Vol 'n' tell

The Official Blog of Volunteer Richmond Information Services
  • Together Time

    Our Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) Centre's Together Time playgroup is here to help children learn and explore during the crucial years of their development. In our latest update, volunteer blogger Susan Young finds out how Together Time has been making an impact on the lives of local toddlers and their parents.


    Exciting playgroup activities at Together Time


    When a child takes their first step on their own, a new stage of development begins. Through exploration, major leaps in learning, language, and physical development take place.


    Intellectually, children begin to listen and comprehend more as they develop from babies to toddlers, and then preschoolers. For parents, it’s an exciting to see their children develop interests, master skills, and become more independent. However, it can be challenging at this stage to find the appropriate educational activities and spaces to help their children developmentally.


    With this in mind, “Together Time” was created to promote quality time, where children and parents can actively participate and learn together. This program aids in preparing children for kindergarten by incorporating some structure into their learning environment.


    Together Time is a free program that is held every Monday and Wednesday between 9am-11am at the Cook Early Learning Center, inside Cook Elementary School. They offer a safe and friendly environment where parents and children can explore, play, and learn.


    Children and parents are encouraged to participate during circle time by singing songs, reading, cooking, and then enjoying snacks and free play using the crafts and toys available. Parents can also find resourceful information on parenting and community information and hear from guest speakers.


    Field trips are also planned once per month and is an excellent opportunity to build connections in the community by visiting venues like the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Center.


    Together Time playgroup participants at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Center



    For toddlers who are constantly on the move, this is a great place to actively engage curious minds. The majority of children who attend this program are 1.5 to 2.5 year olds, but the program is open to babies as well.


    For children who are not yet ready for preschool, this free program is a an excellent opportunity for parents to get together with other parents and let their kids expel some energy on mindful activities early in the day.




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  • Child Care Provider Profile: Baby Panda Childcare Centre

    In this edition of the Child Care Provider Series, we feature Baby Panda Childcare Centre, an infant and toddler care facility located in the heart of Richmond. Esther Mei shares her experiences in the field and offers some advice for those interested in entering Early Childhood Education.

     

    BABY PANDA

    CHILDCARE CENTRE


    The only thing cuter than this baby panda is two baby pandas

    What made you want to become a child care provider?


    All children are angels. I love children, so that made me want to help them grow and develop in a happy, healthy, and free environment.




    What’s your favourite part of operating a child care facility and your least favourite?


    My favourite part of operation is Documentation and setting up Programming.  Documentation helps us to find out/learn about each child’s development needs, and programming helps us in creating activities to balance their growth and development.

     

    My least favourite part happens on Graduation Day: I always feel sad saying goodbye to the children and the families.




    How do you promote your business?


    By word of mouth: referrals by parents and previous parents. 


     
    At Baby Panda, hands-on learning is synonymous with fun.


    What does professionalism mean to you?


    Attitude! We love children and try to think and care for them the same way as their parents while using our professional knowledge.




    What challenges do you face as a child care provider? How do you overcome them?


    Helping parents to understand what we are doing. Why we are doing it this way, what future benefits this brings for the children…etc. 


    Great communication with patience.



      

    What do you find parents are looking for most in a child care provider?


    Safe environment, caring and experienced staff, great programs and management.

    Great communication.




    What’s your favourite activity to do with children?


    Outdoor free play time. We play Peekaboo, Hide and Seek, and also the children learn how to solve problems by themselves!


     

    Learning through light and shadow play.


    Do you keep in contact with other child care providers? Would you say there is a cohesive child care community in Richmond?


    YES!



    Are there any services not available in Richmond that you think child care providers and/or parents would benefit from?


    NO!



    Do you have any advice for people new to the child care field?


    For those wanting to become an Early Childhood Educator (ECE):
    Loving children is the foundation of the childcare field.

    Talk to other ECE providers, if you have any questions feel free to ask them.

    Talk to other professionals such as school teachers, speech specialists...etc.

    Take the time to go to Professional Development Courses.


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  • Non-Profit Video Picks: March 2015

    Media forms like film and photography are not only tools for creative expression - they can also play a role in influencing how we understand ourselves, each other, and the societies that we live in. Media is where we create and negotiate our identities - and as we'll see in Ray Wang's Non-Profit Video Picks, it can also be a powerful tool for creating change and cultural unity. 


