For young children, the future of their academic success and development relies on early learning.
Each year, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) acknowledges the importance of educating young children by holding a week-long celebration focused on the earliest learners and honoring those who teach them. This year (2021) is the 50th anniversary—an exciting milestone for this celebration of educating today’s young learners!
This national celebration, known as the Week of the Young Child (WOYC), gives early childhood programs, community organizers, and state and local affiliates an opportunity to host events and activities for early learners, teachers, and families. For a primer on the celebration’s history, visit NAEYC’s What is WOYC? page.
How You Can Celebrate Week of the Young Child 2021
The NAEYC website provides the resources you need to plan an event or activity. For every day during the week of April 10-16, 2021, the website highlights a learning topic and suggests specific activities for families and your local community.
This year, all activity resources are virtual to allow social distancing while you celebrate. You can view the full list of activities here.
April 10 – Kick-Off Saturday
Time to get the party started! On this date, NAEYC suggests posting an online video or hosting a virtual event to begin WOYC festivities. You can also get involved on social media by sharing photos on Facebook and Twitter throughout the week with the hashtag #woyc21.
April 12 – Music Monday
Not only does music develop creativity, but children can learn literacy, language, and math skills through music. Learn a new song or invite a musician to perform a virtual sing-along for your class.
April 13 – Tasty Tuesday
Create healthy snacks and learn how to follow recipes. This day focuses on teaching young children about healthy eating and fitness. Encourage families to try making an easy recipe together at home.
April 14 – Work Together Wednesday
Help young children develop social skills and learn to work together by building together. Plan a few virtual activities that require students to work together and practice social skills.
April 15 – Artsy Thursday
Art is very important for developing creativity and fine motor skills. Have children explore their senses through creating shapes with playdough from home, or teach children about drawing different patterns.
April 16 – Family Friday
Celebrate those who support young learners. Share family stories and pictures to acknowledge the role families play in a child’s learning. Parents can read a favorite children’s book to their early learner or take their child on a picnic.
More Resources for Celebrating WOYC 2021
To view planned celebrations around the world, check out the WOYC world map. And for answers to common questions educators have about WOYC, visit the FAQ page.
Plus, for inspiration on how to celebrate this year, you can check out the WOYC event recap page to see festivities of years past.
*Waterford.org is not affiliated with NAEYC, but we appreciate the valuable resources they provide, including those for the Week of the Young Child.*