A place to play and more is what’s offered by Ontario Early Years, when it holds play and learn time at St. James Anglican Church basement in Morrisburg every Tuesday from 9 a.m. until noon.
Just before the program took a break over the holidays, play and learn was moved to Tuesdays.
With this small change, they were able to bring the Eastern Ontario Health Unit nurse back every week for the Watch Me Grow program which weighs babies, gives health advice for young children and can even do immunizations, if you call ahead first.
It has been two years since Watch me Grow has been available, in Morrisburg, and Fiona Carr, program coordinator of OEY is happy to welcome the EOHU back and is pleased with the success of the recent changes.
“Our first day after the move, we had 21 kids here representing 14 families. That’s wonderful for any drop in program,” she said.
OEY, which offers programming in both Iroquois and Morrisburg, is a ‘one stop shop’ for anyone with children 0-6 years of age.
The play and learn time in Morrisburg features some great toys, and a fleet of ride on toys, with ample space for the kids to enjoy them.
This time to play and socialize with each other is an invaluable resource for young minds, and Carr said that she can see the positive affect it has on kids as they return again and again.
“Social skills are learned like crazy, just by playing with the other kids,” said Carr. “They learn how to share and to sit and listen, all in a friendly environment.”
“This is great,” said one of the caregivers who brought two young boys to Play and Learn just before Christmas. “There’s a lot of different toys here and the kids love that, especially the ride on toys. They really love the crafts too.”
While the kids are playing, learning and having fun, the time also provides their caregivers with the opportunity to talk to other parents and the child care professionals on site.
“Everyday I see new people come to the centre with their kids and leave with friends,” said Carr explaining that it’s a great place for both the parents and the kids to meet new people.
Carr encourages anyone with children aged 0-6 to drop by one of the play and learn sessions to learn about the OEY and all it has to offer. Play and Learn is offered from 9 a.m until noon, Mondays and Thursdays at Iroquois Public School and Tuesdays at St. James Anglican Church in Morrisburg.