Family Connections

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.

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Tactile Learning

Children have four types of learning styles . There are visual, auditory, read/writing and kinesthetic learners, who learn through movement and use their bodies to explore the world.

One component of the kinesthetic style is tactile learning, in which children use touch to absorb information about the world and develop bonds with other people. Tactile learning and touch are essential for children’s healthy physical, cognitive and social-emotional development. The resources below can help families better understand and promote tactile learning.

Understanding tactile learning – Touch helps children  more fully experience the world around them. When they touch something, they gather clues about its texture, temperature and other factors. For instance, a child learns the surface of an apple is smooth, the rug is rough, an object left in the sun feels warm, etc. This blog explores how children learn through touch and their tactile system. It also explains why tactile learning is important for strong childhood development.

Tactile experiences and learning – Hands-on activities at home and school “shift children’s focus from passive absorption of information to active exploration and discovery.” A hands-on approach makes theoretical concepts concrete, which can help children retain information. This article includes a link to a TED talk on kinesthetic learners.

Home activities for the tactile system – Some children have an overactive or underactive tactile system. Those with an overactive sensory system crave extra sensory input, which can lead to acting-out behaviors. Here is a list of tactile activities appropriate for all children. They may be especially beneficial for children with sensory processing issues.

Resource Highlights

  • Parents Daily – Today’s children grow up immersed in media, including social media. In this article, experts and parents offer advice about the best educational channels on YouTube for preschool through middle school-aged children.
  • The Inspired Treehouse – Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for children with sensory issues. Yet, it may be difficult to coax them into the water. This site offers swimming tips for children with sensory challenges and those reluctant to get into the pool.
  • PBS Kids for Parents – Families that play games together – whether digital, board or party games – may reap long-term positive outcomes for children, including larger vocabularies, better peer relationships and greater life satisfaction. The website links to favorite children’s games on PBS Kids.

Let’s Read Together!

Reading aloud to young children has positive effects beyond language and early literacy skills. It can shape children’s social and emotional development in sustained ways. Reading aloud is a positive parenting activity that has the potential to help curb behaviors like aggression, hyperactivity and difficulty with attention – issues that can make it hard for children to learn when they get to school. It’s important for families to set aside time daily, even several times a day, to read to children.

  •  Snakes by Christian Cave – what do cobras, pythons and anacondas do all day? Find out in this nonfiction book.
  • Summer Vacation, Here I Come! by D.J. Steinberg – a collection of sweet and funny poems about the season.
  • How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk – Pearl’s been trying to build a sandcastle all summer. Finally, she calls in her trusty rustproof robot, Pascal, to help.
  • Hike by Pete Oswald – a father and son take to the trails. Using very few words and beautiful illustrations, this book captures their adventure.
  • Don’t Hug Doug by Carrie Finison – Doug does not like hugs. That’s just his way. A book about bodily autonomy and consent.

Vroom Brain-building Tip

Vroom is a website and app with science-based tips to help boost young children’s brain connections. Families can turn everyday moments into brain-building opportunities.

Today’s Tip: Sky Spy

When you and your child are outside, take a moment to play Sky Spy together! Looking up into the sky, what do you see? Try counting the number of birds or planes. Chat about the shapes you both see in the clouds or the colors in the sky.

Brainy Background

Moments like these help your child learn to pause, listen and notice details. This builds important learning skills, like focus and self-control. Taking the time to look at the sky together can also help you connect with each other.

Week of July 15, 2024

Week of July 22, 2024

Hirschhorn Kids

The Hirshhorn Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution, believes art is for everyone, regardless of age. It offers Hirshhorn Kids, an arts program for children from infancy through the teenage years.

The Museum hosts Art Cart on Saturdays from between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., which allows children to make their own art. Each week has a different theme, from Build a Butterfly to Cubist Creations.

The museum website features a series of kid-friendly artist biographies. In the fall, Hirshhorn Kids will resume its weekly Storytime for children and their caregivers on Wednesdays from 10a.m.-12p.m.

All events are free.

To learn more about the Hirshhorn, click here.

 To subscribe to the kid’s e-newsletter, click here

Family Connections July 2024 Workshops and Events

DC Child Care Connections (DC CCC) is hosting the following workshops and events in May. Learn more below.

Thursday, July 25, 2024, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Family Chat: Introduction to the Special Education Eligibility Process

Not sure where to begin with special education? This session will guide families and other community members through the initial stages of the special education process from ages birth to 5, which can sometimes seem daunting and complex. Participants will learn about the eligibility process and resources and services that are available to help families navigate special education in DC. Click here 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.

If you have questions about your child’s development, call Strong Start today at (202) 727-3665 or submit a Strong Start referral online.


Product Recall Alerts

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced the following recalls:


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.

Check out our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram to stay up to date on events and opportunities.


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