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Families Canada: Why Play? This Summer!

Families Canada: Why Play? This Summer!

Thank you to Families Canada for providing this post!

Happy Summer! Summer is a great time to relax, play, and enjoy time with your family, whether at home, or outdoors with others.

This summer, Families Canada, encourages all educators, parents, and family support service providers to find new ways to support children’s play as they play alone, or with others. Play is learning, and it is essential to childhood and healthy child development. Play is often called the ‘work’ of children, and is essential to children’s healthy development.

Families Canada (FC) is the national association of family support centres. Their members are community-level organizations who provide hubs of free services, programs, and resources to primarily low-income and disadvantaged families in communities across Canada. Through 500+ members, they impact the lives of approximately 500,000 families per year. For over 50 years, they have helped members meet the evolving and complex needs of families by:

  • Piloting, adapting, and scaling evidence-based programming
  • Developing and disseminating evidence-informed resources
  • Providing professional development opportunities

Learn more about Families Canada here!

One way that Families Canada helps children get the right start in life is by providing their “Why Play?” series of pamphlets, and other resources on play. Here are some ways that the pamphlets support children’s healthy development at various ages!

Why Play? with Your Baby (0-12 months)?
The “Why Play? with Your Baby (0-12 months)” pamphlet suggests science-based play activities to: – Support their baby’s play

  • Help their baby feel safe, and learn trust
  • Support their baby’s healthy brain development
  • Help their baby discover their surroundings
  • Build a strong relationship with their baby

Why Play? with Your Toddler (12-30 months)
The “Why Play? with Your Toddler (12-30 months)” pamphlet suggests science-based play activities to:

  • Learn to be more independent
  • Learn to live with others
  • Start communicating
  • Learn to explore through play, and to feel safe
  • Be ready to make new discoveries, and have fun

Why Play? with Your Preschooler (30-60 months)
“Why Play? with Your Preschooler (30-60 months)” pamphlet suggests science-based play activities to:

  • Help preschoolers learn to collaborate
  • Help preschoolers learn to be independent
  • Learn self-control and learn to communicate
  • Learn how to make friends
  • Discover how good it feels to belong to a group

With multiple benefits of play, we encourage more play this summer. If you are thinking about play ideas and activities, check out their “Why Play? Activity Cards”. Each set of 24 double-sided cards offers a variety of simple and short activities to enjoy daily with young children. The Activity Cards come in four colors, and each color focuses on a skill competency to be fostered: autonomy, exploration, social skills, communication. One side of each card highlights the purpose of the activity, i.e., what targeted skills develop or improve because of this specific activity. The other side of the card describes the activity and the target age for that activity.

All of the evidence-informed resources mentioned above were created in partnership with the Centre for Excellence on Early Childhood Development. These resources can be found in our online store, including our popular “Why Play?” resources that families love!

Families Canada wishes you a safe, healthy and fun summer!