Parent Play & Learn: Make a Wish

May there always be…wishes!

For the month of May, Jim Gill—an award-winning children’s musician—is collecting wishes from children around the country which he will share while performing his song “May There Always Be Sunshine” on his YouTube channel.

To participate in this special opportunity, start by talking with your child about their favorite things. What people, places, activities, and objects do they love? What makes those things special? Then, invite them to select their favorite thing to complete the sentence “May there always be….” Have your child write (or help them write) their sentence on a piece of paper, and encourage them to draw a picture about it.

View the explanation of the activity on Jim Gill’s YouTube channel.

Find the complete instructions under the News section of Jim Gill’s website.

Early Literacy Connection

Serve-and-return or back-and-forth conversations with children are brain-building activities. While you talk to them, they are exercising their listening and comprehension skills, and when they talk to you, they are building their capacity for expressive vocabulary. Early writing strengthens fine-motor skills, letter knowledge, and helps children understand that print on a page is associated with spoken language.

We’d love to see your wishes! Email your photos to Youth Services and we may feature them on our Community Photo gallery.

Parent Play & Learn: Art & Play

There’s been a lot of talk about masks lately. While these masks won’t help you at the grocery store, they will certainly elicit smiles and giggles from you and your kiddos.

Making masks is a creative, process-based art activity that is joyful for adults and children of all ages. As you talk with your child about the process (make observations and ask open-ended questions) and play with them using your completed masks, you are strengthening your relationship and helping them develop creative thinking and language skills that will serve them well into their future.

Simply pull together any supplies you might have to spare around the house, like cardboard, junk mail, glue or tape, coloring or drawing utensils, etc. to make your masks.

For inspiration, check out these simple, yet incredible masks from:

We’d love to see your masks! Email your photos to and we may feature them on our Community Photo gallery.

Parent Play & Learn: Play

Parents, do the words, “Do you want to play with me?” secretly make you want to take a nap? Parent Play & Learn is back with a project that is sure to spark playtime joy for you and your children.

Tip 1: Delight in sending and receiving letters to and from your kiddos. Visit the link below for ideas on setting up this space in your home.

Tip 2: This activity is an opportunity to develop essential early literacy skills like print awareness, letter knowledge, vocabulary, and more.

Send us your pics of what pretend play looks like at your house!

-Jerissa, Youth Services

Parent Play & Learn: Art

Art is a creative and engaging process that helps develop important skills. Bring more art into your home by exploring COLLAGE with your family. Be sure to talk about the process, play with the materials, and share your collage-making pics with us by email.

Tip 1: Build your child’s vocabulary and narrative skills by making observations and asking open-ended questions about their work.

Tip 2: Help your child develop a growth mindset and understand that success comes from practice by celebrating their effort.

Need inspiration? You can find 50+ collage art ideas from the Artful Parent here:

-Jerissa, Youth Services