The second annual ‘Learning Skills Week,’ took place on the 18th – 21st April. Each of the participants on the women’s education course brought in one of their primary school aged children (or a ‘borrowed’ child!) to the community centre. From Monday to Thursday there were educational activities for mothers and children to do together. These were developed by youngballymun staff and training coordinator Aoife Cooke and assistant training coordinator Betty Pender.
Learning Skills Week started off on Monday with Lána McCarthy from youngballymun using the storysacks. The children were thrilled with their bags and books and had a great time playing snap. The parents showed the children how to use the jigsaw cards which had pictures of animals on them. Some of the mothers and older children read the books to the younger kids. We finished off Monday by playing physical games with the children, ending the morning with a competition to see who could throw the paper planes the furthest!
Breege Breheny and Antoinette Gibbs from youngballymun brought Wally the puppet, who came to talk to the younger children about their feelings. All the mothers and children had great fun showing their emotions through dancing to the music. The older children were challenged to learn how to play Cluedo (it was Colonel Mustard in the Library with the iron bar, by the way!). For the second half of the morning, everyone followed a recipe to make chocolate chip cookies, with the children shaping the biscuits.
On Wednesday morning, Duana Quigley and Martina Gannon came from youngballymun to work with the mothers and the children on language development games. Next, Duana and Martina read the children a story. The story was about a Caterpillar that ate everything in sight. The pictures and colours really caught the kids’ attention. After the story, Duana and Martina gave the mothers their own caterpillar book to read to their children. The mothers and children used mála to make the caterpillar out of the story. The mothers and children also worked with Aoife to create an Easter scene, with the older children making easter chicks and designing a background for the scene, while the younger children painted hardboiled eggs and made nests.
There was a trip to Newbridge House and Farm on Thursday. The group visited the farm animals, had a picnic in the sunshine and then the children went to the playground. It was a lovely end to the week and enjoyed by all. Bridget Maughan, Tammie Keena, Ann McDonagh, Noreen Maughan and Aoife Cooke