Parent Made Developmental Toys: Integrating Parenting, Self-Esteem, Literacy & Fun

The EvenStart curriculum focuses on hands-on, sensori-motor learning materials for both parent and child. Parents make developmental toys during the ABLE sessions and also manipulate materials when they focus on their own learning needs. As a part of the integrated curriculum, each strength of the system is numbered.

The Parent Made Developmental Toys: Each parent makes activities to take home from classes; they serve as an incentive and emotional draw (1) to come each week.

Each activity serves a variety of developmental stages (2) so multi-child families can use one material.

The parent learns how to stimulate each of his/her children and receives the appropriate child development information (3) as well as strategies for behavior encouragement and parenting information (4). Since the parents made the material, are proud of their product and know how to use it, we expect them to engage in quality PACT time (5) more frequently at home, building a strong home toy library (6) that is usually absent in less child-centered homes. The parent sees that homemade toys (7) and not necessarily store bought toys serve t heir children's growth.

They observe their child's development (8) as children learn higher level skills and concepts.

The projects themselves are designed with specific lessons inherent (9): oral language, written language, reading, math, social skills, large muscle, problem solving strategies, or everyday-living skills.

Parents, in the process of making the toys, learn skills (10) like carpentry, sewing, and crafting.

The activity also supports their literacy development (11) through reading and following direction, team work, discussion, brainstorming, measurement and math skills, and critical thinking.

The approach unites EvenStart goals of Adult and Child Development, Parent Education and PACT in an integrated curriculum (12).

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