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National Month of the Young Child

By: Dr. Rachel Makary on March 27th, 2024

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National Month of the Young Child

Elementary School

The season of spring is a time of new and exciting beginnings, which makes sense as to why April is designated as the National Month of the Young Child. Decades of research have shown early experiences for children from birth through age 8 provide an important foundation and set them up for success as they transition into school. To celebrate National Month of the Young Child and encourage developing necessary skills, this blog will feature activities to do with your children based on the four main domains of early childhood education: physical development, social and emotional development, cognitive development, and language and literacy skills development.

 1) Physical Development

There are two types of physical development: fine and gross motor. Fine motor focuses on tactile skills such as flipping a page in a book, using two fingers as pincers to pick up a piece of cereal, and molding clay. Gross motor skills include full-body movement, such as running down a hill, alternating legs when walking, and being able to land on your feet after jumping. Activities to do for physical development include throwing and catching, using tweezers to pick pom-poms up, playing Simon Says, hopscotch, cutting with safety scissors, jump rope, painting, and tearing paper.

2) Social and Emotional Development

When children develop their social and emotional skills, they can communicate their wants and needs to adults, participate in group activities, regulate their emotions, and understand other points of view. Suggested activities include role-playing scenes, offering choices, modeling, using expressive language, encouraging the child to do the same, providing opportunities for socialization with others in their age group, and participating in arts and crafts. Experts encourage parents to recognize the child’s effort through open praise, feedback, and acknowledgment, providing them with the vocabulary and emotional awareness to communicate their desires and understanding.

3) Cognitive Development

Exercising the mind develops how children think, explore, and figure things out. By focusing on problem-solving skills and providing open-ended questions, children can grow their knowledge of the world around them. Activities such as recognizing visual patterns, identifying words, letters, and numbers, and engaging in thought-open-ended projects with various tools provide children with beginning experiences in mathematics, language arts, history, and science.


4) Language and Literacy Skills Development

The best way to develop language and literacy skills is to read. Reading helps develop vocabulary, creativity, writing skills, language patterns, imagination, and concentration and provides a perfect opportunity to bond as a family. You can visit your local library to read books and attend storytime or visit your local bookstore to take home a brand-new book.


Early childhood experiences from birth to age 8 affect the brain’s development, which impacts all future learning, behavior, and health. A strong foundation helps children develop the skills they need to become well-functioning adults. By engaging in the development of these four domains of early childhood education, children are prepared to integrate into the world around them.