These activities are also available in Romanianro_ro and Dutch 

The activities in this section are fun games that help and encourage young children to learn. They can do this together with adults they know well, in a familiar environment and in their own language.

During the activities, young children work together with an adult from their immediate family. This could be the mother, a grandmother, an aunt, a sister, or the father, an uncle, brother or grandfather. For convenience, we have called them parent-child activities, but the ‘parent’ does not have to be the mother or father of the child.

Why should children and adults do these activities together?

  • It is important for a child’s development to be able to play and talk with an adult.
  • Children learn most things, including social skills, from a trusted person in the family. For example: “Be careful, listen to…, wait your turn.”
  • Children learn best in the language they know best. In most cases, the adult (parent) naturally uses the language that they themselves speak most fluently when speaking to with the child. This may be a different language or a different dialect than what the child hears in the media.
  • Adults who cannot (yet) read and write also learn from the activities.

Why use the child’s native language as much as possible?

  • Children learn best in their own language.
  • Children feel more at ease when their native language is spoken.
  • The participants are encouraged to talk to each other more and will find this easier if they can speak their native language.
  • It improves one’s self-esteem if one’s language is considered important enough to use for these types of activities.

(If the group leader does not know the native language of the group, he/she can try to learn it, just as children at school need to learn the national language in order to communicate and function there.)

The way the activities are done will be different for each group because:

  • There are age differences; some groups consist mainly of very young children, others include children who are almost ready to go to school;
  • The participants have different levels of development;
  • The children may have a preference for certain activities–as a leader you may know what these are;
  • You as a leader have a preference for certain activities;
  • You have a flexible program: whether or not you use a faith-based story, when and whether you pause for a snack break; when and whether there is a time for the children to play, etc.
  • Because the order in which the games are played depends on the local situation.