Above is a photo of Kira holding Mother Goose, and sitting with Marie-Lyne and Laurel, the 2 animators of Mother Goose Rhyme Time. Sadly, we took part in our final session just last week. But we fully enjoyed this experience! (Calvin would have been in the shot as well, but he kept running over to me while I tried to take the photo. Toddlers - what can you do, right?)
When I was pregnant with Calvin, I was fortunate enough to have found a fantastic activity here on the South Shore, that seemed like it was created just for my little Kira! Sponsored by the South Shore Reading Council, it was held at the time in the basement of a beautiful little church in Lemoyne. The venue has since changed (to an elementary school in Greenfield Park), but the environment remains a wonderful one to actively engage little bodies and minds in a joy of reading, learning, playing, and singing together.
Mother Goose Rhyme time takes place once a week on Thursday mornings, and it is an English-language activity. Its popularity has grown tremendously and so there is a waiting list to join / participate. Each day upon arrival, the atmosphere is down to earth and relaxed. The babies / toddlers engage in some free play, and the mommies chat. Then we start with a welcoming song where a stuffed Mother Goose is passed around as we learn each others' names. There are rhymes, chants, songs (sometimes with descriptive actions, sometimes with baby bounced on our laps), and the occasional stand-up or jump-up song. This is followed by some free play, some healthy snacks and juice for the little ones (tea is even served for the mommies!), and an opportunity for the babies to engage with their mommies, with other babies, or with toys / books. Then an animator tells a story which is then re-told by us moms (to encourage the oral tradition of storytelling, not only through books). And finally, some marching songs, some lullabies, and goodbye to all. All this in 75 minutes!
This activity is so well-organized, engaging, and fun! And best (and most incredible) of all, it is completely free! We were surprised to be presented on the last day of the session, with a bag full of books for each child, provided by the Born to Read organization.
I've been reading daily to Kira since she was an infant and to this day, she love, love, loves books! Now that she's 3 and a half years old, she felt a bit out of sorts in this room filled with babies, so I opted not to join again for the coming session. However, I am filled with gratitude for having had the opportunity to take part in this activity with both of my kids. Calvin is 16 months old now, and although he doesn't realize it yet, this experience is going to continue to shape him in a positive way. If he grows to love books even half as much as Kira does, I'm destined to raise 2 scholars!