If you want to know the happiest spot in all of Houston, just follow the gleeful sounds of children learning, laughing and building community during Toddler Tuesday at Discovery Green. The signature event, which brings education, connection and joy to children weekly every April and October, returns to the park March 24 with a whole new season of music, art, reading and creative play.
Since its inception in 2011, Toddler Tuesday has provided a free educational experience for the pint-sized set, allowing for ample play time, while cultivating the building blocks of social interaction and reading basics.
Lori San Miguel, Discovery Green Programming Director, has seen the program evolve and grow, while watching toddlers head off to elementary school. She knows the value Toddler Tuesday brings to the community.
“There’s nothing like couple of hundred toddlers, singing and listening, but the really fun part is the social interaction aspect. There’s such great energy. It makes you feel good,” San Miguel said.
San Miguel has also seen the transformative power of Toddler Tuesday. Shy little ones brought to the event bloom a little more week after week, and children unsure of reading return with a love of books.
“There was one little boy who clutched his mother’s leg and wouldn’t talk to anyone. At the end of the season, he was running around and playing with other children,” San Miguel said. “It changed him and prepared him to be confident with other children.”
The thoughtfully planned curriculum includes story time, activities and crafts. Each week covers a different topic, ranging from sharing and learning about other cultures to appreciating other’s differences. It’s always fun, but there’s a purpose and plan behind every activity.
San Miguel and the Discovery Green team set the bar high and continue to explore ways to maintain the program’s excellence while bringing in fresh concepts and experiences.
Over the past 11 years, San Miguel has bonded with the families who attend Toddler Tuesday, getting invites to birthday parties and seeing younger siblings at the weekly event. She’s even earned a nickname from the kids who see her every week.
“They see me and say, ‘Hey Park Lady!’ San Miguel said. “It’s super duper sweet. They come on regular days to say hi and tell me how they are doing in school and what books they read.”
The new season of Toddler Tuesday kicks off March 24 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm at Be My Neighbor Day Presented by PNC Grow Up Great. Daniel Tiger makes an appearance at this very special Toddler Tuesday event that includes story time and music by Uncle Jumbo. Learn more at www.discoverygreen.com/neighbor.