Share, play, and learn key to kids week (+video)

By Kyra Dawson

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Handy hints like how blowing bubbles can help children learn to read are part of celebrations around Well Child Week.

This week is Well Child Week and to celebrate the Ranolf Medical Centre has joined up with three other community groups to share, play and learn with local children and parents.

The medical centre has been working with the Lakes District Health Board dental service, Rotorua Plunket team and the health board's smokefree team all week to inform parents and kids about the importance of their health and, strangely, bubbles.

Pepe facilitator for Plunket, Sara Parker, said Plunket ran a variety of programmes but this week was about interacting with the children and talking about everyday parenting.

"You wouldn't believe it, but bubbles are actually a fabulous way to encourage children or to give them the skills that they need to learn to read. If you watch any person with bubbles, whether they be young or old, you watch their eyes and they are captivated by the ones in the distance, by the ones that are close, by the ones on the left, the ones on the right."

"So when you go to school and you are encouraged to read, that's exactly what your eyes do, they go left and right, they go into the distance and they come close," she said.

Ranolf Medical Centre business manager Heather Lang said they had been talking with parents and whanau to deliver key messages around strategies for parenting for under fives, as well as demonstrating how to clean teeth.

Mara Whitten from the Lakes DHB dental service said it was great having the different groups in the one place to raise child health awareness and was a great chance to check the children's teeth.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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