Learn Together – Grow Together – Be Active Together

dscn0556-2Learn Together Grow Together is a 10-week program for parents with children  3 to 5 years old. We focus on early learning and literacy, and help the parents to recognize their own importance as first teacher of their children.

An important component of the program is taking the families to the gym (or outside if the weather permits) to play games and to try different activities. From the outside looking in, it may just seem that the time spent in the gym is for the children to burn off some energy. Although there is truth to that, gym time provides learning opportunities for both the parents and the children.

Learning opportunities for parents:

  • Trying new games such as “Tag”, “What Time is it Mr. Wolf”, or “Go, Go, Stop” which don’t require money to buy equipment
  • Opportunities to use different types of equipment that they may not have used before, like scooters or a parachute
  • Exposing their children to new or different action words and vocabulary
  • Interacting with their children in new ways
  • Strengthening the bond they have with their children
  • Socializing with other parents and learning from each other

Learning opportunities for children:

  • Building new coordination and fine motor skills
  • Following directions from the teachers as well as their parents
  • Being exposed to new or different action words and vocabulary
  • Interacting and socializing with others
  • Sharing equipment with others
  • Learning responsibility by cleaning up

These are just a few of the many learning opportunities that both parents and their children may have while playing in the gym together – I’m sure there are many more! So in addition to providing exercise and promoting a healthy lifestyle for your family, kicking a ball around outside or playing tag in a gym together is providing learning opportunities for both of you!

Our first session of Learn Together – Grow Together starts on Thursday November 17, 2016. For more information about the program, please visit the Centre for Family Literacy website; to register call Linda at (780) 944-2001 extension 5116. We look forward to learning and growing together with you and your children!

5 Fun Family Literacy Workshops Offered by Literacy Links

litlinks1Picture this: a room full of adults up to their elbows in play dough, mixing secret ingredients, and volcanoes erupting before their eyes! Learning and laughter abound and so many of the adults are just plain having fun. Sound intriguing? The Centre for Family Literacy offers 15 workshops, called Literacy Links, that do all this and more. Here are just 5 of them:

  • The Scientist in Us AllAre you ready to explode volcanoes, watch flowers grow, and hear the world in a new way? Children explore their world every day and, with your help, learn language about how things work. This workshop lets everyone make  discoveries with activities that can be done at home.
  • Secret Learning Through Games – Children want to play games, especially if it is with their family. This workshop looks at the hidden learning that happens during games, simple materials that can be used to make your own, and even a game or two to take home.
  • Come Play with Me – Play is often said to be a job for children. Every day they set out to discover how the world works. Activities like drawing in pudding and listening to stories give children a strong foundation for language and literacy. This workshop uses simple household items mixed with a little imagination and a lot of laughter to create fun tools for learning.
  • Toddlers and Technology – Is it a good combination? We look at what research has to say about young children and their use of technology, how much time they should spend with technology, and what choices are out there.
  • Numbers are Everywhere – Do you need help sorting socks, measuring for a recipe, or finding Family Day on the calendar? Your child can help as they learn about numbers. We look at the early number concepts children learn while playing or helping out around the house.

Literacy develops in families first and parents are often a child’s first and most important teacher. The Literacy Links workshops help parents understand more about their children’s learning and development. The hands-on, interactive workshops highlight what the parents are already doing, and share additional ways to engage their children in fun learning opportunities at home.

So if you are interested in learning more about how snakes hear, why Goop does what it does, what skills playing with play dough develop, or how simple things like calendars, egg cartons and loose lids can provide engaging, fun learning opportunities for parents and children alike, contact us and we will show you!

Centre for Family Literacy
Website: www.famlit.ca
Literacy Links
Email: info@famlit.ca
Phone: 780.421.7323


A Tickle Rhyme is More than Just a Tickle Rhyme

Mother and toddler sitting on the sofa at home

Our Rhymes that Bind program has a variety of songs and rhymes, but for some us the tickle rhyme section is our favourite.

