When it comes to a baby's playtime, experts say it isn't just fun and games, but an opportunity for parents to teach some basic skills.
Saturday, Baylor Scott & White – Hillcrest Nurse Family Partnership hosted a "Block Party." The first time mothers and their families learned ways to play that would develop a child's basic math and literacy skills.
The Central Texas Literacy Coalition sponsored the event.
Shirley Crockett, Coalition Chair said it's vital to get involved early in childhood literacy.
"This is a project where they are teaching children in different age categories how to play. Of course I'm interested in the literacy part. They tell them how they can talk and interact with their children while they are playing so it's kind of a multifaceted project today," said Crockett.
Four rooms gave parents a chance to interact with their kids. Babies get a chance to play and parents get to learn how to make the most out of the playtime. Mother Joanna Garcia said the program is helping her learn some best practices for her three month old Diana.
"She's getting into that age where she's going to start picking and grabbing stuff so it's good to know what to do, what to look out for so there's no choking hazards things like that," Garcia said.
Some of the activities focused on sensory skills, others on shapes and colors. Experts say early exposure to those skills can have a lasting effect.
"We worked with a program that helps adults with their literacy diploma. Most of them that told us that they had never been read to when they were young children and they never had a role model in the home. The data shows the literacy level of the children is tied to the literacy level of the parent so it's a mutual beneficial program," Crockett said.
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