Impacting Early childhood development

Children, parents and grandparents enjoyed spending time together learning during the Regional KidsFirst Intriguing Minds: Parents and Children Together (IMPACT) program. It was supervised by Jane Meiklejohn, community developer and hosted at the Preeceville School on March 5.

The program had a twist as it focused on the scientific side, (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

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The Sturgis Preeceville and Endeavour (SPE) Family Resource Centre helped to sponsor the event along with Regional KidsFirst. It was attended by numerous children and parents from across the local area.

"The program was a fun event for the whole family," said Karolyn Kosheluk, FRC co-ordinator. The event targeted the preschool aged children, 3 to 5 years old and their caregivers. All stations established were for developmentally appropriate and demonstrated skills and activities for children and parents. The fun, educational and interactive stations were designed to help children develop the skills needed for a successful school experience. It also promoted awareness of self and environment, social skills and approaches to learning, cognitive skills, language communication and gross and fine motor skills.

The Preeceville Kindergarten students and their parents were invited to attend the morning hours of the program and after lunch the nursery school aged children along with their parents attended the afternoon session.

"Children begin to develop critical learning skills at a young age that will help them be successful later in life. It is important for parents to provide opportunities for their children to work on theses skills throughout early childhood. Learning opportunities will prepare children with the foundation necessary for success at school," stated an information pamphlet from the Regional Kids First.

There were 15 stations that focused on scientific exploration and experiments for children that featured water fun, introduction to coding by moving their bodies to follow the code on the floor mat, twisty tornados, sensory touch gooey, light it up, code and go with a robot, active play, block play, magnetic marble play, candy construction, simple machines, senses discovery table and filling and dumping sensory.

"IMPACT engages children in play and we are encouraging healthy development," said Meiklejohn.