Parent Engagement Ideas for your Preschool Program
Are you looking for some fun ways to involve your family in your preschool program? Below you can find suggestions, as well as ideas from our readers!
An important component of any Early Childhood Education Program is Parent Engagement. Parent Engagement is a great opportunity to get parents involved with your early childhood program and become a real partner in the education of their children.
What is Parent Engagement?
According to the CDC, parent engagement “is defined as parents and school staff working together to support and improve the learning, development, and health of children and adolescents (2).
Early Education experts, and many quality assurance agencies emphasize how important parent engagement is during this day and age.
Why is it important?
A lot of research has been done to show just how impactful having parents as partners in your program can be on young children
One reason why parent engagement is so important in schools is that studies have shown it helps children succeed mentally, socially, and physically.
In addition to academic success, it is shown that students with engaged parents show overall better behavior, having fewer disciplinary infractions. These students also have better social skills. Thus, they are better able to engage with their peers and get a positive experience out of the social aspect of school (4).
Involve Parents in Your Program
Ask parents how they want to engage in your program, and let them know the different capacities they can be involved in your program.
Some ways you can do this
Tips for Increasing Parent Engagement
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that schools use the following framework to increase parent engagement in school health:1
Being able to share big wins with parents face to face, is ideal but it's not It's a busy world! You are busy, and so are parents! Sometimes it be difficult to connect with parents at pick-up, and emails can sit in an inbox for days.
A beginning of the year survey can be helpful! Ask you parents how they prefer to communicate with you (Phone Call, Text, Email). Whenever possible try to add a little flair or personalize your communication, and always try your best to be consistent.
Some ideas include:
Here at Pre-K Printable Fun we believe parent engagement is so important, we've dedicated a special section on our free theme planning pages to share ideas! You can find suggested ideas in our Educator Resource section of our theme pages!
Below you can find some more creative engagement activity ideas!
Some Creative Parent Engagement Ideas for Your Preschool Program
Have an Art Exhibit
In addition to showing off the great works of Art her students made-it is also a great way to involve parents and the community.
Patty T. from Pumpkin Patch Preschool shared photos from her annual art exhibit.
Patty shared so my wonderful installations including this one featuring loose parts. You can see more from her exhibit here.
Have a Contest
Every year Laurie C of Laurie's Childcare has a Sunflower contest. She sends home Sunflower seeds for the kids to grow at home and whoever wins gets bragging rights and a blue ribbon! What a fun way to celebrate Summer!
Plan a Family Engagement Project/Event
Gloria C shared this fun display, full of letters that were mailed into her program!
children track on the map and the sightings are featured around the map.
One example of a family engagement project is a Gingerbread Man Sightings Event!
With this type of event, parents (and even extended family) can mail special sightings letters to your program. Your parents will love adding a little magic and excitement to their preschoolers week! We've created a free Gingerbread Sightings Parent Engagement Pack here (inside you'll also find an invitation to a Facebook Group where our readers share photos about this type of event)!
Take Home Activities
Our set of Done for You Parent Engagement Activities includes 12 editable Newsletters and a take home printable activity! Our reader Jan shared this photo of our free January Time Capsule!
Take home activities are so fun! You can send a traveling toy, Stuffed Animal, or even a printable activity for parents and students to participate in together. Parents and students can play games, cook together, or complete other fun learning activities with their students. Send a traveling journal with your toys. When they return, you can read the journal entry to your group. Students love learning about the adventures the toy went on at their friends house!
Raise money for an important cause
Having a school garage sale is a great way to encourage families to be involved in your program, and benefit your community as well. Vote on a cause/charity to donate your money to! Other ideas include canned food drives, toy donations and bake sales.
Host a get together
Mother's Day, Father's Day, or a unique day such as the first day of winter, are all fun reasons to host a get together. Set a budget, and ask for a parent volunteer to coordinate these types of events!
Make a Classroom Recipe Book
Encourage families to contribute to a class recipe book! If you are a Pre-K Printables Club Member, you can download this Member Exclusive Editable Recipe Book here! Encourage members to bring their featured dish to an end of year potluck!
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