First 5 LA’s Monthly Twitter Party Trends During Summer Learning Discussion with L.A. Parent Magazine
EDITOR’S NOTE: The power of social media is its ability to connect people. Since last February, First 5 LA has hosted a monthly Twitter Chat to connect parents with each other and to share information. While we strive to have an expert on hand to give context on various topics, some of the best learning happens when parents share with one another. These efforts are just one way First 5 LA is working to build virtual villages of parents to help give our children the best start in life.
Summer may be a season when learning slides for some kids (see this previous article), but at First 5 LA we believe that learning happens year-round, especially during the critical stage of early child development. At our July #First5Chat, we partnered with L.A. Parent Magazine to share ideas for engaging young children in learning activities and prepping for the start of school in the fall.
“One of my favorite things about the monthly #First5Chat is that it is a growing community of like-minded parents, advocates and organizations. It’s exciting to see relationships build and partnerships strengthen,” says First 5 LA social media consultant Jessica Jones.
“Families can make everyday activities (cooking, shopping, taking walks) into learning experiences.” – Westside Children’s Center
Parents and early education partners like Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), Westside Children’s Center, and previous #First5Chat host PBS SoCaL joined in the lively conversation held in the Twittersphere. And as an added bonus, #First5Chat became a trending topic!
As the chat progressed, it became clear that the summer months offer a plethora of ways to engage in early learning activities with children – even everyday experiences offer opportunities to aid in development.
“Families can make everyday activities (cooking, shopping, taking walks) into learning experiences,” tweeted Westside Children’s Center (@WCC_LA). Here are just a few of the summer fun and learning tips shared by chat participants:
- Volunteer at local literacy programs to read books out loud to #prek children – Judith Orlowski (@jorlow)
- We have letters on the wall and spend 10 minutes after breakfast and lunch working on it – Lori (@lorikeet8)
- Jumping on @metrolosangeles and going places like @GrandPark_LA and exploring #LosAngeles – Hector Ramirez (@CROWRDREAM)
- Hula hoops also provide a good variety of indoor and/or outdoor exercises – Preschool Nation (@PRESCHOOLNATION)
- Hopscotch with different shapes, colors, and numbers – Little by Little (@LBLreaders)
Others shared some of the events they’re participating in this summer, including a Back-to-School Fair with PBS SoCaL and Children’s Institute on August 1 and L.A. Parent Magazine’s 35th Birthday Bash Celebration at the Original Farmer’s Market, Los Angeles, on August 2. It seems that Los Angeles County always has something fun and educational for families with young children to participate in.
Giveaways provide an added element of fun to the Twitter chats. Two lucky parents left with prizes that featured a summer learning prize pack from L.A. Parent Magazine, which included the National Parenting Publications Awards-recommended Brain Chase and Dinosaur Escape. First 5 LA gave away a family 4-pack of tickets to California Science Center, which, as winner Hector Ramirez pointed out, has “lots of great things to see, learn and talk about at the @casciencecenter, AND they love kids!!!”
Did you miss the chat? Catch up and get all of the great resources shared, including LAUP’s 10 tips for a smooth transition to kindergarten, links to L.A. Parent Magazine’s ideas for helping kids make the most of life skills this summer, and so much more by clicking here.
Join us next month for a special breastfeeding-themed #First5Chat with guest host Breastfeed LA. It will be a great opportunity for new and expectant moms to share the joys and challenges of breastfeeding, as well as get great tips and resources to aid in the process. Simply join in the conversation using #First5Chat on Twitter Tuesday, August 4 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. PST. To receive an email invitation to RSVP for the giveaway, sign up here and click on Parenting Tips.