    Echoes of Tibet: Preserving Tibetan Heritage Through Film


    Filmmaker and artist Tenzin Phuntsog fears that Tibet (known as “the pure land of the Buddha”) is losing touch with its cultural heritage. When he discovered a hidden trove of rare Tibetan films in New York’s Office of Tibet, he took on the task of preserving and digitizing these important historical artifacts for future generations. Tenzin founded the Tibet Film Archives in the hopes of cultivating an understanding and appreciation of Tibetan cultures, both in Tibet and around the world.



    Lynsey Addario: "Get up and do something with your life"



    Although photojournalist Lynsey Addario was criticized for working in war zones during her pregnancy, she believed it was important to continue documenting the lives of women living and raising families every day in those very same war zones. Lynsey challenges her critics to join her in doing work that will bring about an end to conflict, so that no women should ever have to suffer the effects of war.


    According to Forbes, only 24% of U.S. IT professionals are female. This alarming low number of females in the IT industry limits the potential growth of the technology industry. According to Intel vice president Bernadette Andrietti, “Women offer a fresh perspective on pro


    According to com/sites/leoking/2014/03/08/women-in-technology-a-brightening-outlook/" data-mce-href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/leoking/2014/03/08/women-in-technology-a-brightening-outlook/" style="color: #1b8be0; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: 1.7;">Forbes, only 24% of U.S. IT professionals are female. This alarming low number of females in the IT industry limits the potential growth of the technology industry. According to Intel vice president Bernadette Andrietti, “Women offer a fresh perspective on product design, ways of working, risk-taking and many other aspects of business.”


    To inspire more females to enter the technology industry, established female engineers such as Kelly Ellis, Software Engineer at Google, and Shannon Spanhake, Deputy Innovation Officer for the City of San Francisco, share their motivation for entering the technology industry. They also share their thoughts on possible social solutions and products that can be developed if women are encouraged to pursue careers in technology.

    gg


    ff

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  • The Wide World of Volunteerism: March 2015

    This month's Wide World of Volunteerism is decidedly tech-focused. There's a lot of good being done in the tech world - from the generous philanthropy of tech billionaires, to innovations that will improve the delivery of health services to under-served communities, to social media partnerships with leading safety advocates that will improve the safety of users online. Have a glimpse into some current trends in tech volunteerism, courtesy of blogger Ray Wang.

    The tech industry has made many, many people, really, really rich, and many of these gazillionaires are choosing to support different social causes with their money. Unsurprisingly, one of the more notable donors on this list include Bill and Melinda Gates. In this article, Mashable gives a review on how America’s top donors are leveraging their wealth to benefit the world.


    Smartphone attachment brings cheap HIV tests to remote areas


    Image source: Mashable


    The device we use for selfies and video-watching can also be used as an affordable HIV testing tool. Biomedical engineers at Columbia University have recently turned smartphones into devices that can test human blood for the virus that causes AIDS or the bacteria that cause syphilis. This development will make HIV testing in rural areas and developing countries more accessible, affordable, and convenient, allowing doctors to more easily identify people in need of treatment and provide support.


    Snapchat Partners With Three Non-Profits To Launch A ‘Safety Center’



    Snapchat has recently released a ‘Safety Center’ resource through a partnership with leading safety advocates, ConnectSafely, UK Safer Internet Centre, and iKeepSafe. The resource is designed to help users, parents, and teachers gain a better understanding of Snapchat, with the ultimate goal of preventing bullying and harassment.






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  • Non-Profit Video Picks: January 2015

    We're starting off the new year with a big Non-Profit Video Picks comeback! How will you give back this year? Maybe these stories of extraordinary volunteerism curated by blogger Ray Wang will give you some ideas!


    CNN Hero Narayanan Krishnan


    After witnessing an old man eating his own waste out of hunger, Narayanan Krishnan quit his job as a chef at a star hotel and went from feeding wealthy guests to feeding those in need. In 2002, Narayanan began cooking food for the homeless, the mentally ill, and elderly people who have been forgotten by society. Narayanan also helps those in need with bathing and grooming. Most importantly, he gives them hope to live.



    The Beauty and Challenges of Bhutan



    Bhutan for Life is an initiative launched by the World Wildlife Fund and the Bhutanese government to ensure the sacred and extraordinary environmental legacy of Bhutan is protected during infrastructure development. The initiative will focus on balancing social and economic growth with spirituality and respect for the environment, so that the Bhutanese people can benefit from modernization while remaining focused on sustainability.



