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NAEYC Week of the Young Child

Young children are learning constantly: at the grocery store, in the car, out in the community, at libraries and museums. Everyday environments can be transformed into playful learning experiences that promote children’s learning and interaction with family members. Organizations recognize families as crucial to children’s learning, and are utilizing new technologies and innovations to make early learning opportunities more accessible and engaging for all. Community spaces are now reimagined as interactive and playful places to support learning anywhere, anytime.

As we celebrate the Week of the Young Child, we highlight three resources that demonstrate the power of technology and creative play, supporting learning for young children in and out of the classroom.

Mobile Technology and Family Engagement: Texting Intervention Increases Head Start Parents’ Engagement in Parent‒Child Activities
Simple, cost-effective tools like text messages can promote early learning experiences outside the classroom. Families who received daily text messages with parent‒child activity tips reported that they engaged in more playful learning activities with their children compared to families who did not receive daily messages. This method was particularly effective for fathers and parents of boys, inspiring families to play with their children in creative ways such as singing, dress-up, arts and crafts, and storytelling.
  Supporting Children’s Learning Through Play
Unleash the power of playful learning in everyday environments! Guided play allows children to actively create their own stories and games with adult support and guidance. This type of play promotes academic skill building and gains in children’s vocabulary. Read what leading experts say about the impact of playful learning and the various places where playful learning can occur.
  Technology for Family Engagement in Early Learning Settings
Preschools, child care centers, libraries, and community-based organizations that support the parents of children birth to age 5 are turning to technology to enhance their engagement with families. But which are the best tools to use for your program? Watch an archived recording of this webinar in which experts share the latest research on technology habits of today’s parents, discuss incorporating technology tools, and provide an overview of early learning platforms.


We hope you enjoy these Week of the Young Child inspired resources.

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© 2017 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project