We know firsthand how challenging it is to nurture your child’s curiosity, empathy and creativity. That’s why we’ve shared some of our favorite resources for parents.
- Make sure your child is wearing their backpack correctly with these tips from the American Occupational Therapy Association.
- Curriculum to use game Dimension to teach Common Core standards and critical-thinking skills
- At Home Activity Guide from Zero to Three
- Free print & play expansion for Kingdomino
- Download these free activity books from Dover for some fun at home!
- Activity Book 1, Activity Book 2, Activity Book 3, Stone Painting
- Explore! Sandbox is a curated, digital hub for free online activities and resources from museums, science centers, botanical gardens, performing arts organizations, libraries and more, for children ages 0-10 and their families.
- Toned paper art demo, by Kate
- DIY Miniature House by Hands Craft -- Follow along as we build one of the miniature house kits.
- Learn how to play Abandon All Artichokes, by Gamewright
- Learn how to play Trash Pandas, by Gamewright
- Learn about some of the benefits of board games here.
Child Development Resources
- Early Stages provides free child development services for all DC residents. Check out some of their online resources.
- FAQ About Early Stages Resources
- Child Developmental Milestones
- Social-Emotional Developmental Milestones
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a wide variety of developmental resources under the campaign Act Early aimed at early childhood educators, families, healthcare providers and other community organizations, including:
- Free Child Development Materials
- Tools to Track Child Development
- Training for Early Childhood Educators
- Check out the Online Learning College's Child development guide from birth to 12 years
- What Every Parent Should Know About Language Acquisition Milestones and Speech Disorders, from Maryville University.
Articles & Books
- "What’s Going on In Your Child’s Brain When You Read Them a Story," Mind/Shift, KQED, May 24, 2018
- “The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds,” American Academy of Pediatrics, Jan. 2007
- "How 'Dungeons & Dragons' Primes Students for Interdisciplinary Learning, Including STEM," by Paul Darvasi, Mind/Shift, KQED, Oct 18, 2018
- "What Every Parent Should Know About Language Acquisition Milestones and Speech Disorders" Maryville University, Bachelor's in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
- "What is a toy diet? Experts share how it helps children 'develop different skills'" Davis Smith, J. (2022, November 21).
- Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World, by Tony Wagner
- Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life, by Peter Gray
- The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives, by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
- PEP Classes – Award-winning parenting classes right here in the D.C. area
- KID Museum – Hands-on classes for kids that develop STEAM skills
- Rhizome DC – A community art space with classes for kids, concerts and art installations
- Ancestral Knowledge – Learn native living skills, like foraging, traditional bow building and camping – all in the great outdoors
DC Treasures You Might Not Know About
- Fab Lab at the DC Library – Check out tools, use a 3D printer, learn to sew and more – all for free and all at the library
- imagiNATIONS at the National Museum of the American Indian – Amazing kid space with interactive stations to learn about native cultures
- Spark!Lab at the National Museum of American History – Children ages 6-12 become inventors with thoughtful experiments
It’s a lot of work to plan an awesome party. These experts make your job easier.
- Fabulous Face Painting by Natasha – A preschool teacher and an amazing face painter – what more does your party need?
- Fancy Cakes by Leslie – Beautifully decorated cakes
- Red Velvet Cupcakery – The best cupcakes in town, including vegan and gluten free
*Child's Play is not affiliated with any of these organizations and makes no guarantees about their services or products.