Most programmes are 6-8 weeks in duration, depending on the topic, interest and abilities of the children in the group. The sessions are 1-1.5 hours long and are a mixture of activities, art, quizzes, brainstorming, games and teamwork.
Healthy Living Programme, the aim is to educate the children in self care and to promote healthy habits.
Here is an example of how each week can look during the Healthy Living programme:
Introduction to the topic, and group discussion on what we need to be healthy. Then we discuss unhealthy choices. Look at magazines, and make collages of healthy living – exercise/ fruit & vegetables/ playing outside/being with friends/ getting enough sleep etc. and collages of unhealthy habits such as too much fast food, smoking, drinking to excess, gaming until late at night etc. Recap and end session.
Recap on week 1. Healthy food choices, so this week we look at the children’s weekly diet, what they like to eat/ dislike. We then choose a meal to make using fresh ingredients for the following week. The activity this week is to expand the children’s tastes, we play a game of Blind Food Tasting, children are blindfolded and have to guess different foods- we try to introduce them to new fruits, vegetables, things like humus, yogurts, sauces , crackers etc. we mix flavours and textures. It’s fun and the children also get to feed the adults too!
Food and Exercise. Cook healthy dinner from scratch, and discuss healthy options for lunches and dinners. Look at the Food Pyramid and what the different food groups are, what we need for energy, calcium etc. Healthy swaps for example swap crisps to popcorn. Fruits juice to water. Then we do a fun exercise activity, such as dance , basketball or drama games.
Hand Hygiene. How to wash your hands, why we need to wash our hands. We make posters for the Project about hand washing. Show the children how germs spread by using the paint touch experiment i.e. put green paint on a child’s hand and let them walk around the room, the paint represents the germs on his hand, and shows how our hands touch door handles, then we might touch our face, open a press etc.
Oral hygiene. How to brush our teeth properly. The local Dental Nurse usually gives us a short talk on hidden food sugars and oral hygiene. Children get a toothbrush and toothpaste at end of the session.
Hair Hygiene. What are head lice, how to treat them, tying our hair back, make posters on nit busters. We then recap the 6 weeks, evaluate the programme with the children, what parts they liked/ disliked. All children receive a wash bag with shampoo, conditioner, brush, deodorant etc.
Children choose 6 weeks recipes of savoury and sweet bakes.
Over the 6 weeks the children learn to read and follow a recipe, weigh and measure the ingredients. Share the scales, sieves etc. after baking the cakes, they have to clean up their work area and utensils. The group also learn about safety in the kitchen, hot ovens, sharp knives, using chopping boards and so on. The children can then decorate their cakes, using their creativity.
So the Baking Programmes combines maths, literacy skills, social skills like sharing, task completion, tidying up , health and safety, artistic skills and all while having fun!!
Aosóg staff work closely with parents to support them in their role as parents, to build their capacity and skills, and to empower them to provide a safe, caring environment for their children.
Aosóg offers informal and formal educational groups including:
Aosóg is an active participant in the child and family support network (CFSN), also known as the Children and Youth Action Group. This Network comprises of all local agencies who work with children and young people from 0-20 years. Aosóg is part of the Events, Lobbying and Children at Risk subgroups.
Aosóg staff participate in the Meitheal process and staff are trained as lead practitioners.
The Project is also part of the ABC Consortium for the Dublin 7 area.
The Aosóg Family Room is also available for family meetings, and access visits by Tusla Social/ Access Workers upon request.
The Project Leader is also a Parenting Support Champion, and promotes Tusla’s Parenting 24/7 initiative, and good parenting practice.