    Facing Up to HIV



    After learning at the young age of 19 that she was born HIV positive, Phindile Sithole-Spong decided to help others who are also diagnosed with this disease. Phindile now offers lifestyle coaching, sexual health education, and other workshop, talks, and consulting services to HIV patients through the Rebranding HIV initiative, the goal of which is to “build the bridge to understanding” and to humanize the disease.





    According to Forbes, only 24% of U.S. IT professionals are female. This alarming low number of females in the IT industry limits the potential growth of the technology industry. According to Intel vice president Bernadette Andrietti, “Women offer a fresh perspective on pro


    According to com/sites/leoking/2014/03/08/women-in-technology-a-brightening-outlook/" data-mce-href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/leoking/2014/03/08/women-in-technology-a-brightening-outlook/" style="color: #1b8be0; font-style: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: 1.7;">Forbes, only 24% of U.S. IT professionals are female. This alarming low number of females in the IT industry limits the potential growth of the technology industry. According to Intel vice president Bernadette Andrietti, “Women offer a fresh perspective on product design, ways of working, risk-taking and many other aspects of business.”


    To inspire more females to enter the technology industry, established female engineers such as Kelly Ellis, Software Engineer at Google, and Shannon Spanhake, Deputy Innovation Officer for the City of San Francisco, share their motivation for entering the technology industry. They also share their thoughts on possible social solutions and products that can be developed if women are encouraged to pursue careers in technology.

    gg


    ff

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  • What Are Friends For?

    Equally important as fundraising is its lesser-known cousin - friend-raising. Which is what, exactly? Well, it's the process by which non-profit organizations, like Volunteer Richmond, build relationships with our supporters, so they feel a stronger connection to our work and mission. Friend-raising is particularly important to the Christmas Fund: we don't just have donors and volunteers, we have friends who share a passion for the cause. We're lucky, because that passion keeps them coming back year after year. And you know what's awesome? Every year, the Christmas Fund makes new friends. Take, for example, Richmond Tile Centre, who gave back to the program in a big way in 2014. Here's volunteer writer Amanda Oye with their story. 

    Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes the only way to get by is with a little help from your friends. Luckily in Richmond the pool of friends who care enough to lend a helping hand to make sure that everyone enjoys the holiday season – regardless of whether or not they can afford a fancy turkey dinner – extends to complete strangers. It is in this spirit of helping out those who need it most that Richmond Tile Centre spent this winter raising money for the Richmond Christmas Fund.


    “The community has been very good to us,” says Rob, owner of Richmond Tile Centre. “We’ve been here for 25 years, so we wanted to give something back [and] we wanted our customers to get involved in the process.”


    Through the store’s Helping Hands Campaign, which raises money for local organizations twice a year, Richmond Tile Centre was able to contribute $1,100 to the Christmas Fund.

    Richmond Tile Centre customers responded overwhelmingly to the company’s Helping Hands Campaign with a $600 contribution towards the Richmond Christmas Fund. The company contributed another $500, and the total $1,100 went towards sponsoring three local, low-income families as well as a donation of toys and books. Pictured here from left to right are Tile Centre Manager Chris Rogers, Christmas Fund Chair Wayne Duzita, Tile Centre Campaigns and Marketing Coordinator Rob Rose, and Tile Centre Owner Mike Scardina.
     
    The Christmas Fund was chosen as a beneficiary because “it helps families get through when it should be about giving and celebrating the year,” Rob says. “You’re so busy at Christmas that you forget that there’s a whole bunch of families that aren’t going to have Christmas. Some people can’t even afford Christmas dinner or groceries at that time because they’re trying to get a gift for their kids.”

    This is a cause that clearly resonates not just with Richmond Tile Centre management and staff, but with their customers as well. “I was worried because at this time of year there are so many charities and people just get bombarded. You go anywhere and people are asking for donations and I think people just get kind of donationed out,” says Chris, Richmond Tile Centre store manager.

    This is not the reaction they received in the store as they asked people if they would like to donate. In a short amount of time they managed to raise $600 from customers in store, while the company contributed another $500 to the grand total. This was better than they had anticipated, according to Chris.

    As the campaign wrapped up, instead of simply presenting the Christmas Fund with a cheque, Richmond Tile Centre staff took the time to go buy books and toys to donate, on top of sponsoring three families. “We wanted a bit more of a direct connection,” Chris says. “This is one way that we felt that we could directly connect.”

