Have you heard of Toddler Town?
On the sunny – but frigid – morning of Thursday, Feb. 16, Silverthorne resident April Andrescavage brought her 2 year old daughter Willow to the Bluebird Market.
Lucky for her, North Branch Library Manager Katie Koop was about to open the doors to Toddler Town, a program that North Branch Library created specifically for Summit County kiddos around Willow’s age.
Dubbed “Toddler Town” by North Branch Librarian Mary, our program is an opportunity for children 6 and under to enjoy several stations of sensory activities, make new friends and give their parents a chance to relax while they have fun.
Manager Katie said the name “Toddler Town” was inspired by the real-life stations our North Branch librarians set up for the children. From a tiny grocery store complete with a miny shopping cart, to an art table only two feet tall, to boxes of puzzles both big and large, there are plenty of activities for curious kiddos to do. I asked April what brought her and Willow to Toddler Town that morning.
April said Toddler Town was a great way to get Willow out of the house that morning without having to endure the cold. Though she loves to take Willow outside, April said the Colorado winter temperatures don’t allow the two of them to stay out for long. Therefore, an entire room filled with toys and other children seemed like the perfect alternative.
As more families trickled in, chatter increased and kids flocked to the stations.
Savannah Vanwinkle and her four year old son Noah were also at Toddler Town on Thursday morning. Savannah said she was drawn to toddler town because of the emphasis on sensory activities that can keep even four year olds occupied.
While Toddler Town does have a set open time of 10:00 AM, the doors stay open well into the afternoon. On a typical weekday, there can be around 20 folks in the play area at a time chatting, exploring, and having a good time.
On Wednesdays at 10:30, there is also Bluebird Buddies, a story time held for children of preschool age. Katie said many folks come earlier at 10:00 so by the time storytime starts, many of the kiddos are worn out and ready for quiet time.
Each time folks come in, the space may look different. Katie, along with other North Branch librarians, do their best to rotate the activities so kids can expect something new every time. Folks can find lincoln logs, planes, a pet clinic and more on any day of the week.
Along with engaging activities for toddlers, Toddler Town also provides a play mat with age-appropriate toys for children 1 and under.
Toddler Town is located on the second floor of the Bluebird Market, one door down from the Summit County North Branch Library satellite location. It is held weekly on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday starting at 10:00 a.m. and Saturdays starting at 1:00 p.m.
While Savannah and April both shared their reasons for loving Toddler Town, Katie said she’s heard even more in the weeks following the launch of the program. From folks saying they would pay for the program to others complimenting the pure social aspect of the space, Katie said Toddler Town has been a huge success. “It’s valuable for a community that doesn’t have a lot of places like this,” Katie said.