2016 is the Year of the Dad in Scotland. Lots of events have taken place to celebrate it, including the Dads’ Festival of Talent at Lawfield Primary School.
It’s all about recognising and supporting dads’ parenting skills and talents, because research shows that the involvement of dads really gives their children a good start in life. That includes stepdads, granddads, uncles and other male carers.
That is why Midlothian Sure Start have a service dedicated to dads and male carers. This includes playgroups for dads and other male carers at the weekends, a time that is often more “dad friendly”.
The playgroups are called Dynamic Dads, and they are a time for male carers to spend quality play time with their children.
They meet in Mayfield and Penicuik. But at Dynamic Dads sessions men also get a chance to meet each other as parents or child carers, and build friendships and social networks which otherwise might be difficult to make.
A new development this year has been the Dads’ Saturday Adventure Play Club which meets at Lawfield Primary school once a month. It is open to all male carers and their children and is supported by Midlothian Sure Start and Midlothian Association of Play.
“It’s great fun for both the children and the dads,” said Kevin Park, a dad at Lawfield.”But the best thing is the way the dads just get stuck in and help out, and get to know each other as well.”
Kevin and his son Declan help organise the sports activities of the Lawfield club, although there’s lots of different things to do for all primary age groups, both girls and boys.
The term has ended with a football match between dads from Lawfield Primary and Prestonpans Infant School. Families came to support and the dads were exhausted but happy at the referee’s final whistle! A return game is planned in September. Who knows, perhaps there will soon be a Lothians Dads’ League soon!
A whole summer of fun is planned by Dynamic Dads, so please get in touch with Midlothian Sure Start if you want to know more!