As the world we once knew closed its doors to hide from COVID-19, a new sense of normalcy has emerged inside homes across the world. Parents are adjusting to life inside the home, learning new ways to keep their children occupied while staying safe. Finding activities for your child to do at home that don’t involve them watching TV or playing video games can be a challenge.
This week, we are proud to highlight Champions’ Great We Grow in Town ‘n Country (formerly known as Growing up Great in Town ‘n Country) program. Since the pandemic began, our Family Learning Specialists at Great We Grow have provided parents with activities to keep their children busy through age-appropriate interactive at-home games and crafts, Fun Friday challenges and virtual playgroups. Encouraging families to interact together on a regular basis in their child’s early learning promotes school success from a young age.
At-Home Learning Activities
Each week, our staff gives parents activities to do at home with their children. The activities use common household products to help children practice skills associated with their developmental milestone. For example, in a recent activity, parents received a sorting activity to do with their child aged 19 to 24 months. Together, they sorted by color, size, type of item, taste, type and/or texture. This cognitive skill is a level up from just matching!
The Family Learning Specialists also provide families with tips to help their child reach developmental milestones. One tip that the specialists give parents whose children are experiencing difficulties expressing themselves through words is to encourage their child to use their words to respond in conversations. If you ask a question, wait for their response. Mamta B, a program participant, experienced speech difficulties with her child:
“A few months ago, my neighbor shared some information about a playgroup for parents and their young children. Due to the pandemic, my daughter and I have been stuck at home a lot and were looking for something fun to do together, so we enrolled right away! The activities that this program provides are so special because they give us something fun to do together that also boosts her development, and in the last few months, I have noticed so many improvements! Before this program, my two-year-old didn’t talk much and would often throw tantrums when she was upset, but this program has helped teach her about her emotions and she is much more familiar with the feelings she experiences and can even label them in others. I have even noticed her screen time decrease because she is now so fascinated with learning and always asking questions! The way we play together has also changed and become more involved now that I have learned more about the benefits of play for a child’s overall development.” – Mamta B.
Virtual Playgroups are the new normal for many friends and families to interact with each other to stay safe during the pandemic. GWG’s virtual playgroups offer the chance for children to play and learn together from the safety of their homes. Our Family Learning Specialists have seen an increase in participation in the virtual playgroups and have more families participating than they did before when they met in person.
“My daughter and I LOVE participating in the virtual playgroups with Great We Grow! She really enjoys dancing to the songs and doing the activities. When we are getting ready for the playgroup, she gets so excited! Even the night before our morning playgroups, she is so obedient when getting ready for bed because she is so looking forward to waking up and participating the next day. I also get so much from the parenting tips and child development information. Through this program, I have made friends with other parents as well as grown in my relationship with my child. Great We Grow is more than just a playgroup to us. It feels like family!” – Neha K.
One of the most popular activities GWG has come up with is Fun Friday’s. Families share videos of their child making learning fun through playing, dancing and crafts. The videos are then uploaded to the Great We Grow facebook page. Click the titles below to take a look at some of the videos.
For more information about Great We Grow in Town ‘n Country or to join a virtual playgroup, call 813-804-0501.