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Week of the Young Child: WOYC2023

Welcome to the 2023 Week of the Young Child Guide

Welcome to the Week of the Young Child Guide

Featured Book

What is WOYC?

The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world's largest early childhood education association, with nearly 60,000 members and a network of 52 Affiliates.

The purpose of the Week of the Young Child™ is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child™ in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children's success in school and later life. The Week of the Young Child™ is a time to plan how we—as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation—will better meet the needs of all young children and their families. 

NAEYC's Twitter Feed

View the latest WOYC events on the NAEYC Twitter feed!

Week of the Young Child Webinars and Events

Webinar Registration

Step It Up for Early Childhood: Become an Advocate in Three Easy Steps!

  • Thursday, April 6, 2023, 7:30-8:30 p.m. (CDT) 
  • Register:                        


Archives will be available here:

Note: Certificates for watching the recording of this WOYC Webinar will not be provided.

Play! Joyful Activites for Each Day of the Week

Music Monday!

Infants and Toddlers (Birth to 3 Years)

  • Parents and children can create colorful egg shakers for the family and have a dance party! Using empty egg cartons, families can fill the cartons with beans, secure it closed with rubber bands, and have a dance party.
  • Make sounds with pots, pans, and utensils. Which one is the loudest? What happens when you clap two spoons together?
  • Sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." How does a spider move? What parts of our body can we use to move like a spider? Help your child wiggle his or her fingers to be a "spider."

Preschool age (Ages 3-6)

  • Draw to music. Put your child's favorite music on. Have your child sit or lay on the floor and draw fast or slow to the music.
  • Play music to dance and sing to. Stop the music once in a while and have your child freeze and pose.
  • Ribbon/scarf dancing. Attach streamers of varying colors and lengths to paint sticks found at a local hardware store (or a wooden kitchen spoon) with tape. Play the music and allow the children to dance around and swing the streamers up and down and around in circles.
  • Create shaker instruments with paper plates, paper towel tubes, plastic bottles, and materials to make the shaking sound such as dry beans, rice, or water. Turn on the music and shake to the beat!

Spotlight Resource

*Visit Songs for Teaching at to listen and learn fingerplays to sing with your child. Sign language movements are even included!


Tasty Tuesday

Infants and Toddlers (Birth to age 3)

  • Tasting parties.  Focus on different tastes and textures such as sour, salty, sweet, sticky, smooth, lumpy, etc. Be sure to incorporate the labels of foods, tastes, and textures to add to vocabulary comprehension.

Preschool (Ages 3-6)

  • Apple tasting. Get a variety of different types of apples (or apple sauce) and taste-test. Which is your favorite? Comparing and contrasting is a foundational scientific exploration.
  • Graham cracker houses. Spread the sides of a small milk carton with peanut butter (or peanut butter substitute) and apply graham crackers to the sides of the milk carton. Decorate the houses with marshmallows, pretzels, raisins, and more.
  • Make Pizzas. Have everyone add their own toppings to a tortilla. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Add the tortilla with the toppings, and cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes while the cheese melts.

Spotlight Resource

*Visit Your Kids Table at for helpful tips and strategies for cooking with toddlers and children along with tasty and healthy recipes!

Work Together Wednesday

Infants and Toddlers (Birth to Age 3)

  • Make a collage of pictures of activities you and your child like to do or pictures of your child doing some of their favorite things. Have your child decorate a piece of paper. Then support your child to glue the pictures to the piece of paper.  You can also create a picture book with the collages by securing the pages together with a large binder ring or yarn.

Preschool (Ages 3-6)

  • Create an obstacle course with your child using different materials to climb over, under, and balance on (blankets, boxes, chairs, masking tape). Model how to complete the obstacle course and have your child join along. After a few attempts, work together on ways you can enhance the obstacle course.
  • Build a junk sculpture with your child using usable, clean junk from around your house such as boxes, cartons, milk jugs, cardboard tubes, plastic tubs, or bottles, tape, glue, and even washable paint.
  • Build a fort with your child for a cozy reading space! Use blankets, pillows, small tables, and cushions to create a space for just you and your child to read together or hang out!

Spotlight Resource

*Visit the Rasmussen Blog for 11 Engaging STEM Activities for Kids that Will Foster Curiosity at

Artsy Thursday

Infants and Toddlers (Birth to Age 3)

  • Pour salt or clean sand into a shallow dish or tray. Encourage your child to draw or play in it. If your child is not ready to draw, put his or her hands into the dish. Pour the salt over their hands. Let your child pour or scoop it.
  • Make playdough with your child. Depending on the age, provide materials to squish, roll, and poke the playdough.
  • Make finger paint and place in a sealed and secured freezer bag which children can squish, press, and mix colors.

Spotlight Resources

*Visit Homegrown Friends at for simple, open-ended, and creative art adventures you can do in your own home!

*Visit Mother Could at for accessible, easy-to-create art and sensory activities using recycled materials easily found at home!

