By Lindsay Owens Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — Purdue Extension and the Washington Carnegie Public Library youth department are joining forces to host a Block Party educational event Friday from 10:30 a.m. until noon at the library. The block party event will be an opportunity for children ages 2 to 5 and their families to play with various types of blocks.
“We’ll have five stations set up each with different types of blocks,” said Jennifer Stefancik, Purdue Extension Health and Human Services Educator. “There’s a lot of research that shows playing with blocks provides children with many benefits.”
A news release about the event from Purdue Extensions states that early block play provides aptitude and achievement differences by the seventh grade and into high school as well as teaches impulse control which can lead to better school performance and fewer behavior problems later on among other things.
Playing with blocks can also help with math, science, and social skills as well as new words, pre-reading skills, physical skills and creativity and problem solving.
Each participating family will be given a booklet to take home that provides parenting tips as well as information on how they can help their children develop each skill.
Lori Osmon, youth services librarian said the new program fits the theme of many of the other programs offered in the youth department. “This is a great opportunity for some of the younger children to work on different skills,” said Osmon who said that many children and families and already expressed interest in attending the event. “Registration for the event isn’t required but we’ve had several say that they will be coming.”
Osmon said block play is also a part of the collaborative summer library reading manual for 2014.
Stefancik said that while most children will rotate from station to station, if a child seems to be engaged with one type of block rather than another, the child can stay at that particular station. “If they do this, the children just may not make it through all of the stations,” Stefancik said.”This is just a chance for parents to interact with their children and for children to enjoy learning.”
In addition to the Block Party, the library’s youth department offers many other educational and interactive programs including Toddler Time on April 11 and April 25 for two and three year olds where children will enjoy stories, rhymes, songs, and crafts focused on different themes each week. Lego Fun at the Library for children ages six and up will be April 3 and Legos will be provided. Additional programs are also offered throughout the year.
For more information on the youth programs offered or to register for a program, contact the library at 812-254-4586.