I’m sure that I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but there is a reason for that! Raising children here on this little sliver of sand is truly an amazing gift, much in part to the Children & Youth Partnership for Dare County and all that they do to educate and empower our youth.
On Friday, my tiny Lulu and I headed down to Roanoke Island Festival Park for the 12th Annual KidsFest hosted by Children & Youth Partnership, or CYP. She continuously called it “Kid Party” and had been asking about it all week. So when Friday morning finally arrived, she was thrilled to pick up Grandma and head to the most epic kid party ever! The minute we walked in, Lulu was so excited to get her very own fire chief hat and she took her time exploring the fire truck.
This was our first KidsFest that I didn’t get to take Penny, who is now in full-day kindergarten. It felt a little strange not to have her there and I found myself questioning why the event takes place on a Friday when so many of our kids are in school. A quick glance at their Facebook page answered my question because they had responded to so many others and had answered it with the perfect explanation.
“Just as a little bit of back story for why KidsFest is on a Friday morning; KidsFest in Dare County was actually started as part of the Week of the Young Child, which celebrates young kids (ages birth-five), their families, and especially, their early care providers. The event was originally a picnic held in April, but with the growth of the event and the fickle weather April can bring, it moved to May. By having the event on a Friday morning, it allows local preschools and child care programs to attend the event with the kids in their care, giving a fun field trip for the children and educators during their school day, and providing a special morning for the focus to be on the young kid in the family.”
But the Children & Youth Partnership for Dare County doesn’t stop at KidsFest for the youngsters of Dare County. There are so many amazing events and programs that they host and support throughout the entire year. From parenting seminars and the Soundside Funfair, to the Play & Learn Library, CYP has all of the parenting and childhood bases covered. We’re so grateful for this incredible resource here on the beach and Lulu and I loved our time at Friday’s “Kid Party!” My little beach baby was drawn to all of the water activities like bubbles and washing the pretend cars, but her favorite was fishing for ocean trash at the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s booth as she saved the ocean life. Just when Lulu was finally starting to show signs that nap time was approaching, she saw the Coast Guard boat and she couldn’t wiggle out of my arms and up the steps to the boat fast enough.
From soccer nets, faux axe throwing, tractors and ambulance exploration, I know that our little one had a truly wonderful day. I found myself dreaming up amazing Summer ideas for outdoor play inspired by the wonderful booths that we found at KidsFest! I already put a new outdoor kiddie pool, toy ocean creatures and a small net in my Amazon shopping cart to replicate the booth from the NC Coastal Federation.
We love Orbeez, so we’re also excited to create a brand new sensory box like this one that the National Park Service of Hatteras had! Our girls are so obsessed with sea turtles, so I know they are going to love pretending that the sea turtles are hatching! We will be continuing this Kid Party all Summer long thanks to the inspiration that CYP left me with!