Preschool youngsters from Bent, Otero and Crowley Counties gathered on Wednesday for an event sponsored by the tri-county Early Childhood Council at Thymes Square Building on the corner of Third and Colorado in La Junta.

Some of the organizations present were Robin’s Day Care of La Junta, Jane’s World of Rocky Ford, Jump Start from Las Animas, the Cheraw Preschool plus volunteers from the Cheraw High School, Bent County Early Learning Center, Kid’s Campus from Ordway, Little Treasures from La Junta, Tri-County Family Care Center, and Otero Junior College Early Learning Center. Representing the Culture of Wellness in Preschool from Denver were Peter Medina and Lisa Gonzales. Representing the Early Childhood Council of Bent, Otero and Crowley Counties were Shana Santistevan and Holly Pacheco of Cheraw preschool, plus numerous others whose names were not recorded.

Milton Whipple and Cherish Raso represented Otero Junior College Early Learning Center. Several parents and their two-year-olds were brought to the event by the Tri-County Family Center in Rocky Ford.

The games were suited to the three and four-year olds for whom they were intended. The colorful parachute game was mostly directed by Medina. Child-sized handgrips are placed on the edge of a colorful parachute at  child-sized intervals. The youngsters took the hand grips and followed directions from the leader to lift the parachute, bounce it, take the parachute down.

A follow-the-leader game was directed by Gonzales, using cones in a path to weave around, jump over and go around. Each child also carried a small disc in one hand or the other to manipulate as the leader did.

Both floors of the building featured activities for preschool children. There were numerous bean bag games involving targets large and small. A bowling game, brought by the Cheraw group, featured a red rubber ball and bowling pins which actually fell over in patterns like real bowling pins.

The OJC Early Learning Center run by Raso and Whipple had a coloring table with pens and patterns as well as a table with blue rubber ducks and other small objects.

The three and four-year-olds manipulated the activities with ease. The two-year-olds who attended with their parents appeared to be puzzled but willing to explore. A gathering like this is no easy task. It is a once-a-year presentation, sponsored by the Early Childhood Council of Bent, Otero and Crowley Counties. Some of the larger preschool groups, such as the Columbian Early Learning Center and First Impressions of La Junta held their own celebrations for Week of the Young Child.