Building The Nest: Kidzu’s Early Learning Environment

Kidzu Children’s Museum has enabled thousands of children across North Carolina to access critical early childhood educational experiences within the museum and through community outreach. Now we seek to harness our experiences and collaborate with our academic and early learning colleagues to create The Nest, an early learning lab designed specifically for infants and toddlers ages 0-3. The Nest will galvanize the excellence in informal learning that Kidzu provides with the rigorous research and academic excellence of our university partners and the expertise of educators rooted in the Reggio-Emilia developmental philosophy of learning, to create an environment and accompanying programs, activities and resources that nurture critical healthy brain development, and encourage curiosity, discovery, and confidence in Kidzu’s very youngest learners. 

The Kidzu staff has compiled valuable resources for our youngest learners and their caregivers! We will continually update these resources, so check back regularly. Know of any resources we missed? Email with resources that we should include!

Scholastic: Language and Literacy Development in 0-2 Year Olds: This Scholastic article provides caregivers with books, games and other resources on how to enhance your child’s language development. It also describes several language milestones for infants and toddlers and how you can help your child achieve them.

Homemade toys and free activities for children: This resource offers ideas on how to enhance your baby or toddler’s play by listing free and homemade activities that cater to your child’s specific development age and needs. 

Infants & Toddlers: Let’s Go Outside! This article is perfect for caregivers who are looking to foster a love of nature and the outdoors for their little one(s). 

13 Children’s Books With Strong Black Characters: PBS understands that educating our children on racism and diversity starts when they are very young. One way to accomplish fostering cultural competency in our children and to empower Black children in our community is to provide them with literature that includes Black main characters. 

Play Activities for Birth to 12 Months: This resource offers a a variety of games to play with your baby to help build the foundation of their language, cognitive, and motor skills. 

StoryBlocks: StoryBlocks is a collection of videos designed to help caregivers learn songs, rhymes, and fingerplays appropriate for babies and toddlers. Videos are available in English, Spanish, American Sign Language, Vietnamese, Amharic, Arabic, French, Italian, and Russian. 

Zero to Three: Mask Up! Talking to Young Children about Wearing Masks: This article from Zero to Three offers advice on how to help your toddler ‘mask up’ during the pandemic and understand the importance of protecting their community at an early age. 

Read Aloud Book Videos for Kids on YouTube: This article from St. Lucie Reads discusses how caregivers can use technology in a positive way- to promote their child’s literacy. It lists dozens of free read aloud resources on YouTube including books read as songs and Spanish books with Latinx characters.

Helping Kids Express Their Emotions: This article describes healthy tips and activities for helping your child begin to express their emotions from an early age. 

Nibbles for Health: Nutrition Newsletters for Parents of Young Children: These news letters are printable and quick-to-read if you are looking for information and tips on improving your baby’s nutrition. 

Sesame Street Caring For Each Other: Sesame Street understands how difficult it is to find educational activities and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, they have compiled tons of printable, games, and information ranging from language development to health and hygiene for your infants on their free website. 

Infant and Toddler STEAM: Supporting Interdisciplinary Experiences with Our Youngest Learners: The National Association for the Education of Young Children discusses the importance of starting science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) learning with toddlers. This article explores what it looks like for children ages birth to 2 years old, provides support for engagement with STEAM, and the cognitive development related to STEAM learning.

Child Mind Institute: Why Self-Care Is Essential to Parenting: This article discusses what caregiver burnout is and how to mitigate it, especially related to parents and caregivers of children with developmental and mental challenges. 

Incredible Years Parenting Programs: Incredible Years offers evidence-based parenting training programs on a variety of topics for the parents of children ages birth to 12. They work to promote parental efficacy, as well as see children’s social, emotional and intellectual wellness to its fullest potential. 

Orange Literacy: Orange Literacy is an organization in Orange County that offers a variety of free literacy-building programs for adults. Orange Literacy also offers pre-school preparation for children learning English, which is apart of their Family Literacy program.

Colorín Colorado: For Families: This site provides a variety of resources for caregivers and parents who are raising Bilingual or English Learning Language children. 

Safe Child Parent Resources: Safe Child of Raleigh offers resources for parents on how to manage stress, grief, and anxiety during the pandemic. Their resources range from videos on breathing techniques to blue prints for disciple in uncertain times.



Weekly Chirps shedding light on everyday learning opportunities. Early literacy and STEM activities, tips, and tricks written by educators for early learners ages 0-3 years old and their caregivers.

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