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From Events for Families

Do all children play?

Red elastic. Blue elastic. Green elastic. Yellow elastic. Tiny fingers working diligently to wrap band around band until their labours have produced a brilliant and vibrant coloured ball. Believe it or not, if you wrap enough elastic bands around themselves with a couple polythene bags intertwined, it will create a ball durabUntitled1le enough to kick around as a soccer ball.  A clever skill I learned while living in rural Kenya for three
years.
After working in child care for many years and seeing the endless amount of plastic toys the children had to play with, it made me wonder if play was universal. Could children living in the uttermost poor and rural environments still play like children exposed to plastic toys and IPad’s?

The idea of children living in a slum with mud walls to form a simple home and walking in streets of debris seemed to shout a loud, “NO!” Surely children do not play all over the world. But as I walked through the slums of Kenya interacting with the children there, my opinion began to change.

I found children making use of other’s garbage to create toys. I remember one young girl crouched on the ground biting her lip as she put all her concentration and efforts into tying a filthy string to a polythene bag that had been thrown out. I crouched next to her and asked what she was making.

“A kite,” she replied.

Sure enough, as she finished attaching strings to each side of the bag and a breeze passed by, the kite lifted into the air. With a cheerful giggle, the girl stood up and raced around with her kite.

Do all children play? My heart and mind have been persuaded to say, “yes.”

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My son & I taking a moment to explore on one of our walks.

My one-year-old son reminds me of these children every day. Like most of you, I’m sure, we have a toy box in our living room. It’s full of plastic toys, as I like to call them. Rarely do I find him playing with a single toy in it.

Instead he is eager to play with wooden spoons or to open every cupboard in the kitchen and discover a toy box of pots, pans and Tupperware’s.   When we go to the park, I pack the diaper bag full of toys and every time I fail to unpack even one of them as he much prefers to play with the leaves, sticks and rocks. I’m sure many of you can identify.

Real. Authentic. Natural. My son will choose a real adult-like spoon over his small plastic spoon. He will choose to play with a stick over a plastic car. He prefers to watch real fish in a pond than play with his plastic fish that flash and play music.

Do all children play? I’ve determined whether children are exposed to manufactured toys or left to imagine what they can create with the natural items around them, it is an outstanding YES.

After working with children for many years and studying the way they play and learn, I couldn’t be more excited to have just opened Music Kids Daycare at the river market by the New Westminster Quay. Founded with Reggio Emilia philosophies from Italy, children are exposed to real, authentic, natural items.

I believe every child is competent and should be treated so. Every child discovers and understands differently from another and I truly desire to provide an environment that allows a child to make meaning of the world in their own way.

Do all children play? Even in the uttermost poor and rural environments? I have no other word to answer with but “yes.” Let’s replace the plastic with natural, the manufactured with authentic and provide our children with an atmosphere that encourages creativity, imagination and understanding.

Clinton, age 3, discovering that he can still draw a picture in the dirt with a stick even though he lacks paper and felts.
Clinton, age 3, discovering that he can still draw a picture in the dirt with a stick even though he lacks paper and felts.

-Kimberly Ngugi is co-owner & manager of Music Kids Daycare at the River Market, a new flexible music daycare by Music Box. After completing her Early childhood education certificate and diploma specializing in infant/toddler and special needs care, Kimberly has enjoyed many years of experience teaching children in a variety of settings from daycare, junior kindergarten and pre-school internationally in Kenya. Kimberly is passionate in creating environments for children to make meaning of the world on their own with room to create, imagine and discover. She also has special education in teaching English as a second language and music.  She lives in New Westminster with her husband and 1 year old son.

Middle Childhood Forum Jan 31 Free Family Event!

The Kids New West Child Development Committee is pleased to offer (free!) our 3rd annual Middle Childhood Forum “Happy Healthy Families” on Sunday, Jan 31st from 9am to Noon at Glenbrook Middle School. There will be a family pancake breakfast, kids activities (art, drama, bouncy castle, yoga). Speaker Christine Yu will offer tips for parents about helping children manage anxiety. All the details here: MC Forum 2016.

Funded by The United Way of the Lower Mainland.

Kids Christmas Party Dec 11th

The Fraternal Order of Eagles #20, New Westminster, is having a Christmas with Santa, for Children to 10 years.

Friday, December 11, 2015, 3:00 to 6:00 pm at 707 12th Street.  This is the Unifor Building with offices in front and the Hall at the back.  The Hall entrance is up the ramp to the hall, at the rear.

Santa will be bringing gifts so a registration with child’s name, gender, and age is required.  Also Mom’s name and number. Contact Marge to register at mailto:marjorieam@shaw.ca.

Santa, Mrs. Clause, Ralph the Elf, Happy and Yappy will also be there.

Pictures with Santa are available and will be sent via email.

There will be a fishing wall, the children put their fishing poles over the wall and a small prize will be caught.

Happy and Yappy (balloon clowns) will be entertaining the children as well.

Christmas Carols will be sung.

Popcorn will be available to the children, as well as candy cane, orange and juice box.

This is a free event to the children, by the Fraternal Order of Eagles #20.

Our ladies will have coffee, tea, apple cider and sweets for the parents for a donation.

 

 

 

 

Breakfast with Santa Dec 6 Queensborough

Breakfast with Santa at Queensborough Community Centre

Sunday, December 6,  9:30 – 11:00 am

This annual Queensborough family favorite includes pancakes, sausages and refreshments. Santa will make a special guest appearance for photos followed by the ever-popular entertainer and musician Tony Prophet. Tickets go on sale November 2, so get yours early as this holiday tradition sells out quickly.Tickets: $7.50 per guest (all ages). For more information call 604.525.7388

Poster: 2015 Breky with santa