Early Childhood: Learn at Home

Hello families! As you know, children love to play – anytime, anywhere, and with almost anything. As they play, they are learning about the world around them and practicing important skills.

We will update this page regularly with information and documents that include many fun and engaging activities you can do with your children at home. This includes activity suggestions and resources for:

  • Infants
  • Toddlers
  • Children who are 3 and 4 years old

Keep in mind there are no “rules” during a pandemic. While these resources offer suggestions for activities to do with your child, feel free to lean into what feels best for your family and makes sense for your child. Be sure to take care of yourself too. We are here to support you through this, and hope these activities and tips support your family during this time. Know that whatever you’re doing, you’re doing great!

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Early Childhood Remote and Blended Learning Guidance

The guides below can help your family adapt to learning from home. They explain what remote and blended learning are, tips for keeping a daily routine, and suggestions for how to connect your child's learning at home with learning in school. They also offer tips on keeping a daily routine and resources to support your physical and mental health during this stressful time.

Health & Safety Guidance

Additional Resources for Families

These additional resources offer fun, informative, new online experiences we recommend for you and your child. Please choose the activities and platforms that work for your family.

Ready4K

Want to receive fun facts and easy tips to promote your child’s development? Sign up here for Ready4K at no cost, and begin building on your existing family routines today!

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Getting an Internet-Enabled Device

The DOE has devices available to lend to families to support their child's remote learning. Priority will be given to students most in need, and students in upper grades. Families who wish to request a device should fill out this Remote Learning Device Request Form. Please complete the survey if your family needs a device. If you do not know your child's OSIS number, input '9' then your child's birthdate instead. For example, for a child born on January 1, 2016, you can enter "901012016".

Technical Support for Families

Please fill out this form to let us know what issues you have with DOE-issued iPads/devices, access to applications, or other technical problems.

Let's Learn!

Find out more about Let’s Learn!, an educational public television program featuring lessons for children in grades 3-K through second grade, which can supplement remote and blended learning.

Read Aloud for Families and Caregivers

Check out new read-aloud ideas for your 3 or 4 year old right here every week! Come back often for regularly updated book suggestions and activities you can do while learning from home. 

Big Ideas

Reading books with children develops their literacy skills and is a good way to enjoy time together. Whether you read a book out loud with your child or watch a recorded version together, the experience is even more meaningful when children can respond. Asking your child questions about the book and engaging in activities about it helps them think carefully about it.

Read Aloud for 3-K - Our Environment

Book cover for Hooray for Hat by Brian Won depicts four animals marching with hats on

Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won

Essential Question: What can we discover about our environment?
Month Two: Investigating
Weekly Focus: Express and Test Ideas

Consider reading or watching Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won (author/illustrator) with your child several times this week. After enjoying it together, use the activities below to support your child’s understanding of the book and help them connect the book to our remote 3-K learning.

Activity 1

Questions to Support the Read Aloud:

  • What happened when Elephant found the hat at his front door?
  • What happened when Elephant gave the other animals a hat?
  • Why do you think Elephant wanted to give the other animals a hat?

Activity 2

Provide an assortment of materials you think might work well for making a hat (e.g. paper, cardboard boxes, ribbon scraps, crayons, markers). Pose the following question: How can you use these materials to make a hat?

Activity 3

Invite your child to make a hat for someone else. Pose the following question: What will happen if you give this hat to (_______)? Invite your child to share their idea(s). If possible, give the hat to the person your child made it for.

Activity 4

Print and cut out the animals from the story. Invite your child to use them to retell the story. Invite your child to think about how each character might talk or move when they feel grumpy as well as how they might talk or move once they have their hat. Your child could also use hand or finger puppets for this activity.

Read Aloud for Pre-K – Where We Live

Book cover for Going Up by Sherry J. Lee, depicts little girl standing in front of elevator smiling

Going Up! by Sherry J. Lee (author) and Charlene Chua (illustrator)

Essential Question: Where do the people and animals around me live?

Focus Question: What types of homes do the people in my city (NYC) live in?

Consider reading or Going Up! by Sherry J. Lee (author) and Charlene Chua (illustrator) with your child several times this week. After enjoying it together, use these activities to support your child’s understanding of the book and help them connect the book to our remote pre-K learning.

Activity 1

Questions to Support the Read Aloud:

  • Where were Sophie and her dad going? Where was Olive’s birthday party? 
  • Why was everyone riding the elevator? 
  • What type of home do you think Sophie and her dad live in? How do you know?

Activity 2

Invite your child to think about this book. What did they like best? Why? Invite them to draw a picture, write, or share their thoughts with you. Take a picture of their work and post on our class platform or share via email.

Activity 3

Sophie, her dad, and all the neighbors ride the elevator in their apartment building together. Invite your child to make an elevator. They can make it any way they would like! Invite them to think of a plan, gather the materials, and then build. If possible, record your child working, or take a picture and share it with your child’s teacher.

Activity 4

Sophie and her neighbors were going to a party on the top floor of their apartment building. Invite your child to pretend you are having your own party and create a party invitation. Support your child in creating the invitation by helping them think about the information they need to include, who to invite, etc.

Activity 5

Create an elevator switchboard by placing numbers in circles to make buttons. Help your child write the numerals and/or make tally marks to represent each number/floor. Start with 1-5 floors and add more floors as your child is ready. Pretend you are taking an elevator ride together. Discuss which floors you are going to and if you are going up or down based on the numbers you pressed. Who might you see when you get off at the floor?
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