“I never got to experience anything like this when I was a child,” a mom in the Strong Families Program said, smiling to Back2Back staff. The families were heading home from the community center after a day of carnival fun.
Day of the Child is a Mexican holiday held in April. Traditionally, local volunteers gather families together for games and celebration, but this year that wasn’t possible. “We still wanted to celebrate the day with the families and honor this tradition for them, so we planned a carnival for the families to enjoy,” explained Amy Kelly, Back2Back staff.
The carnival had seven different stations consisting of a marble game, Nerf game, darts, bingo, a memory game, and a life-sized version of chutes and ladders! The families were encouraged to complete each station in whatever order they wanted. “Our goal was simply to facilitate the day, as staff,” explained Amy. “We really just wanted to hold space for the families to connect, laugh, and play together.”
It was an afternoon filled with joy and reconnection. As the day came to an end, a local convenience store, Oxxo, donated toys and clothes which allowed each family to go home with a large bag of new items for their homes. They also went home with a meal in to-go boxes to enjoy together later.
“It was fun to see not only the kids having fun together, but the parents connecting and allowing their inner child out, too,” shared Amy. “So many of them were not offered experiences like this as children, so it was a blessing to deposit positive experiences and words into their belief systems.”
It was a fun day of memory making, and everyone will remember it as a day of play and connection.