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 Family Exploration and Learning Toolkit




Research documents the positive difference family engagement and support makes in the academic development and social competence of children. Families can often benefit from access to opportunities, relationships, and supports to better understand how they can engage their children’s natural curiosity and love for learning in the context of everyday activities at home and in the neighborhood. The purpose of the Family Exploration and Learning Toolkit is to provide a tool families can use to engage their children in activities that support their social and emotional development and academic success as part of everyday activities taking place at home.

Family Exploration and Learning Toolkit was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement Fund for the Improvement of Education as part of the Virtual School Readiness Incubator Project and the Florida Institute of Education at the University of North Florida. These materials are still in the refinement phase and should be used with this caution in mind. The content of the Toolkit does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of or imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the University of North Florida.



Guiding Principles 

  • Fostering learning opportunities (through play and literacy-related, everyday activities) promotes children’s use of important learning skills;


  • Meaningful family engagement is a shared responsibility in which schools, community agencies and organizations, and families work together in meaningful ways to support children’s learning and development.


  • Engaging in consistent, positive home-school interactions fosters meaningful family engagement.


  • Meaningful family engagement can be embedded in the daily activities taking place at home and in the neighborhood.


  • Strengthening adult-child conversations, connections with each other, and connections with the school and neighborhood fosters meaningful family engagement.



The Family Exploration and Learning Toolkit is a set of activities to help families use materials available in the home and natural environment to turn everyday events into learning experiences. The activities are designed to help families create home environments that support their children’s social and emotion development and academic success. Completing the activities and reading the specially written books in each Strand will help both families and children strengthen their knowledge and skills.


The Toolkit is divided into six Strands; the activities in all six Strands of the Toolkit are based on standards developed by the State of Florida for what your child should know and be able to do to be ready for school. The Strands can be used in any order.


Childcare and family involvement center professionals are encouraged to share the Toolkit with preschool and kindergarten families. The specific knowledge and skills developed by families and children as they use the Toolkit materials is presented in the following chart.


 Family Exploration and Learning Toolkit Table of Specifications


 Table of Specifications - Resources listed below



The six Strands of the Family Exploration and Learning Toolkit are presented below and can be downloaded at no cost. Each Strand includes one overview booklet, six Parent Guides, and three Featured Books.


All Family Exploration and Learning Toolkit materials are designed to be used by school and or early care and learning centers and the families and children they serve. Reproduction of these materials for resale is prohibited.


Strand: How Are You Feeling?

Strand: You Are Not Alone

Strand: What’s Up With You?

Strand: Let’s Talk About It

Strand: Deal With It

Strand: The Power of Words