Thursday, February 27, 2014

What's the ruckus? Toddler time!

Many years ago, the Newport Public Library began providing programming for toddlers and their care-givers. Each Tuesday and Thursday morning the library echoes with “little” voices ages birth to 3 years, with older siblings and friends thrown in. That does mean that sometimes the voices are unintelligible or wailing. Sometimes as many as 15 “little” voices join in with the sounds of an already busy library.

So, what does a toddler learn at Toddler Time? How much does a baby absorb in a whirl wind of sounds, colors, and movement? When children first come to Toddler Time, most only sit in wide-eyed wonder. Some don’t make it through the 15 – 20 minute session – there are many more exciting things to explore. (I take second fiddle to the trains a lot.) They usually don’t participate in the activity songs at the beginning and end (Open and Shut Them and Blow Kisses to Friends). They are tentative about participating in “ringing the bell” and “sharing” with each other. The flannel board is a lesson in listening for your turn and for some, having the courage to come up and add to the growing collection of pieces on the board.

 Sometimes it only takes a few sessions, sometimes it takes months or even years. In the end as each child becomes more comfortable with their surroundings, with the program, and with their own abilities, it’s exciting to see young minds grow and engage with the world.

Thank you to all the families who have participated in Toddler Times over the years…we enjoy watching all “our” children grow, and invite you to let us know below how your “once a toddler” is doing.
-- Jan

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