TIPS:  Transitioning from an Early Childhood Program to Kindergarten

Transitioning from an early childhood program to kindergarten is a significant time for children and families. Providers, families, and schools can work together to help make this important transition a smooth one.

Each program should have transition plans in place throughout the year that help prepare a child both developmentally and academically for kindergarten. Check out the list of ideas below that can ease the transition for all involved.

 

  • A few months before children leave your program, it’s important to talk to them about what to expect. An easy and comfortable way to start that discussion is through books and stories. Explore your local library for these books:
    • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, by Joseph Slate
    • Welcome to Kindergarten, by Anne Rockwell
    • The Night Before Kindergarten, by Natasha Wing
    • Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, by Eric Litwin
    • Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten, by Hyewon Yum
  • Make a list of children’s thoughts about kindergarten.
  • Remind families to register for kindergarten, and have registration information available from local schools.
  • Invite a kindergarten teacher to visit your program. Or, if you offer a kindergarten program, take the time to visit the kindergarten classroom.
  • Hold an end-of-the-year conference with a kindergarten focus.  Provide parents with a progress report and/or portfolio.
  • Encourage families to engage in activities at home that will foster lifelong learning. Here are activities you can suggest:
    • Read to their child every day.
    • Give their child opportunities to problem-solve and make decisions.
    • Offer crayons, scissors, and small manipulatives to support their child’s fine-motor coordination.
    • Create a consistent bedtime schedule to encourage quality resting and waking habits.
    • Provide healthy, well-balanced meals to support their growing bodies.

Creating many opportunities throughout the year to help your prekindergarten children and their families transition through this change in their lives will have a positive impact for years to come.

For more information about how to help children transition between programs successfully, the Maryland EXCELS Toolkit offers tips, knowledge, and resources to support your work with children and families.

April: Celebrate Diversity Month


April is Celebrate Diversity Month. Celebrate Diversity Month began in 2004 to honor and recognize the diversity that surrounds us in all aspects of our lives; it acknowledges differences in race, gender, language, socio-economic status, ethnicity, nationality and abilities. By understanding that we are all different and that we each bring incredible talents, abilities and skills to our shared world, we can gain a deeper understanding of one another. This not only will make your program or community a better place but it can have long lasting impact on the children in your program. How will you celebrate diversity this month? Here are a few examples of ways to celebrate diversity:

  • Create art activities with your children that represent different cultures.
  • Ask families to bring in food items that are unique to their cultures and ethnicities. Be attentive to food allergies of children in your program.
  • Share and provide literature and books about a variety of cultures.
  • Ask families to share music from their culture.
  • Invite families to share pictures of their own family celebrations and discuss the celebrations and their significance.
  • Celebrate cultural celebrations highlighting important rituals and customs.

If you have families and children in your program who speak more than one language, NAEYC provides information about what you can learn from the parents of dual language children.

 

Celebrating Earth Day on April 22!

hand holding earth

Our Earth needs to be protected so its resources will be available for many generations. It’s never too early to pass this message along to young children who can keep our planet clean and learn to reduce, reuse, recycle, restore, replenish and celebrate the Earth. Young children can make a difference. Little steps become big changes.

  • Children can create art with recycled items that would otherwise go into the trash. Transform plastic milk jugs into bird feeders or flowerpots to begin seedlings for a garden.
  • Pick up trash in your neighborhood and explain why it’s important to keep our planet clean. For example, many animals mistake trash for food, eat it, and become sick.
  • Take children on a nature walk and play “I Spy.” Children can collect leaves, pine cones, clover, grass, small sticks, and acorns to make a nature collage individually or as a group activity.
  • Ask families to donate clean food containers and shoe boxes. They make great building materials for busy young architects. They also make great props for your dramatic play area.
  • Have you ever thought about planting a small garden? If a small area of land is not available outside, plant a small container garden. Jerusha Klemperer, Associate Director of National Programs at Slow Food USA, writes, “Children who learn in and around edible gardens and farms learn firsthand to make connections between food and the environment, food and personal health, and food and community well-being.”

Quality Time with Kacey: Provider Appreciation Week

Quality Time with Kacey, a koala wearing a Maryland EXCELS T-shirt, sitting in front of a clock

Activities for Child Care Provider Appreciation Week: May 3-7

For Child Care Provider Appreciation Week, Kacey the Quality Koala and Maryland EXCELS shared new activities to do with your child to show their love and appreciation for their child care provider.

