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June 19, 2021

Learning through play with the Five for Five Challenge Series

By Jessica Salmond, Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County

WHAT: Five for Five Challenge: Splash into Learning
WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, July 7, 2021
WHERE: Zoom
HOW MUCH: Free!
SIGN UP: bit.ly/5for5Summer2021


Play is an important part of a young child’s development. It’s not just play — it’s how children learn and develop.

You can use play intentionally to help your child learn skills and concepts in different developmental areas. But, how?
At the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, we’ve launch our Five for Five Challenge Series to help teach you how to take play to the next level.

In our Five for Five series, our early learning experts teach you five activities that target different developmental areas, and how to guide your child in learning and playing. Then we challenge you to apply these new ideas to your engagement with your child!

Does learning how to guide your child in play sound like a good idea to you? Join us for our next Five for Five Challenge: Splash into Learning! This is a free virtual event, held on Zoom, Wednesday, July 7 at 6:30 p.m. Follow this link to register! bit.ly/5for5Summer2021

Our five main developmental areas we focus on in Five for Five are: motor skills, STEM/STEAM skills, social studies skills, literacy skills and social-emotional skills.

Each activity discussed is meant to target one or more of those areas, and be something free or inexpensive to do together.

For example, growing an herb with your child is a great introduction into STEM skills. Simple herbs, like basil or rosemary, grow easily inside or outside and are inexpensive. You can use science, the S in STEM, and technology, the T, to research what kind of care your little herb may need by looking it up on Google. You can use both Science and Math, the M in STEM, to measure the plant’s progress with a ruler and keeping a log of how much your little herb may grow across several weeks. Of course, you can also cook with your herb and discuss with your child how the plant smells and tastes!

Sticking with growing food, you can also incorporate social studies by discussing where food comes from in relation to our community and the world at large. You are growing your herb plant, but where does the rest of your food come from? Talk to your child about the grocery store and the community helpers there that help stock the shelves. But beyond there, your food comes from other community helpers — the farmer! On many fruits, the sticker lets you know where the produce has been imported from, so you and your child could study a world map to see where those countries are in relation to Florida. In some stores, produce may have a “Florida” tag that lets you know it was grown in our state. You can look at a map together on your phone of Florida, and see where you live on the map, and where the grocery store is. You can even visit some farms within a short drive from Tampa Bay! Social studies in preschool is all about teaching your child about themselves and the world they live in.

These are just a few examples of how the Five for Five Challenge series can teach you how to make the most of engaging with your child in play and fun. You can watch our previous Five for Five series on our YouTube playlist: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTWzJYPUNQWlhFHxrhs69PFCLiuPLByno

*Presented by the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, feature photo provided by ELCH

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