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  • Celebrating early childhood development through play

    Celebrating early childhood development through play pic 1

    Through the seventh annual National Child Day Play Day event, young children were able to learn fundamental skills through interactive activities such as crafts, tunnels, and seed planting on Nov. 22. Play encourages early childhood development in language, social skills, and communication. Photo submitted by Claire Halpin

    The seventh annual Parent Link Centre (PLC), National Child Day Play Day brought out 170 participants for a day of interactive learning through play on Nov. 22.

    The National Child Day Play Day is a main project of the Early Childhood Coalition (ECCA), which encourages children to learn through games, crafts, dance, song, and seed planting.

    “It went really well. It was a really well-attended event,” said Early Childhood Programmer Shannon McCarthy.

    The National Child Day Play Day is a community-wide event that is designed to show the importance of activities and play experiences for children that are related to early childhood development.

    Throughout the event, families had the opportunity to meet with local organizations and services, which provide support for play experiences in Chestermere.

    “It’s all about play, and where to go if you need support,” McCarthy said.

    Play for children is vital as it is how children learn, she said.

    Adding, “Play encourages development in terms of language, social skills, and communication.”

    Throughout the day, children could participate in a variety of different interactive activities, and gross motor activities which focused on large movements with balls, hula hoops, and tunnels.

    Children could also express their creativity by making crafts listen to stories or plant seeds.

    “The activities were all focused on play and focused on different developmental areas. The kids got to engage in a lot of different activities this year,” McCarthy said.

    “We as parents and caregivers need to learn how children play and understand that’s how they play best. When we encourage play opportunities in the community, we’re mobilizing a lot of knowledge about early childhood development, which is really important,” she added.

    The PLC handed out roughly 60 surveys to parents and caregivers who
    attended the National Child Day Play Day, which generated a lot of positive feedback.

    “The comments included parents having a lot of fun with their children. They were thrilled about the quality of information, support, and play that was provided,” McCarthy said.

    “A lot of these families come back every year, and they had a great morning, had a lot of fun, and it’s a great way of learning for the parents and the children,” she added.

    Without the support of local businesses, organizations, and service providers, including Tim Hortons and the Chestermere Food Bank, the National Child Day Play Day wouldn’t be as successful each year.

    “Thank you to everybody in the community, the participants, and the service providers for donations,” McCarthy added. “A big thank you for making this event a success every year.

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