Virtual story time popular among families

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A virtual story time is proving popular among young Central Otago families.
In response to Covid-19 restrictions, early-childhood sustainability adviser Abi Hawkins has been hosting a weekly story time session, alongside ideas for learning-based activities for young families.

The concept, provided through the Central Otago Reap Facebook page, is one she has offered since the early stages of the lockdown and it has been a great success.
“There’s been quite a lot of views. There was over 1000 views the first week, then 300 to 600 views [over the following weeks]. So people are watching it.”

Initially, she had hoped to do numerous sessions throughout each week, but due to the time it takes to put it all together she has offered it once a week, consisting of a 15 to 20-minute slot of story time and about 15 minutes of activities.

The aim was to give children something to do and to give parents some ideas for learning based entertainment, which could extend into the garden. “I hope it helps [families] out a little bit,” she said. “It’s getting them outdoors and [going on] adventures in the garden — using your imagination.”

Recycled items have been a handy material, among other things she said. “I was trying to think of simple things you can do.” Ms Hawkins selects a theme, such as animals or numbers, each week, which gives her the inspiration for the activities.