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The Ballarat Foundation recently brought the Ballarat Reads Pop Up program to the Begonia Festival. It was lots of fun, with lots of little smiling faces dropping by to see what games and books were on offer. The Ballarat Reads Pop Up Program is an extension of the existing program whereby books are posted to children on a monthly basis.

We had lots of books out for kids to enjoy and read with their parents. It was a good chance for kids (and the mums and dads) to grab a cushion and sit down and rest their tired legs from walking around the Botanical Gardens! As we know, its so important to get kids reading. It increases their vocabulary, builds upon their understanding of the world and enhances their communication and problem solving skills.

The Pop Up program also includes plenty of literacy based games and activities for children to play. We had magnetic letters, colourful alphabet blocks, tactile stacking pebbles, tracing games and word cards; all the activities were fun but has a learning outcome involved. Children learn best as they are playing, so it was wonderful to watch the kids enjoying themselves with games and books throughout the long weekend.

Playing games with children develops early literacy skills such as vocabulary, knowledge of letters and sounds, and awareness of books and stories. Activities can develop fine motor skills that allow them to develop practical skills such as grip pencils, scissors and pens. Children can also explore, develop social skills and self-confidence and become curious learners.

We had a wonderful time at the Begonia Festival and thank you to all the little happy faces who popped in to play and learn.