You’ll find the activities below. For more fun with Kacey,  you can visit additional Activities with Kacey for Families and Providers.

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood understands that the activities described on this page and in website links may not be suitable for all ages or developmental stages. All activities require adult supervision and are not endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education or Johns Hopkins University.

Painted paper likeness of children giving hugsMonday

Send a hug to your provider! Using a long sheet of paper, trace your child’s head, torso, arms, and hands. Have your child decorate their traced body using crayons, paint, or markers. If you don’t have a long piece of paper, use smaller pieces of paper and tape them together. Help your child to write a note to their child care provider. If your child can’t write, then you can write the letter and have them trace their name. Share your hugs on our social post and tag your provider or send the artwork by mail or email!

 

Tuesday

Superheroes made from painted handprintsChild care providers are superheroes! Paint or trace your child’s hand or foot on paper then turn their hand or footprint into a super child care hero. Either mail the artwork or take a picture and email it to your provider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday

Make a kindness postcard! Children of all ages can make a kindness postcard with paper and paint. For babies 3 months and up, you can tape the bag to a high chair tray for thHomemade postcards made by young children for their child care providersBaby doing a fingerpainting while having tummy timee child to squish and move the paint around with their hands. Older children can finger paint or use a paintbrush to make a picture. After the paint dries, cut out postcard-sized pictures. Write a kind message on the back and mail or take a photo and email/text it to your child care provider.

 

 

Thursday

A poem for Provider Appreciation Day with two handprints inside a heart. Help your child write or sing a song or a poem for their provider. Record the song or poem, or write it out and send it to your child’s teacher. If your child is an infant, you can send a picture with a note or poem. Alternatively, you could recreate a poem or quote you find online by printing it or drawing it. This sweet surprise will make their day!

 

 

 

 

 

Friday

Today is Provider Appreciation Day! Take time to thank the child care provider in your child’s world. Making a homemade flower is one way to say thank you.Art project with flowers made from a baby's footprint in paintArt project with a flower made from painted handprints

Look around your home for different objects or recycled materials to create a flower. You can use egg cartons, coffee filters, muffin liners, paper plates, or paper towel rolls. Give the flower to your child’s provider along with a thank you note! You can also mail it or send a photo of it to the provider.

Variation: If you have an infant or small child, trace or use non-toxic paint on their foot or hand to create a flower. 

Share your activities on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using the hashtags #MarylandEXCELS and #KaceyEXCELS.

Celebrate Week of the Young Child™ 2021

Celebrate Week of the Young Child™ 2021

Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Week of the Young Child and discover a fun activity to do each day, April 10 through April 16

Help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Week of the Young Child™ (WOYC)! From April 10-16, 2021, Maryland EXCELS and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC®) are honoring this important milestone.

Join Kacey, the Maryland EXCELS Quality Koala, for WOYC daily activities.

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood understands that the activities described on this page and in website links may not be suitable for all ages or developmental stages. All activities require adult supervision and are not endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education or Johns Hopkins University.

 

Music Monday

When children sing, dance, and listen to music, they develop their language and early literacy skills while being active.

For a fun musical project, gather recyclables to make instruments. You can make instruments out of tissue boxes, oatmeal containers, paper towel rolls, paper plates . . . just to name a few!

Check out some other ways to encourage children to connect with music:

 

Tasty Tuesday

Make some healthy, nutritious snacks with your little ones. While you’re cooking together, you can connect math with literacy skills and science. Here are a few ideas to try:

 

Work Together Wednesday

Let’s work together to keep your program safe and clean! Involve your children by teaching them what germs are and why handwashing is a must. 

Check out these helpful resources, including videos, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To help children understand, read Germs Are Not for Sharing by Elizabeth Verdick or watch a video of the book read aloud.

After reading, teach your little ones to sing this song twice while washing their hands. According to the Centers for Disease Control, we should wash our hands for at least 20 seconds. 

Sing to the tune of “Wheels on the Bus:”

The soap on your hands goes sud, sud, sud
Sud, sud, sud
Sud, sud, sud
The soap on your hands goes sud, sud, sud
And the germs go down the drain.

