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Free Afterschool Lesson Plans for PA Child Care, Youth-Serving Organizations

Posted on September 14, 2023

Johnstown, PA (September 11, 2023) – School-age care providers across Pennsylvania are facing severe staff shortages. This leaves little time to plan lessons for after-school hours and school holidays. Without lesson plans, children are less engaged and behavior problems increase. This negatively impacts learning and program climate.

Best Day Ever! aims to help out-of-school-time providers of all kinds make the most of after school hours through easy-to-use, standards-aligned lesson plans. The plans are written by certified teachers and are created with affordability in mind. Available at NO COST to PA out-of-school time providers, Best Day Ever! offers a turnkey solution for school-age programs during the hours and days when children are not in school. Whether it’s after school, a teacher in-service, scheduled holiday, or surprise snow day, our lesson plan resource helps teachers fill the day with fun, easy activities that reinforce learning.

Free offerings include 10 full-day Kids’ Day Out lesson plans built around high-interest themes. Each plan is built around a daily schedule and features hands-on activities using many items teachers already have in their supply closets. Ten weeks free after-school lesson plans are also available. The weekly units offer a themed activity for every day of the school week.

Developed and tested by teachers from The Learning Lamp, a leading provider of out-of-school time programs in west central Pennsylvania, topics include:

  • Aloha Adventures
  • Barnyard Bash
  • Adventures in Space
  • Silly Science
  • Ocean Odyssey
  • Salute to Service

These Best Day Ever! units are FREE through February 2024. To access the plans, register at https://thelearninglamp.org/shared-services-child-care-providers/best-day-ever/. Each themed unit features high-interest topics, engaging hands-on activities, and opportunities for children to practice concepts in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). All lessons are aligned with PA learning standards and can be adapted to meet the needs and interests of individual students.

Best Day Ever! recently wrapped up a summer of free preschool and school-age lesson plans available for PA providers. The pilot received an overwhelming response with nearly 600 providers from across the state downloading almost 5,300 lesson plans to help their summer programs succeed.

“I used this for a group of children in grades K-5. These lesson plans are full of detail and there is never an empty space in the day,” explained child care provider Amanda B. “Activities were easy to do, and little supplies were needed. This is exactly what I was looking for.”

In exchange for free access to Best Day Ever!, The Learning Lamp asks organizations to offer feedback through a survey for each lesson they use. When a survey is completed, the user will be automatically entered into a drawing for an $100 Amazon gift card which will take place in March 2024.

For more information about The Learning Lamp and its Best Day Ever! School Year 2023/24 Free Trial, call Anna at 814-262-0732 ext. 305 or visit https://thelearninglamp.org/shared-services-child-care-providers/best-day-ever/.



The Learning Lamp is a nonprofit organization with a mission to engage all children in the support they need to succeed. We deliver high-quality programs that are affordable and accessible to families of all income levels. In 2022, The Learning Lamp served 34,813 youth/adults from 61 public school districts and 70 other schools and organizations in 22 Pennsylvania counties.

Our programs include: child care and preschool, after-school programs, tutoring, SAT prep, school staffing, alternative education programs for at-risk students, online learning, credit recovery, drug and alcohol prevention programs, and grant writing and project consulting for schools.

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