By Beth Pinyerd

Happy April Fool’s Day everyone! Be on the lookout for young children to pull an April Fool’s Jokes on you.
Every year as a teacher, no matter how old I am, I get fooled or caught off-guard to one of my little students’ jokes and we just laugh and laugh when they realize they have caught their teacher.
Usually it is “Mrs. Pinyerd there is a spider on your back!” I fall for it every single time because I want spiders to stay in their natural habitat and not on my back!
Other monthly events that you will want to take advantage of with your children is “National Garden Month” in which young children can easily start gardens at home whether outside or even in cups or pots. April is also “National Frog Month.” Parents can take their children to local creeks where tadpoles begin to emerge. Even now at dusk we can hear frogs croaking.
National Arbor Day falls on April 24. Many local communities usually give out sprigs or starter trees for your young child to watch a tree grow, something that may become a family project. Many stores and local nurseries may have them priced inexpensively.
April 11 is National Pet Owner’s Day. How can I teach my young child to take care and nurture their pets whether it be a goldfish, dog, cat, frogs, gerbils, rabbits, snakes, etc.? Important lessons can be learned in caring for a pet. Your young child can learn so much in responsibilities in caring for a pet.
Easter falls on April 12 this year. Families can still worship together in their homes if our homes of worship are not open because of the Coronavirus. I deeply appreciate what the churches in our community are doing in sending out lessons and activities via email or mail. This means so very much to families with young children. God always makes a way!
April 13 to 17 is proclaimed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children as “Week of the Young Child.” Readers, I want to involve you in sending me ideas of how we can celebrate April 13 – Music Monday; April 14 – Tasty Tuesday; April 15 – Work Together Wednesday; April 16 – Artsy Thursday and April 17 – Family Friday. Please email me your ideas to by April 3 so we can share with the community in The Opelika Observer on April 8 edition of Classroom Observer. Thank you in advance.
We have wonderful, resourceful libraries in our Lee County Community. April 19 to 25 is “National Library Week.” We are able to access the Lewis Cooper Library from home at this time. You and your child can check out ebooks from the cloud library to read as a family project.
April 22 is celebrated as “International Earth Day.” God created for us such a beautiful world for us to live in and enjoy and fellowshipping with our Creator. This is truly our Father’s World.
How can we start teaching our young children to learn to take care of our earth? As a teacher of young children, I expose my students to nature through arts and crafts as well as hands on science lessons. This is something that families can do during this time.
Just walking outside in nature and familiarizing your child with natural qualities of leaves, grass, pine cones, rocks, etc. makes for good observation and science lessons.
Collecting nature items and gluing them on a piece of paper or tagboard is a craft lesson in making a nature collage. This allows you to spend time with your young child by taking little nature walks as they feel the sunshine on their heads, the wind blowing against their little cheeks and feeling the thrill of water from falling rain.
Early childhood teachers are famous in teaching their young students the three R’s of “Recycle, Reuse, and Reduce.” Someone else’s trash is truly a teacher’s treasure in arts and crafts.
1) Recycle – With recycling, homes now have recycling bins to be carried out with the regular garbage. Train your child to throw cans, plastics, bottles and newspapers into the recycling bins so they won’t end up in landfills. These items can be used over and over. When you stop by local fast food restaurants, point out to your child that brown napkins, bags, or even cups, or cartons are made with recycled materials.
2) Reuse – Many moms who have raised young children are used to reusing materials we already have. Instead of buying a lot of new materials for everyday uses, keep empty grocery bags, bread bags, etc. for storing items. Thoroughly wash and sanitize empty gallon milk or orange juice jugs to be used again for another round of lemonade, apple juice, Kool-aid, etc. Keep those toilet tissue and paper towel spools to be used for early childhood crafts to be done at home or school. Keep empty shoe boxes to make dioramas or animal habitats. Use old newspapers for different purposes such as making kites, cutting out pictures, or for packing. Children are thrilled to get a birthday present wrapped in comic newspapers. Outgrown toys and clothes can be used and enjoyed by others.
3) Reduce – It’s important to stress to young children to be good stewards of what they have. Tell them to conserve energy by turning off lights. Gently reminds them not to leave water running from indoor faucets or outside sprinklers. Use front and back paper when drawing and don’t throw away that plastic bag that can be used again.Guide your young children to take good care of their box of crayons, markers, or pencils.
Last but not least, stress to your young child not to be “litter bugs” inside or outside. Get them in the habit of safely picking up trash when they see it. Have yard or neighborhood cleanups.
We have so much to look forward to in the month of April. I hope this article gives you a good head start!