Children laugh, learn at Kids’ Day

PARKERSBURG – The annual Kids’ Day program on Saturday offered children the chance to play and learn through crafts and games at the City Park Pavilion in Parkersburg.

Event coordinator Kristin Walker said the event is in its 15th year and drew about 150 children on Saturday for two hours of activities provided by the West Virginia Association for Family and Community Education and the Parkersburg/Wood County Public Library.

“It’s wonderful,” said Rose Scott, of Belpre, said of Saturday’s program, to which she brought her grandchildren. “We like coming to events like this, educational ones.”

Saturday’s visit was Scott’s first to the Kids’ Day program but she is looking forward to bringing her grandchildren back next year.

Parkersburg resident Sandy Harding said Saturday was the second time she had brought her 6-year-old granddaughter, Jenna, to the Kids’ Day program.

“I think it’s great. The kids are having a good time making all different kinds of crafts and it’s very nice,” she said.

Over the years, the Kids’ Day program has used fun activities to teach children from ages 4-10 about math, literacy, fitness and health, social development and science, Walker said.

The Kids’ Day program began in 1998 and has a different theme each year. Walker said this year’s theme highlighted the 15-year history of the program with some favorite activities from the past, including making play dough from scratch, coloring, painting and games.

Sports activities included the “treasure walk,” which is like a cake walk but with a toy prize, and games of ring toss and mini-bowling. Other activities included making “story quilts” out of construction paper and colored yarn as well as planting a bean in a moistened paper towel to start it sprouting.

“Our goal each year is to provide the community with enriching activity ideas that families can take and do at home,” Walker said.

In a change from previous years, the program also provided space for one local school to conduct a fundraising activity during Kids’ Day. Walker said the Neale School PTO had an engraving station where families could have engraved tags were made and sold.

“(They) were very busy the entire time,” she said, adding that success may lead the Kids’ Day program to offer similar opportunities at future events for local school groups and organizations.