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Creating Parent/Child Interaction Opportunities!


One of the most beautiful hallmarks of ECFE style programming is the chance for parents and their children to interact together, outside of the demands and distractions of the home environment. As staff, we can maximize this opportunity by preparing intentional ways for parents and children to interact.


During typical ECFE programming there are two main windows of time to create opportunities for this interaction. Circle Time and Parent/Child interaction time (or centers, depending on what your program calls this time of exploration) are the two times well explore in this post.


Circle Time:

Interactive songs, fingerplays, and books such as:

  • Criss-cross applesauce

  • Row, row, row your boat

  • Pete’s a Pizza

Activities for the parent & child to explore together:

  • I Love You Rituals, by Becky Bailey, used as a part of Conscious Discipline

  • Mirror Feelings (see Circle Time Activity for Feelings lesson, page 195, Connecting to Learn, Volume One)

  • Colorful Fish (see Circle Time Activity for Fish, page 208, Connecting to Learn, Volume One)


Parent/Child Interaction Time:

Projects that involve both parent and child:

  • Any projects that use a box, golf ball/marble, and paint (see “Roller Zebras,” page 180, Connecting to Learn, Volume One)

  • Projects that involve parent and children’s hands/handprints OR fingerprints (see “Family Garden,” page 184, Connecting to Learn, Volume One)

  • Marshmallow Building (see page 186, Connecting to Learn, Volume One)

  • Making Ice Cream (see page 200, Connecting to Learn, Volume One)

Play activities that both parents and children enjoy:

  • Playdough (check out our awesome playdough recipe HERE)

  • Coloring sheets

  • Building blocks

  • Making Volcanoes


Using things that parent and children can easily recreate at home is such a wonderful bonus. When she wears the child educator hat, Beka’s all time favorite activity to model at circle, is the Guess What’s Missing (explained on page 179 in Connecting to Learn, Volume One - check out the QR code video for more explanation). Beka has even received videos (multiple!) of children replicating this activity at home. So precious.


Remember, the parent is the hero. Give them a chance to shine. Give parents and children the opportunity to strengthen their bond through fun activities and projects that build their connection. Healthy attachment for children is one of our most beautiful goals for parent/child programming.


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