COC hosting 16th annual Play Day for children and families

Malik Forte, 20 months, plays in bubble solution at the annual Week of the Young Child Play Day on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Samie Gebers/The Signal

As part of the nationally celebrated Week of the Young Child, the College of the Canyons Center for Early Childhood Education (ECE) continues its annual tradition of bringing Santa Clarita families together for a day of play Saturday at the Valencia campus.

The ECE is teaming up with the Southern California Valley Committee (SCVC) to give young families the opportunity to just go out and play with their children, as well as explore the resources available to them through the college and the community, according to Wendy Ruiz, event coordinator and faculty member at ECE.

This free event is open to the public and will feature a variety of activities for children of all ages, such as infant and toddler play areas, obstacle courses, face painting, water play, sensory tables, self-defense training, a drum circle and even a life-size Connect 4 game, Ruiz said.

“A lot of these types of events are for older children, but every activity (at the Play Day) is truly for the young children infant through school age,” Ruiz said.

Approximately 35 local organizations and nonprofits that are dedicated to providing services for children and their families are expected to participate in this year’s Play Day.

From left to right, Genessee Therasse, Lilly Jennings, 5, and Philyssa Therasse, 5, brush away ice to excavate toys at the annual Week of the Young Child Play Day on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Samie Gebers/The Signal

“There will be a little bit of everything,” Ruiz said. “The whole goal of this event is to instill the value of play for our families. All the groups that come are required to provide an interactive and engaging play experience.”

Families will also receive a raffle ticket for attending, and have a chance to win baskets or experiences provided by the organizations.

“What’s great about this event is that everyone is on the same page,” Ruiz said. “It is really just about the community, children and their families and introducing them to different experiences. It shows them that play doesn’t have to cost money.”

There will be free water provided and food available for purchase from vendors, but families are welcome to bring a picnic lunch instead.

The COC children’s Play Day is scheduled 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the COC Honor Grove on the college’s Valencia campus located at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Valencia. Make sure to look for the signs directing you to the event. Free parking will be available in any of the college’s lots, but lots No. 2 and 4 will be closest to the event. For more information about the event, contact Wendy Ruiz at 661-644-2752 or [email protected].

Daniel Ibarra, 6, swings on recycled materials provided by Santa Clarita Adventure Play at the annual Week of the Young Child Play Day on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Samie Gebers/The Signal

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