Why I love Toddler Time: Development + Being around other adults!
I am so grateful for Toddler Time. It’s one of those activities that has become a regular part of our week and something I look forward to as it’s one of the best sanity savers I have found! It’s made even better by the fact that it’s really good for my son!! First 5 forever Toddler time helps to develop language, pre-literacy, communication and social skills! As a parent, it develops my getting-out-of-the-house-by-a-set-time skills and also develops my knowledge of nursery rhyme lyrics! There’s often the same faces at the regular session we go to, so there’s also the added benefit of some adult conversation post-group and a play in the park afterwards to really seal the deal on an awesome nap. Are you in? You should be 😊
If you haven’t heard of it before, First 5 Forever Toddler Time is a FREE music session held at libraries across Brisbane, Logan and Ipswich. It goes for 30 minutes and is usually held in a group room in the library (read: toddlers are contained!). It does require parent participation – which may not sound appealing to some of us with less than stellar singing voices, but don’t let that stop you! Literally, nobody cares that you can’t carry a tune. It’s like the power of a large group of parents in one space evens you out and nobody can even tell that you don’t actually know the tune/words. It’s important to take the parent participation part seriously though. Your child will often not only watch the librarian leading the session, but will look to you for cues about whether it’s ok to join in.
What happens during the session?
Now there’s probably some differences depending on your library and the librarians that run the program. But this is how ours goes. We all rush into the library when the doors open at 10am and find a space towards the outside of the room, forming a circle… well as close to a circle as a bunch of toddlers, their parents and their bags can make. Our library now has coloured foam circles to sit on (mostly for the kids… but let’s face it, we’re used to everything being for the kids by now!), which my son sometimes sits on, sometimes places on my lap and sits on us both and sometimes he pushes it around the room.
Our librarian (shout out to Kevin and Grace – our 2 regulars!) then introduces themselves, does all of the usual responsible things like pointing exits and change rooms and then we start with a welcome song. The starting and ending songs are always the same, which is great for toddlers as it’s nice and predictable- this song means we’re starting and this song means it’s almost time to rush out into the library and scour the shelves for wiggles books.
The session is made up of some old school nursery rhymes that you might vaguely recall from your childhood, some classics (wheels on the bus, open shut them – all the hits!) and some songs played on a cd player that are more dance/action focused (including some wiggles favourites and the hokey pokey at our library!).
What do the kids get out of it?
SO much!! They’re learning vocabulary from the songs, learning concepts like quiet and loud, fast and slow. There’s usually a song or two that involves counting. They learn to share space with kids of a similar age and get practise listening to other adults. PLUS they learn actions that go with songs and learn how to coordinate their little bodies to do the actions at the right time (or even at the wrong time- it’s a start!).
Are the kids supposed to sit still? Mine doesn’t…
No! But they can sit still if they want to! I find my toddler can vary from week to week. Sometimes, he wants dance and high five the closest kid. Sometimes, he waits until the very last song to leave my lap. He gets heaps out of it no matter what and always wants to come back.
What do you get out of it?
Half an hour where you don’t have to think of something to entertain your toddler! Not enough? Meeting other parents in your local area who have kids that are around the same age. Some extra songs to add to your nursery rhyme repertoire that might mean you get to sing something other than baby shark (not that I’m knocking baby shark- it’s bringing my toddler absurd amounts of joy currently).
Ok, sign me up! What do I do now?
Oh you don’t actually sign up anywhere… You literally just rock up at the start time and sit down. (And sorry if this has sounded like I’m being paid to say lovely things about toddler time. I haven’t been! I just love Toddler Time this much and want to share it with as many Brisbane Mum’s and Dad’s as I can!).
However, you will need to know when it’s on. One way to find out would be to go to your local library and ask… However you could also find out from the comfort of your own home by checking the following websites:
(You then search Toddler Time in the search bar and then scroll until you find a library near you. You may need to scroll a while as there are quite a few libraries! But once you’ve found it once, you won’t have to look again!)
If you’re in Logan:
If you’re in Ipswich:
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