We develop and deliver play-based parent-child programs and training in partnership with community organizations. Our goal is to empower parents as their children’s first teachers, and to build capacity for early learning opportunities. We also offer skills development training for professionals who would like to integrate additional family literacy principles and themes into their work with families. These trainings can be tailored to suit your needs and timeframe. Please contact us to discuss these options.
We offer trainings in a variety of parent-child literacy programs for facilitators to run in their home communities. Our staff can also directly deliver parent-child programs on site at family resource centres, schools, child care centres and other community settings. All programs incorporate child-led, play-based learning philosophies into the content.
For more information on any of these training opportunities or to register, please see our Program Descriptions.
We offer a number of theory-based skills development sessions designed for family literacy practitioners, early years staff in child care centres and schools and others working to support families and young children in the development of early learning skills.
Current offerings include:
Baby Talk: Encouraging Language Development with Infants and Toddlers
Focuses on how we can support children’s language development in the early years through sharing practical and interactive strategies to help children engage and communicate with their caregivers. Topics covered include: children’s conversational styles, strategies to encourage interaction and communication, rhymes and stories that build emergent literacy skills, and supporting families as partners in language development.
Childhood: There’s No App for That!
Focuses on family literacy inspired strategies to help parents, caregivers and professionals manage screen time use – both in their own lives, as well as in the lives of the children around them.
Colouring Outside the Lines
Explores the concept that creativity is a bridge to learning and an important part of a young child’s development and includes how we can develop early learning environments that support creative thinking and kinesthetic learning through the arts.
Provides tips to help facilitators build their skills and effectiveness when working with groups. Topics covered include: learning styles, exploring leadership roles, using positive group management, effective problem solving, and team building.
First Friends: Developing Empathy and Building Peer Relationships in the Early Years
Focuses on providing early literacy resources, tools and strategies that support the emerging social-emotional skills of children from birth to 6
Growing Strong STEMS – Supporting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Concepts in the Early Years
Shares practical skills, tips and resources for implementing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning into early childhood settings.
Learning As We Go: Literacy Strategies to Support Young Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Offers the opportunity to discuss early literacy resources, tools and strategies that can be used to support the continued learning of children from birth to 6 during challenging times. Topics covered include: an environmental scan of the current early years landscape, possible long term repercussions of physical distancing on pre-school development, the importance of relationships in a socially distant world, and practical strategies that can be employed to enhance healthy child development during these times.
Physical Literacy 101
Defines physical literacy and its impact on health, brain development, and mental awareness; recognizes that access to active play is essential for healthy development; promotes physical literacy with families and communities.
Positive Pathways: Literacy Strategies to Promote Resilience in Early Childhood
Focuses on providing early learning resources, tools and strategies to support building a positive emotional foundation and childhood resilience; this workshop is designed for those working with the birth to 6 age group in a family literacy setting.
Read, Rhyme, Sing, & Play
Explores a variety of creative and fun literacy extension ideas based on rhymes, songs, and book examples provided. This is an interactive workshop that will have you whistling a new tune while channeling your inner creative artist with new literacy-based activities that can be integrated into current programming.
Sharing Stories, Celebrating Diversity: Books as Mirrors and Windows
Looks at multi-language and diverse children’s books and activities complemented with strategies on how caregivers and professionals can extend literacy concepts to invite children to learn language, culture and acceptance of differences. Supports the fundamentals of family literacy while celebrating diverse cultures, creeds, abilities and gender. Participants will receive literacy activity ideas as well as recommendations for books that are inclusive, cultivate compassion, awareness, and a broader world-view.
Skinned Knees: The Benefits of Risky Play
Discusses the science behind the benefits of risky play, how risky play impacts literacy and learning, and how access to active outdoor play is essential for healthy child development.
Take it Outside!: Integrating Literacy and Nature
Focuses on sharing a variety of ways of extending literacy concepts using childrens’ books with a nature theme and the outdoor environment as a learning tool.
Working With Newcomer Families
Provides tools, strategies and resources for those working with newcomer families in family literacy settings.
Bookmates has experienced staff that deliver presentations to your group of parents, volunteers, and/or professionals on a wide variety of family learning topics, such as interactive play, literacy activities for home, or numeracy.
These workshops provide hands-on opportunities for parents/caregivers/professionals to acquire new resources to help young children build strong literacy skills.
Book Bag Workshop
A Book Bag is a large cloth bag containing a children’s book and related activities to help bring reading to life. This workshop guides parents or community groups to create a themed Book Bag with a good quality book and related learning activities consisting of props, scenery and characters and games based on the story, and reading tips and activity ideas for parents to use in the home.
This workshop provides fun and innovative strategies for creating meaningful, personalized books. Some bookmaking ideas include: bathtub books, paper bag books, folding books, pop-up books and laminated board books.
Family Learning Olympics Workshop
Family Learning Olympics support family and intergenerational learning as parents, grandparents and children of all ages engage in literacy and numeracy activities. This workshop provides all the information you would need to run your own “Family Learning Olympics” event in your community. We also have ready made kits available for loan. Please contact us for more information.
Literacy Activities For Families (LAFF)
This workshop focuses on introducing participants to a variety of hands-on activities, rhymes and songs that can be used in work with families who have young children from 0-5.
Our self-published books are available through Bookmates’ office.
Click here to order any of the books listed below.