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3 Fun and Unique Ways to Invite Families to Participate in ECE Classrooms

Nov 29, 2023    |   Family Engagement

As early learning professionals, we know that partnering with families strengthens our ability to provide the best possible environment for the little ones in our care.  A culture that encourages open communication and welcomes collaboration is nurturing for young children and their adult caregivers! 

One of the simplest ways to initiate connections with families is to invite them to spend time in the classroom. This allows educators and parents to get to know each other and learn from one another as they work together side-by-side. In this article, we share some fun and meaningful activities that can be turned into invitations for family participation. 

1. Read a Book During Story Time

Many classrooms have set times during the day in which they read books as a large group. You can invite parents and family members to join in by sitting and listening to the story with their children or, if they’re comfortable, ask them to read a book to the group. This can be especially meaningful if they share a book that they like to read with their children at home, or that explores some part of their family’s culture and traditions. 

Reading together not only facilitates relationship-building between educators and parents, but it also allows the children to meet family members of their peers. This paves the way toward a more connected classroom, in which children and families know and have relationships with one another. 

2. Cook and Share a Meal Together

Inviting parents to join in a fun, child-friendly cooking activity is another great way to involve them in the classroom. (And, it is always helpful for educators to have a few extra sets of hands during these activities!) Cooking as a group is a great way to facilitate communication and conversation, and sitting down to enjoy the meal that has been prepared together helps establish a sense of community.

If you’re looking for some nutritious and kid-friendly recipes to try out in your classroom, you might enjoy Good2Know Network’s Healthy Snacks & Recipes page, which is filled with inspiring suggestions. 

3. Bring in a Musical Instrument

In most early learning classrooms, there is a time during the day for music and movement, when children get to sing along to songs they enjoy and get their wiggles out. This is another fun time to invite parents to join in the classroom routine, especially if they play a musical instrument! Invite parents to bring their guitar, keyboard, harmonica, or any other fun instrument to play for the children. Little ones love an opportunity to explore different musical sounds – especially if it inspires them to dance. You might even get out some shakers or drums and invite the children to join in the music-making fun! 

Singing and moving to music together fosters connectivity and gets people smiling. Enjoying music as a group can help to build community and inspire a sense of belonging as everyone engages in a shared activity. 

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