Onkaparnga Council

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Day out with Dad

Children see libraries as a magical place to play and learn, and naturally they want to share their sense of wonder with their parents.

But Team Leader at Aldinga and Willunga Libraries, Andrew Berney, says often it’s mum in the library with the kids rather than dad.

So the “Dad and Me” initiative was created, and Andrew says, “It’s really about connecting dads with their kids in a library setting”.

“We aimed to get dads to come into the library with their children and take part in some fun activities.”

Children inspired the idea, after many responded to a survey asking what they would like in the library with, “I want to have dad here”.

“The kids really love to spend time with their dads and perhaps don’t get the opportunity to do so,” Andrew says.

“We get them engaged in activities, and kids also love to make fun of their dads in a playful way and dads actually like playing up to it as well.”

The series of technology-based sessions, funded by the Department of Social Services through Communities for Children, are playful and fun.

GooRoo Animation” is a workshop that teaches children and their dads how to create Claymation movies, crafting and filming clay figures.

“It fosters that creative side of children, and then we use animation software on iPads to film the movie,” Andrew says.

“We play them back to the other groups and everyone comments and laughs, and there’s also a focus on learning, on teaching the kids about animation.”

In “Makey Makey” children and their dads make instruments using interesting materials, and “Little Bits” is an electronic activity using wires and circuit boards.

“Dads like to make things but we like to link it to technology because children are growing up with technology,” Andrew says.

“They’re digital natives, so we try to bridge that gap for dads as well so they can understand a little bit more about how their children are thinking in a connected world.”

Most of the children at “Dad and Me” are between 8 and 12 years old but everyone, including mum, is welcome to come along. Visit Onkaparinga Libraries to sign up.

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