As of November 1st, Sanare Centre’s Bonding Bingo is making a return for the winter.Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Focused on providing support for parents throughout the isolation of COVID-19, the Bonding Bingo program is a series of suggested activities sent to those registered via email.
“The program is centered on fun, and social emotional development. So fun social emotional development and relationship building,” said Christina Johnson, executive director of the Sanare Centre. “So what happens is that parents can come through our website and sign up to be part of the program, they can also follow our social media and then starting in November, they will get emails full of activities to do with their children that are free or have low cost that are COVID friendly. And that includes activities they can do, as well as some social emotional tips or tricks. So that we can build or help our children to build social emotional development. So social emotional development is a primary prevention strategy for surrounding sexual assault and domestic violence. But more importantly, what we do know is that through COVID, children have lost approximately one year of social emotional development. So we’re working with our families to assist in building that in a really fun way. So for example, a lot of us are going to carve pumpkins and make Jack O’ Lanterns with our children. So how do we do that in a way that is fun? And we can use different ways to talk about things like feelings and build and build a similar social emotional capacity of our children. It’s going to be a great time.”
As the weather turns colder and more families are spending their time inside, Johnson said that it seemed like the perfect time to introduce this kind of programming, as both children and parents were likely more interested in being outside during the summer months after so long in lockdown.
“Now it’s turning cold. So how do we as families come together in really healthy ways, where we’re not feeling like we’re locked down, but we actually have some great things to do,” said Johnson. “Again, it’s based on fun. We want families to have fun with this. And to really start talking. We did it over the summer, and one lady who did it said to me, it was really nice to not have to plan things for my children. I just got up with the list and said we’re going to do this today. And there was my activity, or we had something we could talk about and it was so nicely planned out for me so we decided to do it again.”
Other examples of activities include egg drop challenges as a way to explore healthy competition, or making maple candy and learning the value of patience. Interested families can register using the Sanare Center’s website, and the event will run from November 1st to January 1st.