March 15 is the annual Week of the Young Child event - our 25th year to celebrate the joy of early childhood. If you are looking for a way to help your child enjoy some free play activities, join us at Fisher Auditorium on the OARDC campus from noon till 3:00pm. It’s a great way to enjoy watching your children learn and observe new things in the world around them.
How do we help our children play? Maryann Manning, author of Disappearing Childhood offers the following suggestions:
- Provide experiences designed developmentally for children, not adults- at this event, we’ll have lots of those for children to choose from!
- Share a nurturing and caring environment with sufficient child-parent involvement, this event is for parents and their preschool aged children!
- Consider play an important aspect of childhood and encourage children to explore, invent and create through play—come see the bug zoo or watch the bubbles!
- Recognize that children and adults are different and let them have time to have unstructured play- there’s no time frame; children can just go from one station to the next as they explore.
- Appreciate each child for their individual talents, interests and abilities. Spend one-on-one time with each child to establish a good relationship.
- Learn who your child’s friends are and what things they are being influenced by, bring friends and enjoy the afternoon together.
Play is how young children learn best. It is through play that a child develops in the important areas of feeling and connecting, sensing and moving, listening and talking, and thinking and remembering.
Through playful experiences children develop:
- Emotional skills as they spend time with you and others learning about feelings, how to manage them, and understanding the feelings of others.
- Social skills which they master by learning to follow directions, to cooperate, to take turns, to share and to abide by rules.
- Physical (gross-motor) skills as children learn to reach, crawl, walk, run, climb, jump, throw, catch, and balance.
- Fine-motor skills (the use of hands and fingers) as they handle and manipulate objects, toys, books, and art supplies like, crayons, scissors, and pencils.
- Language skills that grow as children interact with others and use words when they play with toys and engage in activities.
- Critical thinking skills through play that encourages problem solving and helps them learn concepts like cause and effect, quantities, or spatial relationships.
- Creativity and imagination; as children pretend to be doctors, teachers, parents, or firefighters, they learn that life is full of possibilities and opportunities.
Our special entertainment this year is the Shizzle, Dizzle Magic at 1:30 and 2:30. This is a free community event with special thanks to our sponsors. Their names will be posted on site. Organized and offered by the Wayne Association for the Education of Young Children. Come and join the fun and laughter with your young child - it’s memories in the making!! Have questions? Give me a call at 330-264-8722.