Making Small Moments Big

Developmental Tips & Activities for Children Birth-to-Five

A joint effort of Onondaga County Public Libraries and the Early Childhood Alliance

A smiling blue book is surrounded by yellow diamonds. Graphic provided by Early Childhood Alliance

A yellow cat holds an orange fish in his mouth. Graphic provided by Early Childhood Alliance

The early childhood years are a time of extraordinary development and learning.

To support parents and caregivers in their role as their children’s “first and most important teachers”, we’ve compiled some fun ideas to promote learning in the home during this difficult time of social isolation. Tips are organized by age group – infants, toddlers and preschoolers – and are designed to promote early brain and language development.

There’s no one “right” way to provide support to young children during this time. Doing what works best for you and your family is truly what’s most important. And remember,  learning in the first five years should be fun for you and your little one.

Choose An Age Group:

InfantsToddlersPreschoolersA yellow hippo wearing a blue suit is standing upright

Wellness Tips


Toddlers & Preschoolers

Additional Activities

Bright By Text
Parents and caregivers with children from newborn to age 8 can text the word TRUSTED to 274448 to sign up.  Once enrolled, you will receive 2 to 8 text messages per week including parenting tips, book recommendation, links to short videos, and local family-friendly event information. 

Check out the new daily books and fun early literacy activities on DayByDayNY. The Family Literacy Calendar resource is a great way to read and explore new books with children or preview books that you might want to borrow from your local public library.  DayByDay en Espanol

eBooks for Kids Under 5
Find these delightful and engaging eBooks in OCPL's Overdrive catalog.

Online Story Times
A list of story times that can all be found on YouTube

WCNY TV Classroom
Parents, be sure to tune into the daily story times broadcast by WCNY's TV Classroom on its Global Connect TV Channel at 8:00 AM Monday - Friday. Children can listen to two books each day! Fridays include dual language selections. If you miss the 8:00 AM reading, the story times are repeated at 3:00 PM

  • If you have older children, you can also check out the Reading League's reading instruction for Pre-K learners at 2:30 PM
  • If your little ones need to get their wiggles out, tune in at 4:00 PM to hear from a music teacher. Every other Monday is geared specifically toward Pre-K learners!

While You're At Home
A collection of resources both free, and free with an OCPL library card, for learning, having fun, and relaxing.

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions about these activities, have concerns about your child’s growth or want to talk with someone about parenting, please call 2-1-1 and ask for Help Me Grow.  Onondaga County families can complete a developmental or social emotional screen online and review results with a HMG Onondaga Specialist.

Access A Development ScreenAccess A Social Emotional Developmental Screen

Talking to Children About COVID-19


We are grateful to the following sources for tips to support families:

Ages and Stages Questionnaires logoHelp Me Grow logoToo Small to Fail logoTalking is Teaching logo