The Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program at Park Rapids Area Schools had an ‘Ooey Gooey Night’ open house Thursday evening outside the Frank White Education Center.
The free program was open to families with small children and involved them in a variety of messy activities, such as squishing shaving cream between their fingers, smearing finger paint all over a table, pulling off pieces of stretchy green slime and digging through pans of multi-colored spaghetti.
Amanda Handyside has a daughter, about 3, and a son, about 1, who will be attending ECFE on Tuesday mornings.
“This is our first time here,” she said, noting that the ECFE open house didn’t take place last year due to COVID-19.
Handyside called it nice to get back into the fun and “just getting to see who will be in the class this year.”
Thomas Tomperi was there with his daughter Sophia, 2. Asked what he thought of Ooey Gooey Night, he said, “It’s excellent. The first time I’ve heard of it, actually.”
As for how he feels about sending one of his two kids off to preschool, Tomperi said, “You kinda can’t wait, but yet it’s kind of, to me, a little scary, too, at the same time.”
But he appreciated the opportunity to get to know the ECFE families and staff. “This is wonderful,” he said. “It’s great for the community, great for the kids. It’s a good time, that’s for sure.”