One of the best programs for babies is the Baby Goose Time program provided by the Markham Library. Since Hannah was two months old, I attended the weekly sessions at Angus Glen Library (Major Mackenzie Road and Kennedy Road). They were held on Tuesday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. It was a drop-in program so it was on a first-come first-serve basis. One is always welcome, but going earlier guarantees a good view and a comfortable seat. I usually go about fifteen minutes earlier to chat with the other parents.
Each session runs for thirty-minutes from start to finish. It's just enough to get in some singing, rhymes, and stories, but not too long as to have the whole audience crying and fussing about. Megan, their children's librarian, was running this program for the first time in 2009 and she does an excellent job. Always enthusiastic and patient, Megan follows a routine so that the kids (and new moms) know what to expect and what to sing. Along with familiar tunes such as "If You're Happy and You Know It", she introduces some new tunes every so often as well as songs that require movement and hand gestures.
Each week there is a theme and the stories relate to it. Megan introduces her audience to authors suited for the younger set and these books are readily availible for home use. Stories that feature rhyme and repetition seem to be the most popular. Not surprising since babies like sounds that are familiar and sing-songy. At the end of each season's session, there is an evaluation that welcomes parents' comments and suggestions. I've attended twice a week since the end of January and it's the most entertaining and educational program I've been to since Hannah was born. The parents there are quite friendly and I find myself staying at least thirty minutes after each class to chat with whoever stays as well. Not only do we talk about the session that day, but also about each child's development. Baby Goose Time not only provides entertainment for the little ones, but the parents also get a chance to learn from each other.
There is a break between sessions so check the Markham Public Library website for class days and times. There are Baby Goose Time classes at the Markham Village Branch, Milliken Mills Branch, Unionville Branch, and Thornhill Community Centre Branch as well. The next session is for Summer 2009. If you can attend, be sure to let Megan know what a great job she's doing. Tell her that Hip Teacher Mama said so.