A fun way to add excitement to any week is by adding a theme that everyone can celebrate together!  The National Association for the Education of Young Children celebrates the Week of the Young Child (WOYC) each year during the first full week in April.  This week is an opportunity for those of us in the early childhood field to spread the word on the critical role of early childhood educators, high-quality early learning programs, and play in a child’s development and learning. This year, we are celebrating April 1-7.   

Each day of the WOYC has a different designation:   

Saturday is Kick-off Saturday where teachers and school leaders take time to gather materials and resources for the week. 

Sunday does not have a title, but is a great day to communicate with your families about the week ahead! 

Monday is Music Monday. You may choose to celebrate by giving each child an instrument and parading around the halls, or having a dance party to your favorite tunes. 

Tuesday is Tasty Tuesday. This is a great day to teach children the joy of cooking and trying new foods.  Have they enjoyed jicama or dragon fruit? Now is a good time to start growing your seedlings to plant in the garden as the weather allows. 

Wednesday is Work Together Wednesday. You can have the children work on a collaborative art project or build the biggest block structure your class has ever seen. Consider pairing the children up to set the table for mealtime. 

Thursday is Artsy Thursday, a day to celebrate all things creative. Invite a local artist or art specialist to share their art or what they know about famous artists. 

Friday is Family Friday. This is a great opportunity to have the children enjoy some special time at school with a family member. Invite them to have a special family member come in to do a special activity or have a family picnic. 

These are just a glimpse of all the creative ways you can choose to celebrate this week with the children and families in your program. Kids also love to dress up, so adding wacky hair to Family Friday, mismatch day for Work Together Wednesday, or wearing a rainbow and eating a rainbow for Tasty Tuesday are other ideas that might be a big hit at your school. 

There is no better week than this one to invite your legislator to your program to see the excellent way your program is serving children and the community. You can invite them to join you for an activity or event you’re hosting so they can get a better sense of your work. There are many early childhood bills in the legislature this year, which you can find on the Child Care Aware Bill Tracker. Consider asking your legislators for support on specific bills, or ask them to keep programs like yours in mind anytime they are voting on bills that may impact children and families. If they are not able to make it in person, send them pictures of how you are celebrating and add in your legislative priorities. 

However you choose to celebrate this year’s Week of the Young Child, have fun and make it work for your program!

By Heather Charmoli, Program Administrator for MnAEYC (Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children)