Preschool (Ages 3-6)

  • Go on a nature walk and collect materials to make a nature collage.
  • Make playdough with child - measure, mix, and knead playdough as you make it. Then, provide straws, chopsticks, rolling pins, muffin tins, and more to make playdough food or artistic creations.
  • Paint boxes - Paint delivery boxes and put them together to create an interactive sculpture that can be crawled trough, climbed on, and stacked high.

Spotlight Resources

*Visit Homegrown Friends at for simple, open-ended, and creative art adventures you can do in your own home!

*Visit Mother Could at for accessible, easy-to-create art and sensory activities using recycled materials easily found at home!


Family Fridays

Infants and Toddlers (Birth to Age 3)

  • Create a Family Mobile. Have pictures of all your family members and support your child in cutting pictures (hand over hand) or you can cut the pictures. Glue each picture of a family member to a piece of cardboard (each person gets their own cardboard) and attach it to a piece of string.  Tie the string with pictures hanging to a hanger.
  • Create a family picture book using photos of treasured family members tied together with cardboard and yarn. Cover the pages with contact paper for frequent touching.

Preschool (Ages 3-6)

  • Create a family mobile. Gather pictures of all of your family members. Support our child in cutting the pictures (hand over hand) or you can cut the pictures. Glue each picture of a family member to a piece of cardboard (each person gets their own cardboard) and attach it to a piece of string. Tie the strings with pictures hanging to a hanger.
  • Family diorama. Have a shoebox for your child. Have the child paint the box. Have your child draw and make stand-up pictures of each member of your household. Put the pictures in the box.

Spotlight Resource

*Visit Inclusive Storytime at to add children’s picture book titles to your collection that represent all children and families!


These are articles or PDFs which give some background on play- not necessarily ideas for the handout- but may provide context. 

10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play (DB)

Today's Play ... Tomorrow's Success (DB)

Make the Most of Playtime (DB)

NAEYC Daily Activities

Kick-Off Saturday!  April 1, 2023

Check out the WOYC Activities and Resources page for ideas and information to plan your events.

Here are list of things you can do to plan for the week of celebrations!

Things you can do on Kick-off Saturday

  •  Post a video, blog or social media post sharing why you celebrate Week of the Young Child and what you do to prepare
  •  Consider hosting a virtual event where you can share your local proclamation or lead a fun activity.
  •  Take some time for yourself and re-energize so that you’re ready for the week ahead
  •  Plan for the week ahead:
  •  Create a dancing playlist for Music Monday​
  •  Gather ingredients from your kitchen for a Tasty Tuesday activity
  •  For Work Together Wednesday, work with other educators in your program to draft a group letter to your elected officials, emphasizing the need to #InvestinECE
  •  Replenish your arts and crafts supply for Artsy Thursday
  •  Draft an email to parents explaining what they should expect during the week and how they can prepare for your Family Friday activity


Music Monday! April 3, 2023

Step It Up Activity 

Make sure your state and local elected officials are all singing from the same songbook! Join the chorus for change and work with your states’ Affiliates to help policymakers sign proclamations that honor and advance the early childhood education profession as part of the WOYC™. Get inspired by what NAEYC’s affiliate leaders and partners did in 2019 to move beyond "thanks and recognition." Also, don't forget to access the new 2021 Proclamation Toolkit, an easy-to-use resource that will help you secure a proclamation to educate the public, bring attention to our issues, and provide an effective advocacy tool for the future!

Tasty Tuesday!  April 4, 2023

Step It Up Activity 

Explore the culture-specific foods that the young children in your classroom may enjoy at home. Connect with families by engaging them in the history and tradition of meals from their countries of origin. Consider having families share a story or recipe about their favorite dish and its history. Introduce your class to new ingredients and discuss where they are grown. Create a recipe book using images the children draw and share the book with the community. The creative opportunities are as endless as the meals themselves.

Work Together Wednesday!  April 5, 2023

Step It Up Activity

The young children in your classroom aren’t the only ones who succeed when they work together. Take a moment to join NAEYC in advancing our profession by signing up for Power to the Profession; supporting your peers through the discussions on HELLO; reaching out to elected officials about the importance of investing in ECE; or inviting someone new to become a member. Working together makes us stronger together, and that means the impact we make can be monumental!

Artsy Thursday!  April 6, 2023

Step It Up Activity

Find ways to display your classroom’s art projects for the community to see, and while you have their attention, educate them about the importance of high-quality early childhood education. Here are some suggestions to get started:

  •  Set up a gallery at a local business or public library to share your classroom art creations. Check out how one center set up an exhibition last year in their student center.
  •  Include information about high-quality care as part of your art displays in community. Need brochures? Visit our online store:
  •  Create a digital gallery on social media or on your program’s website. Share using the hashtag #woyc20. 
  •  Create a print book to share with the community. Tip: Sell the book for fundraising your trip to an NAEYC conference!

Family Friday!  April 7, 2023

Step It Up Activity

Extend your NAEYC family! The early childhood education community doesn’t end outside the doors of your classroom. Connect with your local affiliate, encourage families to join our Family level membership, learn how to engage with your local policymakers, and more! There are endless opportunities to keep your entire community in-the-know about early childhood education. See how the The Akron Art Museum and the NAEYC's MaineAEYC engaged their communities.