The UWSA Daycare Annual Family Picnic was joined by The University of Winnipeg’s TOYBOX team this summer which added fun and games that support literacy, numeracy, and wellness.
The summer day provided perfect wind conditions for a bubble-blowing extravaganza that incorporated science and the art of making great bubbles, of all sizes. Children of all ages were shown different techniques to make bubbles while considering the science of what the bubbles are made of, why they float, and why they pop.
The younger participants in the crowd were also encouraged to focus on fun words to describe the ‘slimy, sticky, drifting, floating bubbles’.
The TOYBOX team who attended the event included project director Dr. Sheri-Lynn Skwarchuk and her interdisciplinary team of undergraduate education students Kristen Blatta, Mikaila Collins and Meagan Nenka with psychology student Alyssa Wright and developmental studies student Grace Mateo.
Collins and Nenka worked behind the scenes to prepare materials, and University of Manitoba’s fine arts student Brian Guevarra created graphic designs for the featured bubble-blowing activity.
“My first time with the TOYBOX crew I got to see the community respond to us with curiosity, warm smiles, and like-minded concern for their children’s fun and well-being through the scope of education,” shared Mateo whose participation in the TOYBOX event is part of her advanced university internship experience. “The bubbles were a big hit. The simplicity and open-ended aspect of the activity intrigued the kids of all ages – including my inner kid!”
The team was also joined by student Sophia Lowe from the Maples MET high school. She became part of the TOYBOX project as part of her grade nine internship in wellness. This summer, Lowe is working alongside three other students from her school and the TOYBOX team thanks to funding support allocated for high school students as part of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Development Grant.
The TOYBOX team provided learning tips for families while engaging in fun activities. Skwarchuk’s project encourages numeracy, literacy, and wellness opportunities while having fun. She noted, “having access to the community through our connection with the UWSA Daycare provided a great opportunity for students to interact with families. At the same time, we connected with parents about the importance of early home learning opportunities.”
TOYBOX is beginning to work with various communities to support learning. If you know of a community that would be interested in having a visit from the TOYBOX team, or for suggestions for more summer-fun learning activities, please visit TOYBOXManitoba.ca.