Article by Rodney Chester
Photo by Kevin Bull
OPEN up a parenting magazine, and you can soon be overwhelmed at the activities on offer that will introduce your children to everything from the physical activity of gymnastics to music appreciation.
Here are three activities that have something a little different to offer.
SOMETIMES it is the simple things that work the best.
The Butterfly Wings child-parent program is a free, community-based program where parents sing traditional and contemporary songs and nursery rhymes and play with their children.
There are 30 Butterfly Wings community programs run around the state which are co-ordinated by people such as retired teachers, speech pathologists, school chaplains and child health nurses.
Butterfly Wings started as a pilot program at the Springwood Community Centre, south of Brisbane, in February 2004, and was inspired by research which showed how mental stimulation at a young age can boost children’s IQ.
Butterfly Wings co-ordinator Gwen Rayner says the free sessions go for 90 minutes and attract parents with children from just a few weeks old to pre-Prep age.
“Every rhyme and song that is shared with a parent has a purpose,” Rayner says.
“What’s different about Butterfly Wings is the why. It’s not just the how of singing the rhymes or telling them about singing rhymes, we say why,” she says.
“It’s early literacy, it’s relationship building, it’s all to do with attachment.”