July is here and it's time for me to start travelling the countryside to summer camps, festivals, events and parties.
And while this busy time kicks off, some of my regular sessions come to a close for the summer months. One of these is my Toddler Time Session in County Library, Tallaght.
Every Wednesday, since 2018, we have had our session in the Library.
My first group was of just 3 toddlers and their parents. Now, we can have anything from 30-40 babies, tots and their parents/grandparents/minders with them!
Each week, we start with the magic umbrella and our hello song to welcome everyone.
Then, the book of the week comes out of my bag and the kids have fun telling me which is the correct way to hold the book before we can read it! It's fun and it makes them laugh, but what the kids don't realise is, that it's introducing them to just one of the important life-skills they will need when they start school.
We have a different book each week. Some are about animals, some are about humans, some are funny, some are sad. No matter what the book, I love to watch the intent look from the toddlers as they process all of this new information.
Wally pops out of the bag to say hello.....but only if the kids can remember the magic word....! He always has something fun in the bag to teach us about too.
With the help of music, puppets and props, we learn so many new things in a fun way! Colours, parts of our body, ways we can move our body, our feelings and emotions....the list goes on and on!
It's fascinating for me to watch these little people grow from babies in buggies and on knees on to wobbling toddlers and then to walking, talking mini-humans.
I love how, even after all of these years, I'm always surprised to watch how their legs get stronger, their backs get straighter as they dance along to the music.
All of a sudden, a baby that used to just watch open-mouthed while I performed, stands in front of me, dancing and singing all of the words!
Summer close can be a sad-happy time, as I say goodbye to some of the tots who are off to pre-school in September. But it's a joy to see them head off to the next big chapter of their lives, with the knowledge of familiar songs and rhymes in their little heads, hopefully making it all a little less frightening for them.
Often, their younger siblings and new babies continue to come to me afterwards too, so sometimes these "older" kids can visit me on their school holidays, which is always fun for me!
This year, I bid a fond farewell to some of my little fans. Good luck to Henry, Darcey, Tadhg and Skye. I know you'll have a truly fab time at your new schools and I hope you'll visit me again from time to time.
To everyone else, see you all in September! And check on my facebook page and here on my blog to hear all about the events I have coming up during the summer months!