with your child throughout the day, each day during the week.
- “Katie Saves Thanksgiving” by Fran Manushkin and Tammie Lyon
- “My Family,” by Lisa Bullard and Brandon Reibeling
- “Thread of Love“ by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal
Week of Nov. 23, 2020
- Music and Movement Monday: Try 39 toddler fun activities.
- Tasty Tuesday: Create turkey snack bags to enjoy with the family.
- Wellness Wednesday: Practice the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique.
- Textured Thursday: Craft imaginary Thanksgiving dinner.
- Family Fun Friday: Make a family thankful jar.
Week of Nov. 30, 2020
- Music and Movement Monday: Play indoor ring toss.
- Tasty Tuesday: Make tasty mini cornucopias.
- Wellness Wednesday: Try five social emotional activities.
- Textured Thursday: Decorate the house with Lego-stamped corn.
- Family Fun Friday: Tell stories using family photos.
Families Make the Difference
For more than 40 years, Martha’s Table has supported children and families in the District. With locations across the District, the organization provides a host of resources such as access to a community marketplace, food pantry and health and wellness classes. It is also one of the Families First DC Success Centers under Mayor Bowser’s Families First DC initiative. Click here to find the location nearest you.
First Aid Guide
Caregivers Guide to First Aid
Accidents and illnesses can happen anywhere and at any time. Children are especially prone to accidents and illnesses during the holiday season and summer months. The American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled a First Aid Guide for Parents and Caregivers. The guide includes a list of suggested items that should be in every household. Review the resource list for more information on how to keep children safe while at home during the holidays.
Support for Families
DC Department of Behavioral Health- Wellness Wednesdays
Wellness Wednesday is an online parent support group that helps parents take care of themselves and foster resiliency for their children in these challenging times. Parents can share experiences and ask questions of clinicians who work in public schools and child development centers. Wellness Wednesday is based on an evidence-informed parent program called Parent Café that is designed to support strong families. Parent Café is widely implemented throughout the country and within the DBH child development center consultation program and the school-based behavioral health services.
Click here to view upcoming dates and to register.
Questions About Your Child’s Development?
Strong Start is DC’s early intervention program, offering free services for children under the age of 3 with developmental delays or disabilities. Strong Start provides therapeutic and other services for DC infants and toddlers and their families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Strong Start is providing telehealth services over the phone or computer, so you don’t have to wait to get the support your child needs.
If you have questions about your child’s development, call Strong Start today at (202) 727-3665.
Product Recall Alerts
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the following recalls. Recalls can be viewed at www.cpsc.gov.
- Zink Bunk Beds fall and injury hazards.
- Cat & Jack Toddler Boots choking hazard.
- Electric Throw Heated Blankets fire and burn hazards.
We are here to help! If you need support in navigating these resources or help planning experiences for your children, please contact one of our team members today. Please contact us at DC Child Care Connections (202) 829-2500.