(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph Youth Alliance held their annual free Children’s Fair at the downtown Civic Arena on Tuesday to encourage kids to learn through play. More than 15 organizations partnered with the non-profit to bring interactive museums, animals, and sensory exercises to engage kids from ages zero to six. That is a vital time of brain development for kids, according to American Pediatric Academy.
“Kids are taking so much in during this age, even babies touching things are learning so much about their world,” said Linda Midyett, Youth Alliance Early Childhood Learning Director.
According to the American Pediatric Academy, a child's brain doubles in size by one year and by age five, the brain is 90 percent developed. That's why experts say, a the foundation of a child’s learning is built during ages zero through six years old. However, children in that age range aren’t necessarily known for having the most concentrated attention plan. That is why the St. Joseph Youth Alliance holds events for children that foster learning through play like the annual Children's Fair.
“That’s what this event is all about, its just to explore and experience and just have fun and while they are playing they are learning,” said Midyett.
This program is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.
Each child that attends receives a book to take home with them to read with their parent or guardian.
"We want to continue that learning and facilitate that learning between parents and children, they (the children) enjoy reading more when their parents take an interest and do it with them," said Midyett.
In the morning session alone, the Children’s Fair saw 340 kids and 244 adults.