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Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre plans special day for dads and children

Saturdays now belong to dads and kids.
Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre is launching a free 15-week program on Saturdays that will bring dads and their children together for a few hours of play that aids early brain development.
“The play is different with dad,” Kids First family program co-ordinator Colleen Beck said. “The play is fantastic with dad. The play with dad is more rough and tumble versus mom. Mom is more gentle, more worried about bumps and bruises.”
“Dads play in a different way, and the kids’ brains develop in a different way. With the rough and tumble play the kids are doing a lot more problem-solving and decision-making, which leads to them building confidence. They’re building a solid brain for the future.”
Beginning Jan. 21, “DADurdays” runs from 10 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday at the new family centre.
The drop-in program is for children aged five and under.
The program developed after Beck suggested opening the family centre on Saturdays to fathers and children.
“The moms are here from Monday to Friday, so let’s get the dads in the building,” Beck explained.
The “DADurdays” program will promote the involvement of fathers in a child’s life and offer some education about early brain development while giving men and children a time and place to play together.
Fathers and children will use the family centre’s free play activity room as well as the planned programs area.
They will have the use of the climbing wall, the activity centre as well as toys.
“We just really want to give dads that opportunity to come in and have that one-on-one play,” Beck said.
The educational component of the program will be casual, with displays on early brain development and the benefits of fathers being involved with children, as well as some take home literatures.
A few Extreme DADurdays will be held during which special activities will be planned, such as a Lego day or working in the kitchen to prepare healthy snacks. The first Extreme DADurday will have the fathers and children making a Valentine’s Day craft for mothers.
“You’re going to connect with other people in the community, which is fantastic,” Beck said. “It’s a great way for you to bring your kids out into the community. It’s a great way for them to meet other kids.”
“Really it’s just about the dads connecting with the kids.”

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