By Tim Leeds
Looking for a chance for your preschool child to socialize and play with others? Tot Time is the place for you.
This non-organizational playtime is held in the Head Start building at 1360 Lincoln Ave. in Highland Park every Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
There are no fees or charges to participate in this social activity. No scheduling is necessary and there are no obligations to stay for the entire time.
Suzanne Baker, one of the founders of the activity, describes it as a playgroup for children ages 0-5. She said they started it in October of 1999. Head Start donated the use of the room every Friday, she said. Baker said Barb Jenkins, who had Mom's and Tot's Playground two years ago, agreed to help with Tot Time.
"It's just a time for kids and parents to get together and play and socialize," Jenkins said. "It's especially nice in the wintertime," she said, "when it's too cold to go out and play."
Baker said this is not a daycare substitute. It's as much a time for parents to socialize as the children, she said. Parents are required to stay in the room with their children, and are required to discipline their own children.
Parents are asked not to bring sick children to the playtime. The rules for the activity say that toys are for children ages 3 to 5 and younger children will need supervision. The group is also responsible to put the room back exactly as they found it, so there is a cleanup time at the end of the day.
Jenkins said this is not affiliated with Head Start. There is no charge for Tot Time, she said, and there is no contact by Head Start or any other organizations afterwards with families who participate.