Family Resources

Over the past 75 years, Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School has been dedicated to the principles of social justice and inclusion. We believe that a young child’s experiences today set the stage for all that follows. Research tells us that 80% of a child’s brain is developed in the first five years. Child development experts agree that during this critical period of brain development, young children learn best through hands-on interaction, experimentation, exploration, self-discovery, and PLAY. With this in mind, the Early Childhood Education faculty at Pacific Oaks College have compiled some resources families can utilize to build connections with their children, provide experiences to strengthen their children’s physical development, and build their children’s cognitive development at home.

“Each time one prematurely teaches a child something he could have discovered himself, that child is kept from inventing it and consequently from understanding it.”

—Jean Piaget

COVID-19 Resources
Building Connections/Social Emotional Development
Movement Activities
Activities to Build Cognitive Development


COVID-19 Resources

In this time of pandemic, many families are adjusting to a new normal. With schools closing their doors, adults working from home, and safer-at-home orders in place, Pacific Oaks College’s Early Childhood Education faculty have compiled the following list of useful resources for families as they navigate this unprecedented time.

Strategies to Help Children Cope with COVID-19 Changes
This site provides useful strategies for helping children cope with changes due to COVID-19.

Five Helpful COVID-19 Responses for Families
Helpful responses families can use with their young children as well as printable resources that can be downloaded are provided.

Handling your Child’s Disappointment When Everything Is Canceled
This New York Times article gives helpful advice on how to handle your child’s disappointment when everything is canceled.

How to Talk to Your Young Child about COVID-19
PBS Kids gives tips and activities to help children and families cope during the pandemic.

Keeping Calm at Home during COVID-19
The American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled some tips on how to keep children calm at home during the pandemic.


Building Connections/Social Emotional Development

Connection is incredibly important in the healthy development of young children. This is especially true during uncertain times. When parents focus on their child, the child feels connected. The message the child receives is that they matter, they are important, and they are loved. This promotes the foundation for healthy self-esteem and social emotional development. The following resources will help you to build a deeper connection with your child.

Ways to Build Connections with Your Child
This short article discusses the importance of connection with young children as well as how to cultivate it.

Building Positive Relationships with Young Children
The Center on the Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning at Vanderbilt University discusses how to build positive relationships with young children.

Tips for Helping Your Child Build Relationships
When young children experience people helping, understanding, and enjoying them, they approach the world with openness and enthusiasm, and they grow to be responsive and caring. Tips for helping your child build relationships can be found here.

Build a Deep Sense of Connection with Your Child
Discover ways to build a deep sense of connection with your child in this article.

Resources to Develop Relationships, Build Connections, and Foster Social Emotional Development
Several helpful resources for helping your child develop relationships, build connections, and foster social emotional development have been compiled on the Zero to Three website


Movement Activities

It is important for young children, and parents, to get up and move. Physical activity not only benefits a young child’s physical development, it also promotes his or her social and psychological health. Unfortunately, when physical activity is not established in early childhood, it can lead to obesity. With this in mind, the Early Childhood Education faculty at Pacific Oaks College have compiled some resources families can utilize to strengthen their child’s physical development.

Indoor Movement Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Many fun and easy movement activities that can be done indoors are included here. While the site recommends them for 2- and 3-year-olds, they are appropriate for 4- and 5-year-olds as well.

Fun Physical Activities for 2- to 4-Year-Olds
Active for Life provides some great movement activities designed for children from 2 to 4 years old.

Free Outdoor Activities for Young Children
This link provides more than 100 free outdoor activities that you can do with your child at home.

Movement Activities for Young Children
This website provides eight movement activities for young children.

Indoor Exercise Games and Activities
This site includes 25 exercise games and indoor activities to get kids moving.


Activities to Build Cognitive Development

Oftentimes we hear families ask, “Will my child be ready for kindergarten?” Early Childhood research confirms that young children learn through hands-on interaction, experimentation, exploration, self-discovery, and PLAY. These developmentally appropriate resources will help you to build your child’s cognitive development at home.

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

—Ancient Chinese Proverb

Activities to Help Young Children Learn from Play
Play is one of the most important ways in which children learn. This great resource includes 15 interactive, play-based activities you can do with your child.

Books to Read to Your Child
The best way to support your young child’s pre-reading development is to introduce them to words, cadence, fluency, and sequencing by reading to them daily. A list of teacher favorite books is compiled in this resource.

Hands-on Activities to Do at Home
This site includes easy hands-on activities for a variety of ages that families can do at home.

Hands-on Science Experiments to Do at Home
Here are 30 hands-on science experiments you can do at home with preschoolers.

Activities to Strengthen Your Child’s Fine Motor Skills
Before children can write proficiently, they need to build their fine motor skills. This involves strengthening the small muscles that control the hand, fingers, and thumb. This site includes 40 fine motor skill activities you can do at home.