Spending time face-to–face with your child will connect you to them on their own level emotionally and physically. This will help to build strong attachment between you and your child.

There is an increasing body of knowledge about infant mental health that states that a huge part of attachment and positive infant development occurs in face-to–face interactions with parents and significant caregivers.

An infant learns how to adapt to stressors by watching their parent or caregiver’s facial expressions. They learn how to move from a negative to a positive emotional state through many stimuli that pass back and forth from caregiver to infant in face-to-face interactions.

A child learns the positive and fun emotional tones from tickle songs. Tickle songs let you and your child have a fun time together with both of you enjoying each other’s laughter.

A favourite at our Rhymes that Bind programs is the following timeless rhyme:

Round and Round the Garden

Round and Round the Garden (use a gentle tickle motion with your fingers on your child’s palm or tummy in a circle)
Like a teddy bear
One step, two step (walk fingers up the arm or tummy)
And I tickle you under there! (tickle the underarm)

Round and round the garden (use a gentle tickle motion with your fingers on your child’s palm or tummy in a circle)
Through the snow and wind (blow gently on their neck)
One step, two step (walk fingers up the arm or tummy)
I’ll tickle you there again! (tickle the underarm)

When repeated enough times your child will anticipate the tickle as soon as you say, “one step, two steps!

This is one of the many wonderful rhymes that you and your child can learn at our Rhymes that Bind program. Check for a program near you on the Centre for Family Literacy website! Happy tickling!

Thanksgiving Fun for All

thanksWith Thanksgiving right around the corner, most families are gearing up for a weekend of controlled chaos. At one time or another, we have all felt panic from the overwhelming task list that comes with holiday gatherings. It can be difficult to manage making dinner, entertaining family and friends, and spending quality time with the children in our lives—all in a span of 24 hours. Unfortunately, the thing that usually gets dropped from our to-do list is quality time with our children.

However that is the most important item on the list. Spending time with our children, and engaging them in the holiday prep, helps give them the tools and skills they need to time manage in the future. Learning to make decisions about what is needed, and just enjoying time with family are also benefits.

In 3, 2, 1 Fun, we talk with the parents and caregivers about all the different learning opportunities that are available throughout the holidays, and encourage them to include children in the holiday preparations.

Here are a few fun ways to engage your children this Thanksgiving:

Cooking Dinner Together:

Getting your children to help make dinner is a great way to spend quality time with them while teaching them invaluable lifelong skills. Simple tasks like measuring and mixing ingredients allows children to practice fine motor skills, while including math concepts such as numbers, counting, and measuring ingredients.

Making Name Tags / Place Mats / Table Decorations:

Ask your children to help you create seating charts, nametags, and table decorations. This will help them to practice their problem-solving skills, writing skills, fine motor skills, and creativity.

Thanksgiving Scavenger Hunt

Go for a walk together and collect leaves, pinecones, sticks, and berries. You can use these to create a beautiful centerpiece for your table. Talk and ask questions about what you see on the walk to incorporate oral language skills, patterns, and imagination.

These are just a few ways to spend quality time with your children over the holidays. If you would like to expand on these ideas, books and rhymes are a great way to have fun while including more early literacy! Some of our book and rhyme recommendations are:


  • Dragons Loves Tacos by Adam Rubin
  • Cook it Together by Annabel Karmel
  • Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson
  • Listen, Listen by Phillis Gershator


Turkey Polka

The Turkeys like to polka,
They polka everyday.
They polka when they work,
And they polka when they play.
Waddle, waddle, waddle, that’s how they go
Waddle, waddle, waddle, putting on a show!

5 Little Ducks

(This is a great rhyme to use when talking about the ducks and geese leaving for the fall)

5 little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Mama duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack,
But only 4 little ducks came back.

(repeat with 4, 3, 2, 1)

No little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away,
Sad Mama duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
And all 5 little ducks came running back.

To learn more about the 3, 2, 1, Fun! program in Edmonton, go to the Centre for Family Literacy website