“It was wonderful to have a space where my daughter could play with other children her age, and for me to meet new families in the community,” said Guadalupe Ramirez, mother of Ian, age 2 (seen at left).
Many parents in the Napa are just like Mayra, seeking a safe and nurturing place in the community where they can bring their child and have positive interactions and peer support.
Each month our Home Visitation team puts on a socialization event bring families together who have little opportunity to enjoy positive social interactions with other families with young children. These events also create a space for parents to bond with their child, learn more about their child’s development and age appropriate behaviors, and help to encourage the social-emotional development of the child.
The importance of developing positive relationships between parent and child cannot be understated. In August, Cope held the Messy Fun event where parents could bring their young children to learn new ways to interact and support their children’s learning. The event also provided parents the opportunity to develop a sense of community and get support from their fellow Napa parents.
Activities such as creating play dough out of peanut butter and honey, drawing with fingers, and dying pasta were chosen to encourage parents’ understanding of the early learning that occurs to develop early literacy and pre-writing skills. The activities will develop sensory responses in the child, and promote development of fine motor skills and the pincer grip (needed to grasp a pencil or crayon and to pick up small objects like Cheerios).
Parent-child interaction activities promote responsiveness between the parent and child and develop their communication, which are building blocks for attachment, and in turn, promote child well-being. Helping parents learn about their child’s healthy growth and development encourages positive parenting, and reduces child abuse and neglect since parents are more aware of typical behaviors for their child’s age and developmental stage, and are therefore less likely to discipline harshly when the child is simply displaying age-appropriate temperament and behavior.
Want to try some of the activities out at home? Get the recipe to make your own edible play dough here!