Education student helping young child with craftTeacher candidates hosted children and families for play-based learning activities at the Early Years Carousel, March 4 at the Faculty of Education.

Education students host carousel of activities for children

The fourth annual Early Years Carousel, hosted March 4 by teacher candidates in the Early Years Service-Learning Specialization Course, brought more than 120 families to the Education Building for a half-day of free play-based learning activities for children ages 4 to 8.

The class had worked since September on planning for the event, which also raised awareness of community resources and supports by bringing in local agencies and businesses that provide services for families.

The project bridges theory to practice and builds teacher leadership, said instructor Sara Shahbazi.

“From observing and volunteering in kindergarten classrooms to implementing open-ended and play-based provocations for their classmates, the candidates continued to familiarize themselves with developmentally appropriate activities and approaches,” she said. “This led them to create seven interactive activities that supported child-led play and encouraged families to connect, play, and explore together.”

The students were also responsible for funding the event and raised over $3,000, which they used to create grab bags for every child, provide snacks and entertainment, and donate the remainder to community organizations.

“The success of the event was evident not only in the smiles of those who attended, but in their conversations and feedback,” Dr. Shahbazi said.

Watch a video of the Early Years Carousel:

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