(Sing twice)

 

Artsy Thursday

Give your children the opportunity to create their own masterpieces! Children develop creativity, social skills, and fine motor skills with open-ended art projects where they can make choices, use their imaginations, and create with their hands. 

Provide multiple art mediums to choose from. Offer younger children fewer choices. Older children can choose from a larger variety of materials. Encourage your children to use any of the materials to create their artwork. 

Here are more suggestions about how to encourage children to develop their creativity and artistic skills:

 

Family Friday

Celebrate Family Friday with an indoor or outdoor campout!

Pitch a tent outside or create an indoor fort. Decorate it with comfy blankets and pillows. Add stuffed animals as extra guests.

For dinner, help children make a camp-style dinner with these burger packets.

What you need:

  • Ground beef or turkey 
  • Your favorite seasoning 
  • Shredded cheddar
  • Your favorite canned vegetables (potatoes, peas, green beans, carrots, diced tomatoes, corn)
  • Aluminum foil

Directions:

Tear off a piece of aluminum foil (about 12 in. x 12 in. per packet). Form each burger with the ground meat and place it in the middle of the foil. Sprinkle your preferred seasoning on the patty. 

Let your child add a scoop or two of their favorite vegetables on top of the meat. Top your creation with cheese. Secure the foil tightly around your dinner. Poke a few holes in the foil so steam can escape. 

Cook for 30 minutes on a grill or in the oven at 400 degrees. Make sure you let the packets cool before opening the foil.

Then finish your camping fun with dessert. Try this version of everyone’s favorite camping treat…s’mores! 

What You Need:

  • One banana per person
  • Chocolate chips (mini work best)
  • Marshmallows (mini work best)
  • Cinnamon-flavored cereal or crushed graham crackers
  • Aluminum foil

Peel the banana and slice lengthwise. Place the banana on foil or in an oven-safe dish. Add 2 tablespoons of each of the toppings: chocolate chips, marshmallows, and cereal. Wrap in foil and place on the grill or in the oven. Cook for 5 minutes or until the marshmallows and chocolate are melted. 

 

Share your activities on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram using the hashtags #MarylandEXCELS and #woyc21.

Visit NAEYC to learn more about the theme and other activities for the weeklong celebration! 

Activity Time with Kacey

Quality Time with Kacey, a koala wearing a Maryland EXCELS T-shirt, sitting in front of a clock

 

Activities with Kacey for Families and Providers

Kacey the Quality Koala and Maryland EXCELS will be sharing fun and educational activities for families and child care programs.

Be sure to visit this page or social media regularly! Share your activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood understands that activities described on this page and in website links are not suitable for all ages. Ultimately, all activities require adult supervision and are not endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education or Johns Hopkins University.

Create a Masterpiece

A tree made from pieces of colored torn construction paper

Dance with the Sesame Street characters as you listen to Sesame Street: Make Your Own Art Song sung aloud.

As a follow-up art activity, give your children pieces of paper, glue, and torn pieces of colored construction paper. Model how you can use the small pieces of colored paper to make a new creation.

You can tear the colored paper ahead of time or the children can practice their fine-motor skills by tearing the paper themselves. Then have the children make their own creations. 

 

 

Fall Fun!

Cover of the book The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall displaying two birds on an apple tree branch

Read The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall or listen to the book read aloud.

As a follow-up to the story, make this simple apple pie playdough* and bring the smell of freshly baked pie to your early education program! The children can then work on their fine motor skills making creations with the playdough. 

*Though this dough is not for eating, be sure the children in your care are not allergic to any of the ingredients.

Apple Pie Playdough

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice

Directions: 

  1. Add water and vegetable oil to a small pot and stir.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the pot and stir thoroughly to combine.
  4. Stirring constantly over medium heat, cook the mixture until the dough starts to form.
  5. Let the dough cool thoroughly. 
  6. Transfer the cooled dough to a pastry mat or cutting board and knead the dough.
  7. Add more flour a little at a time if the dough is too sticky.

Make a Frozen Treat

What Can You Do with a Paleta? By Carmen Tafolla. Illustrated by Magaly Morales.

Listen to the read-aloud story What Can You Do with a Paleta? Then make your own healthy Mexican paleta! It is an easy and delicious treat!

