Enhancing the relationship between parents and babies is the goal of the Parent-Child Mother Goose program, set to restart next week.
Alana Murdoch, community literacy co-ordinator with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) said the program has been running in Castlegar for many years.
“When parents come, we have some comfy blankets on the floor and we sit in the circle,” Murdoch said. “It’s also social time for parents to meet other parents with young children.”
The spring session, which starts on April 6, is offered through a partnership with CBAL and the Castlegar & District Public Library. Although different sessions vary in age range, this one is offered for babies up to 12 months old.
The most recent session, held in the fall, brought nearly 40 participants to the program.
Throughout the session, parents will learn rhymes, songs and stories to communicate with their baby, as well as have a snack time and more singing.
“Generally the babies are all in the same age group so it’s a great opportunity for parents to do networking,” Murdoch said.
Babies benefit from the program by learning increased language, pre-literacy and cognitive skills, enhanced confidence and self-esteem as well as developing social skills.
Murdoch said parents will benefit from the program by gaining confidence and learning to positively affect their children’s development, as well as learning how to use songs and rhymes to soothe and comfort their babies.
Murdoch said the last point is especially helpful for when parents are trying to put their babies to sleep or when they’re driving in the car.
“Just that positive interaction is a really nice thing,” she said.
Sometimes the program will even bring in guest speakers on such topics as public health and infant massage.
The Parent-Child Mother Goose program started in Toronto 25 years ago.
With offices across the country, teachers are accredited and are trained to run the program and receive apprenticeship training or practicum experience.
Castlegar’s program starts on April 6 at 10 a.m. at the Castlegar & District Public Library. To register, call 304-6862.