Totally Untidy Toddlers and Programming for the Very Young

Even though I spent a lot of time helping with preschool story time and programs for children at the preschool age, this program was unique because it was specifically for children three and under. Totally Untidy Toddlers is for toddlers and babies to get a chance to explore and play in a toddler-friendly environment in the library. Parents and caregivers come along with their child, but it is a great opportunity for these children to be able to use their senses and make new discoveries. The Totally Untidy Toddlers that I was able to experience was dinosaur themed, and we set up various activities around the room, including dinosaur toys frozen into eggs and placed in warm water, so the kids would be able to experience both solids and liquids together, and get an idea that ice turns into water. We also had a corner where children and parents could read books, a sensory tub made up of blue rice and more dinosaur toys, a tub filled with chocolate rice krispies where they could hunt for dinosaur eggs, and a mat with instruments they could use with the help of the parent.

Totally Untidy Toddlers is meant to get these very young kids active and using their senses to understand the world around them. I found out that these little ones love to put items in their mouths and they love to experience things through touch, so it is crucial to use materials that are gentle and child-friendly. I also think that people do not often see babies and toddlers as people who need library service, but seeing these children and their caregivers in this program made me realize how we have to advocate for baby and toddler programs in libraries. They are at such a unique stage of development, and we can help build the foundations of the skills they will use for the rest of their life.

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