    The Tile Centre enjoyed the experience so much that they hope to make the Christmas Fund an annual beneficiary of their Helping Hands Campaign. The Christmas Fund will appreciate that, no doubt. It's always nice to make a new friend. 


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  • Welcoming Winter - A Block Party at Springs

    Brad Forlow and Darren Lof know how to throw a party! We were delighted when they approached us with their Neighbourhood Small Grants idea. Here's Brad himself with a recap on his neighbourhood block party. Neighbourhood Small Grants in Richmond is made possible by Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives, a collaboration between Volunteer Richmond Information Services and the Richmond Community Foundation.



    We often hear from those in the neighbourhood that they no longer know their neighbors. We desired to create an event that would foster a sense of community and that would provide a fun atmosphere to meet and talk with neighbours.


    Welcoming Winter was a community dinner and block party designed to bring people of all ages together from the Springs Neighbourhood. The event was held at the Manoah Steves Elementary School gym on Friday, November 28, 2014 from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. The winter-themed decor and the Christmas music created a festive environment. 


    Massive Wall-E and Nemo bounce houses were the focal point of the block party for the children. Children were lined up for these all night. Many kids must have been worn out by the end of the night! Tables with coloring sheets kept many younger kids occupied. Children of all ages left with beautifully painted faces.


    The hot hearty vegetable soup (with salad and bread), coffee, and hot chocolate were greatly enjoyed on a very cold night. The popcorn machine and snow cone machine were also a hit for kids and adults of all ages.

    The event was very well attended. We estimate approximately 250 people attended. We received many compliments and positive feedback for hosting a well-organized community building event.

    The Welcoming Winter dinner and block party was promoted in the neighbourhood by delivering invite cards door to door to ensure people of all ages were invited. The event was also advertised to the students at Steves Elementary School by an electronic distribution of the flier. The event was further promoted on the Springs Neighbourhood Facebook page and shared on the Steves Elementary School PAC Facebook page.


    We are extremely grateful to the Vancouver Foundation Neighbourhood Small Grants Program for providing the opportunity for us to host a community-building event in our neighborhood. We displayed fliers acknowledging the Vancouver Foundation Neighbourhood Small Grants Program throughout the gym.

    The grant covered the expenses for the decor, food, and the facility. St. John’s Richmond graciously donated all of the bread for the dinner. River Community Church (Steveston) donated the bounce houses, popcorn machine, popcorn, snow cone machine, snow cone syrup, and the materials for the fliers and invitation cards.

    We are also extremely grateful to all the volunteers who helped distribute invitations, cook and serve the food, run the popcorn and snow cone machines, staff the bounce houses, and set up and take down everything involved in executing the event. The event would not have been a success without all those willing to give of their time to serve their neighbours.


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  • Child Care Provider Profile: Mustard Seed Children's Daycare

    One of the newer childcare providers in the area, Mustard Seed Children's Daycare works to provide a stimulating environment for children to play and learn. In this edition of the Child Care Provider Series, Felix Li discusses the challenges of providing quality childcare at affordable rates and building a new business to meet the needs of one's community.

     
     
    Where little seeds grow into tall trees!

    What made you want to become a child care provider?


    We became a child care provider because we saw the need in the community, especially in the coming future. It is important to be involved in one's society and we want to provide the best service for parents in taking care of their loved ones. 



    What’s your favourite part of operating a child care facility and your least favourite?


    My personal favourite part of operating a child care facility must be to see the children growing up healthy and happy. The children give me the most joy over anything. My least favourite part is seeing them leave. Usually we will not see them again, and that is heart-breaking. 



    How do you promote your business?


    I believe there is always room for improvement. Our Centre is new and there is always more to learn in running a business. However, we are young, eager, and full of ambition. We have worked to have a good relationship with our staff and with our parents. We want to work to make this centre more suitable for different families.



    What does professionalism mean to you?


    In a child care facility, a child’s safety and health are the most important. Our teachers are professionals. They can take care of a child’s daily needs, including the physical or psychological. We believe we are responsible for the children’s growth and that this is our mission in life - that is what professionalism means to me.



    What challenges do you face as a child care provider? How do you overcome them?


    The difficulties usually come from finance. We do not want to charge parents more than they can afford, but at the same time we need to balance out our expenses and salaries. We hope to provide parents the best child care services at the most affordable cost.



    A fun and colourful learning environment!
      

    What do you find parents are looking for most in a child care provider?


