During the coronavirus lockdown period, OCPCC was doing its best to provide Virtual Playgroups for families whose children attended our playgroups in local communities.

Virtual playgroups are music, stories, and activity suggestions for children from birth – 5 years.  

ANY family that would like to be on the email list to receive these virtual playgroups, need only to send their email to info@orangecountypcc.org

How Virtual Playgroups Work

Every week, virtual playgroups are posted for community families who usually attend our playgroups in Randolph, Bradford, South Royalton, and Brookfield sent by Sarah Wright, Director of our Early Education Program.

They are emails they can be read at any time, not live links. Each activity supports your child’s development.

One email is for “Music with Brooke”- an online YouTube link from the Music Teacher we have here at OCPCC.

The second email relates to a topic for the week and includes some information, a game, or a story, or maybe something to make.

This week’s email is about wearing masks and includes a child’s story about wearing masks as well as games to play while at home to get used to the masks.

If you are interested in receiving these emails and checking out if you think they would be fun for your child or children please email us at the address below.


Your name will be added to Sarah’s list and you will receive the emails she sends out towards the end of each week.

On May 18 Sarah wrote:

“Reading is important for babies and young children. Listening to being read to allows the child to get to know sounds, words, language, and develop early literacy skills. Books and stories spark your child’s imagination, curiosity and understanding of the world. Reading develops language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word.

I would like to share with you Hannah Nadeau reading One Little Seed by Elaine Greenstein. Hannah Nadeau is the Lead Teacher for the Bears Classroom at Orange County Parent Child Center.

Below Hannah’s reading are activities with seeds which supports a child’s development. There is also a song about Apple Seeds! Enjoy!

Hannah reads One Little Seed by Elaine Greenstein

By reading daily children will learn new words each day. Reading consistently can improve a child’s concentration abilities, which will help a child to sit and listen for periods of time, which will benefit when they start school. Check out your local Library for a book to read with your child.


Science and Math

Planting seeds and watching them grow can be very exciting for children. It’s also fascinating for them to ‘see’ what is happening under the ground.  Try placing a few seeds, beans work great, on a damp paper towel then folding the paper towel carefully over. 

Place the paper towel inside a plastic sandwich bag and place in a warm spot, on top of the refrigerator or taped to a window is ideal (just don’t forget them on top of the fridge!). Check on the seeds every day and ask your child what they notice.  How have the seeds changed from day to day?  Once the sprout begins to emerge invite your child to help plant their seeds in some soil. Continue to watch it grow!  

If you have a garden or have planted some seeds it will be a great opportunity to encourage your child to use their observation skills?  As you notice growth and change try asking your child if they notice things too. Try counting the number of seedlings that have emerged or how many buds on the tree limb. Does the bud feel soft or hard?

Language and Literacy

As you explore the world with your child try to use comparative language to help your child make simple comparisons between two objects.  Common vocabulary pairs might include taller than/shorter than (is that tree taller than you or shorter than you?), bigger than/smaller than (is the earthworm bigger than your shovel or smaller than your shovel?), and comparisons with weight (is that bucket heavy or light?). 

Apple Seed Song

Once a little (apple) seed was planted in the ground (child crouches down, pretending to be a seed)

Then came the rain, pouring down (gently pat their back)

Out came the sun as bright as it could be (stand with your arms up forming a circle)

And that little seed grew into a tree! (child slowly stand up and ‘grows’ with with arms outstretched)

*after singing, ask your child what other type of seed they could be and substitute that plant for apple

Sensory Play

Filling small containers and practicing pouring is a great way to develop hand/eye coordination and help develop all the small muscles in the hands and wrists that are necessary for writing later.  Offer some small recycled plastic cups and small scoops or spoons that your child could use to practice scooping. 

Outside materials might include sand, garden soil, or water, inside might include some dried beans or rice  (depending on the age of your child and their likelihood of putting objects in their mouths).

Happy planting and playing with seeds!

On May 25 Sarah wrote:

Dear Playgroup Families,

I hope you all are enjoying this weather. What a heat spell we are having. In feeling the heat it is nice to think of cool water to play and swim in!

For this week’s Story Links with Sue Barnaby she will be reading books about ducklings and fishes. You can even see Sue’s son’s baby ducklings in the Lucky Ducklings video! Enjoy!

Water play gives opportunities to develop fine and gross motor skills for all ages. Children increase their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination through playing in water with pouring, squirting, scrubbing, stirring and squeezing. This focused play with manipulatives supports arm and hand development.

Playing in water is also an introduction to the way things feel differently to a child’s sensory touch.  Talking about water play helps promote language development where the child describes what they are doing. Water play can be both invigorating and relaxing for a young child.

Water play also supports a child’s understanding for science and math. It can introduce to a child terms such as full, empty, half, more or less. It is a place to measure volume and motion. Also counting items in the water is great for math skills. All of these are concepts children will work with when they move onto  Kindergarten. 

In waterplay it is especially important to never leave a child alone with water! Water is wonderful for teaching children, but must be monitored at all times for the safety of the child.

I hope you all are able to find some cool water on these hot days!