Morning of Family Fun for Young Families
Mackay Regional Council Libraries is inviting young families on a journey of imagination, magic and wonder.
To officially celebrate the commencement of the First 5 Forever literacy program, library staff members are hosting a family fun day with a difference on April 19 between 10am and noon.
The MECC will transform into a whole new world full of exciting themed discovery zones, including Jungle Rumble, Ships Ahoy, Into the Woods and Errol’s Lilly Pad – a sensory play zone for children under three.
The children will love the light and shadow zone, where they can experiment with the science of shadow casting.
There will also be arts and crafts and story time sessions running from 10.20am to 11.20am.
Add in music, songs, a variety of interesting activities and stacks of fun day prize packs to give away, there’s no doubt the special event will be the perfect morning escape for families with children up to five.
Senior coordinator of libraries, Jessica Clark, advised parents to enjoy the activities and to also ensure they head over to the First 5 Forever information stand for a chat.
“While we are excited to be able to host such a fun morning for families, we actually have an ulterior motive,” Ms Clark admitted.
“Recent studies have shown that our region has low early literacy levels compared to the rest of the state,” she said. “Put simply, it means children are entering the school system at a disadvantage to children who have been thoroughly exposed to a wide range of language and literacy in their early childhood years.”
“Ninety percent of brain development occurs in the first five years of life, so it’s vital that we expose our children to as much language and literacy as we can… best learning comes from nurturing relationships full of singing, playing, reading and talking. Doing all this with your child from birth builds a foundation for your child’s future development that can last a lifetime.” Ms Clark explained that this early development is the foundation of the First 5 Forever suite of programs.
“The programs available include Baby Bounce, Story Time and Toddler Time, as well as several other less regular specialty programs,” she said.
“The three main programs are held every week during the school term at the region’s libraries. They are completely free to attend and are hosted by specially trained staff who make the experience fun for both the families and children.”
If you’d like to learn more about the program, the First 5 Forever team will also be at Caneland Central on 20 April and IGA Shopping Centre, Sarina on 21 April.
First 5 Forever Tips for Families
- Take time every day to nurture your baby’s love of language by sharing rhymes, singing songs, telling stories or playing with them.
- Sharing and talking about books provides the best learning. It’s OK to read slowly, skip pages, talk about the pictures and not finish a book.
- Let your child see your face when communicating. Crouch down or lift up your child to let them know you are listening.
- Babies need to be able to hear the important people in their lives talking. Switch off the TV, radio and mobile phones to help make this happen.
- Young children need time to find the words to express themselves. Pause to give them time to communicate.
- Everyday opportunities are the best for learning – point out, name and talk about what your child can see or hear. For example, during bath time, when going for a walk, while shopping or driving in the car.
More information on the various sessions can be found at www.mackay.qld.gov.au/libraries/get_involved/for_kids