Items needed:

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen fruit
  • 2 Tbsp honey (or sugar)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (or any other plain yogurt)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place fruit into a blender.
  2. Add honey, vanilla, and lemon juice.
  3. Blend until pureed.
  4. Add puree to yogurt and stir.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds, ice cube trays, or paper cups. Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
  6. Enjoy this new treat!

Building with Ice

Note: An adult should always be present at all times around any water activities.

For this project, you’ll need to prepare ice cubes ahead of time. Fill small, plastic containers and ice cube trays with water, add food coloring and/or glitter, then put the containers into the freezer.

Once the water has frozen, put the ice cubes and larger ice pieces into a larger plastic container. Let your child’s creativity shine as they build a castle or other ice structures with the ice cubes!

Beautify your neighborhood!

Book cover of "Maybe Something Beautiful" by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell

Listen and read along to the story Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood

You can also borrow this book from your local library’s digital services:  

As a follow-up activity to the story, have your child paint rocks or draw pictures for your neighbors. Your child will brighten their day!

 

Friendship and Art

An abstract art drawing done in pastelsRead and listen to the story When Pigasso Met Mootisse about friendship and art. As a follow-up to the story, decorate a letter of the alphabet for a friend. Use any art materials or recycled items you find around your home. Mail it or take a picture of the letter and text or email it to a friend.

 

 

Artful Snacks

A bowl of strawberries next to a plate with snacks shaped to look like birds and a stoplight

Make edible artwork for snack time! Your child can make colorful art project snacks using their favorite fruits, vegetables,  crackers, pancakes, or waffles. They can make flowers, ice cream cones, cars, or animals. Share your child’s edible artwork with us on social media. 

 

 

 

See activities from past weeks:

Activities with Kacey: You Are Special

Summer Activities with Kacey

Activities with Kacey: You Are Special

Kacey the Quality Koala and Maryland EXCELS have been sharing daily fun and educational activities for families and child care programs.

The theme of the activities below is “You Are Special.”

To see the latest activities from Kacey, be sure to visit this page or social media regularly! Share your activities on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood understands that the activities described on this page and in website links are not suitable for all ages. Ultimately, all activities require adult supervision and are not endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education or Johns Hopkins University.

Monday

A collage in the shape of a body, made from construction paper, pictures, a paper plate, and yarn.You are special!

Create a collage all about you! Draw a body outline on a piece of paper. Draw a face or find a photo of your child. If using a photo, cut out the face and glue it on the body. Help your child find pictures and words in magazines, catalogs, or newspapers that describe your child’s favorite books, toys, games, foods, and activities. Share the collages with other family members and friends.

 

Tuesday

Storytime!

The cover of the book Hair Love

Listen to the story Hair Love about a girl named Zuri and how her hair makes her feel special.  

 

 

 

 

Wednesday

A young child putting the features on a potato head toyMusic and Movement

Sing and dance to Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes as you pretend to put on sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. As a follow-up activity, find toys, books, and pictures around the house and identify different body parts you need to protect from the sun.

 

Thursday

Music and Movement

A group of young, smiling childrenSing and listen to the song Everyone is Special as you complete this activity with your child. Discuss with your child how we are alike and how we are different, and what makes your child special. 

 

 

Friday

Two girls smiling and sharing a bowl of strawberries“Special Me” Snack

Make a “special me” snack with your child using their favorite fruits and vegetables, or other foods. Let them choose! Brainstorm with them ways to use the foods to create a face or body. For example, use banana slices for the body, carrots for the arms and legs, and blueberries for a mouth, nose, and eyes, and something fun for hair. Be creative and share your ideas with us through social media.

See activities from past weeks:

Activities with Kacey: Reptiles

Summer activities with Kacey

Activities with Kacey: Reptiles

Kacey the Quality Koala and Maryland EXCELS have been sharing fun and educational activities and mealtime discussion questions for families and child care programs.

The theme of the activities below is “Reptiles.”

To see the latest activities and questions, visit this page or social media!

Share your activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtags #MarylandEXCELS and #KaceyEXCELS.

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood understands that activities described on this page and in website links are not suitable for all ages. Ultimately, all activities require adult supervision and are not endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education or Johns Hopkins University.

