First 5 Forever

My local Library has a First 5 Forever program that caters to three age groups: babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

First 5 Forever is a statewide program providing strong early literacy foundations for all Queensland children ages 0-5 years at which local libraries provide fun, free, family-friendly activities and resources to help make the most of a child’s first 5 years”.

So of course when I recently played the devoted Meemaw I booked 8 month old Harry Kilometres into two sessions of First 5 Forever, one outdoors at a local park and the other at the Library.

The outdoors venture was a bit of a disaster because of the weather. Bub had flown in the night before from remote northern Australia where at night he sleeps under a ceiling fan with the air conditioning on, and Brissie decided to emulate Melbourne with chilly winds and 8 degrees. He had to wear long pants for the first time in his life as well as socks and a beanie and was suitably unimpressed. And not a subtle beanie either, thank you Meemaw.

Our indoor venture was much more successful with sessions only 45 minutes in duration ( 30 in songs, movement, and stories and 15 in play) and more favourable climatic conditions.

Of course I bribed the little blighter with the promise of his first babychinno – which was another success.

During my recent travels I visited the Chinchilla Botanic Gardens.

Chinchilla is most commonly known as the ‘Melon Capital of Australia’, and plays host to a Melon Festival every second year in February. 

( Aside : Not a fan of Watermelon though I detest the waste of good food during this popular tourist festival. As for Rockmelon, also known as Canteloupe, why it is considered a complement to seafood has me stumped. What a waste of decent prawn meat.)

Located in the Western Downs Region of Queensland, Chinchilla is just on 300 kms northwest of Brisbane.  In 2020 its Parkland was announced as winner of the Park of the Year at the Queensland Parks and Leisure Australia Annual Awards.  It IS beautiful and caters for all demographics with a variety of facilities.

I was delighted when I came across this cute First 5 Forever bench seat to encourage our Littlest Readers. A wonderful initiative.

11 thoughts on “First 5 Forever

  1. When I was younger, and TV was a new toy, parents did the reading to the children. Not that I am against reading programs. Heaven to hell no, but what part do parents play in the raising of their children? Are they relying on someone else to take over childhood memories of sitting on Daddies lap while he reads Dr. Seuss?

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    1. Totally agree with you, TES but I think these days programs such as these keep parents connected, especially those without support. The world is so much bigger these days that many people don’t have support from the older generation and God knows parenting does not come with an instruction book. If a 45 minute program once a week teaches a young mum or dad how to read, entertain, share songs and language that is a good thing. If Little People learn some socialisation skills that’s a good thing too. Getting out of the house, with a clean outfit and some makeup, and participating in these programs has got to be better than plonking a kid in front of The Wiggles on the tele?

      Our society is different to what it used to be. Right or wrong is not up to me. When I was a kid Libraries were places where people spoke in hushed tones and they were places of fear because they generally meant scary assignments. Now they are often the hub of the community offering different functions to smaller communities such as those who play scrabble or chess or who make jewellery. Not so scary.

      And bottom line, surely it is all about encouraging people of all ages to read and think. That’s got to be a good thing with all the dipsticks walking the streets.
      But I totally get you: dedicated gardening classes at school piss me right off.

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      1. I agree. My wife (Cupcake to you bloggers) and I have marveled at how there is such a huge need for reading teachers…in HIGH SCHOOL. How did they make it to high school if they cannot read? Mind you, this is in addition to ESOL classes. Are we just setting kids up for absolute failure by pushing them through high school without even the most basic of skills?

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      2. I know from the Little Community Library for which I am a convenor that I cannot keep up with the demand for children’s books, particularly with current titles. I have had to ask for donations especially during periods of Lockdown. I sincerely hope this means that our reading targets are on the improve ( and not that parents are selling said books off at garage sales).
        Have a beaut week:)

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