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Heber Springs HIPPY

The HIPPY Curriculum

Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) is a home-based, family focused program that helps

parents provide educational enrichment for their preschool child. Heber Springs Elementary believes that parents play a critical role in their children’s education. The HIPPY program seeks to support parents to prepare their children for school, and is designed to remove barriers to participation in education. HIPPY’s primary goal is to increase children’s success in school and, ultimately, in life.


The HIPPY Curriculum, designed for children ages three, four, and five, contains 30 weekly activity packets, nine storybooks and a set of 20 manipulative shapes for each year. In addition to these basic materials, supplies such as scissors and crayons are provided for each participating family. The program uses trained coordinators and community-based home visitors who go into the home and role-play the activities with the parents and support each family throughout their participation in the program.

The daily activities are developmentally appropriate for children. The packets are written in a clear scripted format that is designed to provide guidance for parents and to ensure a successful learning experience for the parent and child working together in their own home. Parents become the facilitator in the learning process with their child. Parents gain confidence through their own participation in the HIPPY program and eventually become comfortable expanding the activities and broadening the learning experiences for their child.
The HIPPY curriculum is primarily cognitive-based, focusing on language development, problem solving, logical thinking and perceptual skills. Learning and play mingle throughout HIPPY's curriculum as parents expose their children to early literacy skills such as:

  • Phonological and phonemic awareness
  • Letter recognition
  • Book knowledge
  • Early writing experiences

In addition, the curriculum fosters social/emotional and physical (fine and gross motor skills) development. HIPPY introduces skills and concepts in a progressive manner, first using the physical body, then concrete objects and finally representation of objects in pictures, followed by many opportunities for practice and learning. The HIPPY storybooks bring children’s literature into the home. HIPPY provides numerous opportunities for children and parents to discuss the storybooks in varied and increasingly complex ways.


HIPPY is not a curriculum of mastery, but rather a curriculum of exposure to skills, concepts, and experiences with books that together constitute "school readiness" for young children. Skills and concepts are developed through a variety of activities including:

  • Reading
  • Writing and drawing
  • Listening and talking
  • Singing and rhyming
  • Playing games
  • Cooking and sewing
  • Shapes and colors
  • Puzzles and more

The storybooks and activity packets are available in both English and Spanish for all ages. The HIPPY curriculum activities are constantly reviewed and updated in order to ensure that the materials are relevant for our families and reflect current educational research findings.