FAMILIES from across the region have the opportunity to enjoy a range of free activities as part of National Playgroup Week in Creswick next Wednesday.
Children under five and their families are invited to attend Creswick Play Day - an initiative of Hepburn Health Service (HHS) and Creswick Neighbourhood Centre.
HHS Population Health Coordinator Belinda Buck said family was the strongest influence in a child's life, with playgroup a great setting to develop parent-child relationships through play.
"The importance of play is something that we love to see encouraged among families as it is recognised to promote child development, assist language and literacy and school readiness.
"Families discover that playgroup can offer a range of benefits in a welcoming environment where you can spend quality time with your child and meet other parents and caregivers," she said.
Mum of three Sally Atterbury said she started supported playgroup with her youngest two children, two-year-old Zai and four-year-old Zara this year.
Supported playgroup is a new playgroup program at Hepburn Health which is led by a facilitator who encourages parents to engage with their children through play.
Ms Atterbury said she began attending the program during second term and she and her children loved it.
"It gets us out of the house and gives us the opportunity to meet other people because we are fairly new to town," she said.
Creswick Play Day will involve a range of fun activities - face painting, messy and imaginative play, cultural and environmental activities and dress ups - for children as well as parents and caregivers.
Creswick Library will conduct a story time session before the Tooth Fairy arrives ahead of a healthy morning tea.
Allied Health Services will attend to provide information on maternal and child health, dental services, speech and occupational therapists, councillors and the health promotion team.
The event will take place at Creswick Neighbourhood Centre from 11am on Wednesday, March 27.