    I find that this can vary. Some parents look for academic growth in a child learning in terms of mathematics and languages, etc. Some parents focus on the centre’s cleanness, space, safety, and outdoor environment. Other parents consider more about the teachers’ quality and enthusiasm towards taking care of their children. 



    What’s your favourite activity to do with children?


    My personal favourite activity is circle time where I can sing songs, read stories, and play mini games with them. I love being surrounded by children and catching all their attention. It is just wonderful.



    Do you keep in contact with other child care providers? Would you say there is a cohesive child care community in Richmond?


    I do keep in contact with some other child care providers as well as teachers in other facilities. I think we can learn from each other and improve and I believe all facilities can work together to provide services for the community in Richmond.



    Are there any services not available in Richmond that you think child care providers and/or parents would benefit from?


    No, I think that we have the services we need right now.



    Do you have any advice for people new to the child care field?


    For teachers, they should try to work in different facilities to see the difference and learn from each one.
    For parents, take more time to pay visits to different daycares to find the most suitable one for your child.
     


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  • Sensory Workshop With Educators

    After hosting An Evening of Sensory Play, Alexis Alblas and Stefanie Tong decided to extend their childcare knowledge to other child caregivers by inviting Early Childhood Educators to participate in a Sensory Workshop With Educators. This October 28, 2014 event was the second installment of their Neighbourhood Small Grants project. Here's Stefanie's recap of the event. Neighbourhood Small Grants in Richmond is made possible by Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives, a collaboration between Volunteer Richmond Information Services and the Richmond Community Foundation.


    Stefanie Tong and Alexis Alblas


    This past Tuesday evening, Alexis and I were joined by Early Childhood Educators and students as we explored sensory materials together. I think we’ve started a tradition of playful selfies at our workshops. The feature image was taken after our workshop with us hiding behind a mountain of shaving cream we created. If you haven’t used shaving cream purely for the sensory experience of massaging it through your hands, I highly recommend it.


    The evening began with a sit down seminar/discussion period where we brainstormed types of sensory play, barriers of offering sensory play in the classroom and solutions to those hindrances. There were so many good ideas about recycling materials, which dollar stores carried certain materials, wholesalers and offering a variety of activities for children.


    We had the educators pair up with someone from a different centre prior to entering the play space. Educators were encouraged to play like children would, their partner would be documenting how they played, what they said and the types of materials they chose to use, fifteen minutes later, they would switch roles.


    The group of ladies and one gent played a lot more carefully than the children did with the same materials offered two weeks ago. “Do we play in one area? Can we move around the room?” Immediately, the adults were asking permission to play a certain way. We watched as the pairs:


    – explored potion mixing with shampoos and conditioners
    – created shaving cream patterns
    – poked playdough
    – manipulated light and reflections
    – ran fingers through salt
    – massaged water beads
    – smeared cornstarch finger paint
    – poured sand
    – danced with fabric
    – cut, smell and create flower arrangements


    While everyone in the room was busy documenting their partner, I took down a few notes of my own. Besides noticing how neat everyone was playing, I captured a little dialogue:


    “What is this?”
    “Can I use this?”
    “Sorry, this is so wasteful.” (While squirting shaving cream)
    “Which one is open, I don’t want to open a new one.”
    “Do play here?”

    As adults, I think we often play by the rules. Rules which we have somehow created along the way, rules that our children do not have, which allow them to explore freely without inhibitions. May we all find our inner child today and explore everyday materials with new found curiosity. Thank you so much to Vancouver Foundation, Volunteer Richmond, Richmond Community Foundation and Ulferts Kids for helping to make this workshop happen, and for allowing us to play! For more pictures from this workshop, please visit our Facebook Page.



    Originally posted on ece mom



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  • An Evening of Sensory Play

    We've been so excited by all the Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) Projects that have been happening in Richmond. The one put on by Stefanie Tong and Alexis Alblas however, might be the messiest project to date in the history of NSG! Here's Stefanie herself to tell you about an evening of sensory play that happened last October 21, 2014. Neighbourhood Small Grants in Richmond is made possible by Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives, a collaboration between Volunteer Richmond Information Services and the Richmond Community Foundation.


    Alexis and I had the pleasure of teaching our first Sensory Workshop, made possible through the Neighbourhood Small Grants program from Vancouver Foundation, Volunteer Richmond, and Richmond Community Foundation. We were so happy to be joined by 13 families who participated in play experiences, and were fascinated to witness children immerse themselves in the sensory materials – literally!