Monday

An empty dishwaher pod container decorated to look like a crocodile and a red tray with ping-pong balls and tongsHungry Crocodile Fine Motor Game

Feed the hungry crocodile with this fun game! Find an empty container with a lid that opens and closes and decorate it to look like a crocodile. Using tongs, your child can feed the hungry crocodile cotton balls, ping-pong balls,  or other small items.

Mealtime discussion question: What other items could you feed your hungry crocodile?

 

Tuesday

Swamp Sensory Bin

NOTE: An adult should always be present around all water activities and water play.

A plastic bin with water, small rocks, plants, and plastic animals

Let your child create a swamp with snakes, alligators, turtles, and frogs in a homemade sensory bin.

Fill a small plastic bin with 1 inch of water. Create a swamp habitat sensory bin by adding toy animals such as insects, snakes, alligators, turtles, frogs, and/or fish. You can also include large leaves for lily pads and small pieces of wood or sticks. Your child can create a dry spot for the animals with sticks, rocks, or leaves.

Mealtime discussion question: What kinds of animals can you find in a swamp?

 

Wednesday

Inside pages of the book The Mixed-Up ChameleonStorytime! 

Listen and read the story of The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle.  After reading the story, add different colors of washable paint into a resealable plastic bag. Make sure that the bag is closed securely with tape. Your child can squish the paint around and observe how different colors mix together.

Mealtime discussion question: What happens when you mix different colors together?

 

Thursday

Lily Pad Leap!

Pieces of green paper cut into shapes like lily pads with numbers written on each piece.Create lily pads with chalk outside or draw on paper if you’re inside. Leap, jump, or skip from one lily pad to the next. You can play this song as your child jumps and dances on the lily pads. As a follow-up activity, have your child decorate a lily pad. Draw an outline on paper and let your child cut or rip small pieces of paper. Decorate the lily pad by gluing down the pieces of paper.

Mealtime discussion question: Do you think you could float on a lily pad like a frog? Why, or why not?

 

Friday

A snack made out of cucumbers and shaped like a snakeCreative Snacks!

Use your child’s favorite fruits and vegetables to make a snake-shaped snack for everyone to enjoy.

Mealtime discussion question: Snakes don’t have feet, arms, or legs. How do you think they move?

See activities from past weeks:

Activities with Kacey: Movement

Summer activities with Kacey

Activities with Kacey: Movement

Kacey the Quality Koala and Maryland EXCELS have been sharing fun and educational activities and mealtime discussion questions for families and child care programs.

The theme of the activities below is “Movement.”

To see the latest activities and questions, visit this page or social media!

Share your activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtags #MarylandEXCELS and #KaceyEXCELS.

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood understands that activities described on this page and in website links are not suitable for all ages. Ultimately, all activities require adult supervision and are not endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education or Johns Hopkins University.

Monday

A young girl wearing a headband with a red flower waves a colorful scarfFollow the leader!

Find colorful scarves, pieces of fabric, or ribbons that your child can use while they move and dance to their favorite songs. Take turns choosing moves and dances. For example, ask everyone to wave the scarves, fabric, or ribbons below their knees or above their heads, twirl with each hand, wave in front or behind them, wave between their legs, hop, or toss in the air and catch them. Get creative! 

Mealtime discussion question: How does dancing make you feel? What is your favorite dance move? 

Tuesday

Moving with Hula Hoops

Three children play with hula hoops

 

Listen to a reading of The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen and try hula hooping!

 

Mealtime discussion question: Have you ever tried to hula hoop before? Where do you or where would you like to hula hoop? 

 

Wednesday

Two young children watch a goldfish swim in a bowlMusic and Movement

Pretend to be a goldfish and sing, dance, and move to the song Let’s Go Swimming.

Mealtime discussion question: Where have you seen fish before? What do you think it would feel like to be a fish? 

Thursday

Scoop Game 

Two young children play indoor hockey with pom-poms

Keep your child moving and having fun while playing pom-pom scoop indoors! You will need any size craft pom-poms or cotton balls, cardboard tubes, paper plates, and painter’s or masking tape. Create a square for each player using painter’s tape in different places around the room. For the scooper, cut a paper plate so it’s square-shaped and tape it to the cardboard tube. Put the pom-poms in the middle of the room. The object of the game is to push and scoop as many pom-poms or cotton balls into your square as quickly as you can with your stick.

