I’m always looking for things I can do with E that will get us out of the house and doing something which both of us will enjoy. I’ve always been an avid bookworm and reading is something I want to instil a love of in E from as young an age as possible, so a few months ago I signed him up to the library in Cork City Centre, and we regularly borrow children’s books for bedtime reading.
While in returning the latest batch, I spotted a sign which advertised a storytelling and music morning for babies, toddlers and young children which would be taking place on Friday. Upon asking the librarian if booking was required, I was informed that it wasn’t required but that arriving early would be best as the slot was very popular. Having attended yesterday, I can see why!
We turned up for the 10am session right on time, and were faced with a room full of babies, toddlers and parents. The forty five minute slot was filled with lots of story telling, music making and singing. E in particular seemed to love the rhythm section; where all the kids were handed an egg shaker and let at it to express themselves to music – the boy seems to have a sense of rhythm, which he definitely didn’t get from me! As well as story telling and making music, the kids all seemed to adore playing with a giant colourful parachute, which I something I remember loving as a kid myself.
As well as being educational (the facilitator had a strong sense of instilling language skills to the kids, focusing on the phonics curriculum which is now in schools, RIP Letterland), the morning was also a lot of fun, and a great opportunity for E to meet other kids, and for me to meet other parents and carers. I got talking to a few as E interacted with the babies – aside from a few deterrences from pulling hair or poking, it was a really good experience. The one downside I’ve seen to E not being in a creche situation for childcare is the lack of interaction with other kids (there are many, many other upsides), so I think this is definitely something I’ll be trying to do a lot more often.
After the session was over at 10.45, we stayed around talking to other parents and kids, and looking for books which we would take out for story time this week. The sessions are done in groups of six weeks, so there are four more which I’ll definitely be attending, as I found it a fantastic interactive experience. Music and movement is so important for language development in young babies in particular, and its something that I could see E was really enjoying. The added bonus is that the sessions are free of charge and open to the public, so if you’re free on Friday mornings and looking for something to do with your baby or toddler, you can just drop in and join the fun.
For more information, see the Cork City library website here.