Families encouraged to ‘Unplug and Play’ together during Family Literacy Week

Send your photos to this newspaper on how you celebrated Family Literacy Week in Barriere and area

Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach is joining Decoda Literacy Solutions, B.C.’s provincial literacy organization, to raise awareness of the importance of engaging in literacy activities as a family.

Family Literacy Week is being celebrated Jan. 24 – 30 with “Unplug and Play” week. The purpose of “Unplug and Play” week is to encourage families and individuals to reduce their screen time and interact just a little more with each other and friends. Literacy skills are important to all British Columbians.

Families that engage in play-based literacy activities from an early age see positive effects on both children and parents/caregivers. Parents and caregivers are their children’s first and most important teachers. Recent studies show that engaging in informal family learning in the home and in the community has a direct positive impact on children and parents. These activities help create healthy relationships and help prepare children to enter school.

Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach has launched their 2016 Parent Child Mother Goose Program to coincide with Family Literacy Week.  This program is free for children 0-6 years attending with parents and caregivers. The Parent-Child Mother Goose Program is a group experience for parents and their babies and young children.  The program introduces adults and children to the pleasure and power of using rhymes, songs, and stories together – “Unplug and Play”!  Parents gain skills and confidence which can enable them to create positive family patterns during their children’s crucial early years.  Children benefit from enjoyable, healthy early experiences with language and communication.

Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach is also encouraging families to help celebrate the week by reduce their screen time and interacting just a little more with each other and friends.  To celebrate the week they are encouraging families, parents and children to take a photo of one activity you have done together during Family Literacy Week.   Photographs will be posted in the North Thompson Star/Journal showing how Barriere and area have celebrated Family Literacy Week.  Submit these photos to this newspaper by emailing to: news@starjournal.net and write Family Literacy Week in the subject line.  Please also include the names of the people in the photograph and the activity they are doing.

Here are some ideas for activities with young children:

• Freeze! Dance or move to music, but when the music stops, ‘freeze’ until the music starts again (3-4 seconds).Try different types of music and different types of movement.

• Play “Simon Says”. Players only follow the leader’s instructions if the leader says “Simon says” first.

• Create an obstacle course together. Indoors, use cushions, chairs, boxes and towels. For young children, make the course visible at a glance and the challenges age appropriate. Talk about how to move through the course. Children may want to draw a map of the course.

• Toss bean bags. Bean bags are lightweight and easy to catch. They can be used for a game of catch or for tossing the bag at a target such as a box or a towel on the floor. Make sure there’s nothing breakable where you’re playing!

• Play outside when the weather cooperates. Making tracks in the snow, visiting a playground, and blowing and chasing bubbles are examples of outdoor fun.

Whatever your activity don’t forget to take your camera along and snap that photo to send along to the Star/Journal!

Let’s Play Together!