 

Mealtime discussion question: What other games can you and your family play with pom-poms?

Friday

A craft made out of colored paper and made to look like a slice of pizza on a paper platePizza Day

Dance and move with the Pizza Party song. Now it’s time to design your own pizza with a paper plate, red paint, and colorful pieces of paper. You could paint the plate red for the pizza sauce and decorate your pizza with triangle yellow shapes for cheese, circles for pepperoni, green squares for peppers, and black circles for olives. Or get creative and decide what shapes to use and what they represent! 

Mealtime discussion question: Do you like pizza? If so, what are your favorite pizza toppings? If you don’t like pizza, what would you like to eat instead?  

 

See activities from past weeks:

 

Activities with Kacey: Celebrate Maryland

Summer Activities with Kacey

Activities with Kacey: Celebrate Maryland

Kacey the Quality Koala and Maryland EXCELS have been sharing fun and educational activities and mealtime discussion questions for families and child care programs.

The theme of the activities below is “Celebrate Maryland.”

To see the latest activities and questions, visit this page or social media!

Share your activities on
Facebook
, Twitter, and Instagram using the hashtags #MarylandEXCELS and #KaceyEXCELS.

The Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Early Childhood understands that activities described on this page and in website links are not suitable for all ages. Ultimately, all activities require adult supervision and are not endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education or Johns Hopkins University.

Monday

Beach Ball Craft

Draw a small circle on the back of a paper plate. Then draw lines to create six sections on the plate. Your child can either paint the plate or tear pieces of colored construction paper and glue it onto each section. Let your child use their imagination to create their colorful beach ball!

A multicolored beach ball craft made from a paper plate and tissue paper Two young children playing with a beach ball at the beach

Mealtime discussion question: What activities and games would you like to play in the sand or at the beach?

Tuesday

Music and Movement Activity

Sing and dance to a song about the Chesapeake Bay watershed called Back to the Sea.

A family with two children dances together in their living room

Mealtime discussion question: What are some ways you and your family can help keep the area where you live clean?

Wednesday

A cardboard box filled with toysA Baltimore Story

Listen to and read the story, Aunt Flossie’s Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard. As a follow-up activity, make a 2020 memory box with your child. Let your child decorate an empty box (like a shoebox) and find crafts, notes, pictures, or other special keepsakes for your child to put in their memory box. Store the box in a safe place. As your child grows older, they will enjoy going through their memory box to recall stories about their special items.

Mealtime discussion question: What is your favorite item that will fit in your memory box? Why is it special to you?

Thursday

Story and Activity

Listen to Meet Chadwick and His Chesapeake Bay Friends by Priscilla Cummings, and create a Maryland masterpiece with your hands and paint.

A child's painting of fish and other creatures under the seaAs a follow-up activity to the story, your child can create a colorful masterpiece to pay tribute to Maryland. Paint your child’s hands with washable paint. Your child’s handprint will create the body of one or more of the characters from the story. Have your child create a beach scene with a Maryland crab, goose, egret, clam, or jellyfish. Let your child add eyes, nose or beak, a mouth, and other features. Share your child’s work of art with Maryland EXCELS on social media!

 

Mealtime discussion question:  What animals have you seen that live in or near the Chesapeake Bay?

Friday

A piece of toast decorated to resemble a bear's face using bananas, blueberries, and nut spreadMake a tasty and healthy bear snack!

Note: If your child has food allergies, adjust this activity as needed, and create a bear face on a plate.

Maryland has beaches, farms, rivers, lakes, and mountains. Different animals such as muskrats, raccoons, Canada geese, white-tailed deer, coyotes, red foxes, and American black bears live in different regions of the state. Black bears can be found in the mountains in Western Maryland. Make a bear snack with your child using bread or a rice cake, butter, nut butter or other spreadable food, bananas or apples, and blueberries or raisins. Spread the butter, peanut butter, or other spreadable food on a piece of toasted bread or a rice cake. Arrange sliced bananas or apples and blueberries or raisins to make ears, eyes, and a nose. Enjoy your tasty snack with your child.

Mealtime discussion question: What is your favorite Maryland summer activity?

 

See activities from past weeks: