Toddler Fest draws big crowd of little people

(Edited April 14 with correct employer for Cindy Duhrkopf)

The crowd of small people was larger than ever before at the 13th annual Toddler Fest, held Saturday morning at the Greene County Community Center.

The come-and-go event, which encourages children to “bee readers”, was attended by 154 youngsters ages 2-5, along with 130 adults. Sixty volunteers helped at the event. Cindy Duhrkopf of the Partnerships 4 Families Early Childhood Iowa board remarked that some of the teen volunteers had come to the early Toddler Fests as children themselves.

Balloon magician Rick Eugene and Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog were special attractions inside the gym. Nearly two dozen play stations gave children plenty of opportunities for creative play, and the Jefferson Rotary Club gave each child a free book take home.

For children, activities adults do routinely can be a lot of fun. A new activity this year was raking leaves. Several parents remarked that the grocery shopping station is a favorite of their children.

Makenna Broadston tries on a fire helmet

Outside in the parking lot were the Blank Children’s Hospital’s fire safety house, police and sheriff’s cars, a Jefferson fire truck and a Greene County EMS ambulance. Children could get in the vehicles, try on a fire helmet, and learn the right way to leave a burning home.

Toddler Fest is a free cooperative event sponsored by all six Greene County libraries and the Greene County board of supervisors.

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