There’s a lot of giggling going on in the big, bright open room upstairs at the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association building.
It’s a typical morning at Mother Goose, a program for toddlers and infants and their caregivers, and it’s full of playful rhymes, silly and sweet songs — and a lot of tickling.
Mother Goose is an eight-week program offered by the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA) that is free for caregivers and their child.
Caregivers and their children sing songs and nursery rhymes in a relaxed and comfortable setting during the hour-long session.
Each session includes snack time, where healthy snacks and refreshments are provided. This time also gives parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents a chance to socialize.
Irene Liew, one of the facilitators, sees many benefits for children and their caregivers in attending the Mother Goose program, which focuses on play through rhymes, songs and stories instead of toys.
“The little ones get to make friends and learn how to make friends, and the moms who just moved to town get to meet other moms,” she said. “Besides early literacy, kids get to learn to socialize and interact with other kids.”
Along with the social benefits of the program, Liew sees numerous advantages related to development and literacy through all of the songs and rhymes they learn.
“You never think they’re listening when they’re running around, but they get to know the songs and start singing them at home,” she said. “It’s really great to see the progress. There are definitely benefits to later years in school life. A lot of songs we do rhyme, and they have a beat; they’re just familiar tunes. It makes learning so much easier.”
Jen Silvey has a lot of fun at Mother Goose with her two-year-old son Jaxon.
She has noticed a big difference in developing Jaxon’s speech.
“He always let his older brother speak for him (before),” she said. “Having something we can do together, now he doesn’t stop (speaking). It’s been huge for him. For me, it’s something to do that’s just the two of us without the older one.”
Silvey has also enjoyed getting to meet other parents with children who are around the same age as Jaxon.
The LRCA offers two Mother Goose sessions on Thursdays — one for toddlers (crawling to 30 months of age) from 9:45-10:45 a.m., and one for infants (newborn to beginning crawling stages) from 12:45-1:45 p.m.
While the latest session of Mother Goose has already begun, it goes until March 17, and enrolment is continuous to ensure families can access the program when they’re able.
Building on the concepts of the Mother Goose program, the LRCA offers another program for pre-school-aged children called Adventures in Early Literacy.
Adventures in Early Literacy is a six-week program aimed at children aged three to five and their caregivers. It promotes early literacy and positive parent-child interactions.
Each week is based on a different children’s story with age-appropriate crafts, snacks and songs.
“We sing songs and read a book, we have a game and a snack, and it’s all generally in the same theme as whatever the book is,” said Lydia Guenther, one of the facilitators. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Often, caregivers will come and help out with the day’s craft, explained Guenther.
“It’s an interactive program for both (caregiver and child), and it’s still a bonding experience before school starts,” she said. “We try to set as many of the standards of what’s expected before they go to pre-school, having their ABCs and 123s. It’s not as structured as pre-school, but there is structure. The parents really like how it’s easygoing but still structured. We have a lot of fun with that program.”
Both Mother Goose and Adventures in Early Literacy are offered at the LRCA at 630 Second Ave.
For information about either program, contact 250-245-3079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.