    My phone rang at about 2:30p that afternoon, Alexis on the other end double checking all the materials we needed to gather for the evening. “I’ve got my trolly loaded up” she told me. I was in the midst of making four batches of cornstarch paint and knew that we had an evening of fun ahead of us. “We get to play in an hour” I said. During set up, that’s exactly what we did! The photo above is us manipulating our reflections, and I of course, had to stop to document the moment. Over dinner we finalized notes for the workshop and prayed that everyone coming would have a good time. We also asked God for some superpowers to help us deliver this information that had been in our hearts for the past few months.

    Our workshop began by asking parents of their first play memory. It was fascinating to hear that many had a sensory component to them and that ALL of the play memories were open ended, child led, play. We brainstormed on what the hindrances are to offering sensory play at home and collectively found solutions while sharing stories of our children. With child development being our passion, Alexis and I were thankful for the opportunity to share how sensory play can help children in their cognitive, social, language and physical development.



    Before we knew it, it was time to invite the children into the room to explore all the materials with their parents. I wish I had the time to document what was happening in the room! With 16 children ages one through eleven, we had a busy room filled with many play experiences.

    We watched children and adults:
    – manipulate light
    – explore reflections
    – poke, prick, squish, slam, toss and roll playdough
    – delicately cradle the water beads and a moment later, squish and bounce them
    – mix, pour, measure, squeeze shampoo and conditioner to create potions
    – use their hands to create paintings
    – swirl, swoosh, hold, squirt, and mix shaving cream
    – pour, scoop, and scrape sand
    – trace, scoop, and pinch salt
    – grab, mix, pick and scoop bark mulch
    – lick, bite, and smell at our tasting station (a.k.a. snacks)

    I have so many favourite moments from this evening, but the ones that stood out were hearing the children say “this is so much fun” and “look! look at me!” to their parents and being able to see parents play along side their children. And what excited me most, was that no one was worried about making a mess! More photos of our evening can be found on our Facebook page. We are less that two weeks away from presenting the Educator version of this workshop. Looking forward to seeing more messes remnants of play.Alexis and I had the pleasure of teaching our first Sensory Workshop, made possible through the Neighbourhood Small Grants program from Vancouver Foundation, Volunteer Richmond and Richmond Community Foundation. We were so happy to be joined by 13 families who participated in play experiences, and were fascinated to witness children immerse themselves in the sensory materials – literally!

    My phone rang at about 2:30p that afternoon, Alexis on the other end double checking all the materials we needed to gather for the evening. “I’ve got my trolly loaded up” she told me. I was in the midst of making four batches of cornstarch paint and knew that we had an evening of fun ahead of us. “We get to play in an hour” I said. During set up, that’s exactly what we did! The photo above is us manipulating our reflections, and I of course, had to stop to document the moment. Over dinner we finalized notes for the workshop and prayed that everyone coming would have a good time. We also asked God for some superpowers to help us deliver this information that had been in our hearts for the past few months.

    Our workshop began by asking parents of their first play memory. It was fascinating to hear that many had a sensory component to them and that ALL of the play memories were open ended, child led, play. We brainstormed on what the hindrances are to offering sensory play at home and collectively found solutions while sharing stories of our children. With child development being our passion, Alexis and I were thankful for the opportunity to share how sensory play can help children in their cognitive, social, language and physical development.

    Before we knew it, it was time to invite the children into the room to explore all the materials with their parents. I wish I had the time to document what was happening in the room! With 16 children ages one through eleven, we had a busy room filled with many play experiences.

    We watched children and adults:
    – manipulate light
    – explore reflections
    – poke, prick, squish, slam, toss and roll playdough
    – delicately cradle the water beads and a moment later, squish and bounce them
    – mix, pour, measure, squeeze shampoo and conditioner to create potions
    – use their hands to create paintings
    – swirl, swoosh, hold, squirt, and mix shaving cream
    – pour, scoop, and scrape sand
    – trace, scoop, and pinch salt
    – grab, mix, pick and scoop bark mulch
    – lick, bite, and smell at our tasting station (a.k.a. snacks)

    I have so many favourite moments from this evening, but the ones that stood out were hearing the children say “this is so much fun” and “look! look at me!” to their parents and being able to see parents play along side their children. And what excited me most, was that no one was worried about making a mess! More photos of our evening can be found on our Facebook page. We are less that two weeks away from presenting the Educator version of this workshop. Looking forward to seeing more messes remnants of play.


    Originally posted on ece mom.


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