Are you a babysitter, a parent or a grandparent? Are you the easy target friend because you live nearby and don’t work today? Do you find reading the same board book 15 times an hour less than stimulating? Have you listened to Baby Shark so many times you wish to destroy all music devices in your home? Whoever you are, caring for a toddler can make you a little crazy if you don’t know of some resources. Where can you go in Cheyenne to get your toddler moving, stimulated and not dumping out your purse or drawing on the couch with sharpies?
Obviously there’s your local Laramie County Library System! At the Cheyenne branch we have three storytimes geared for three age groups; birth-24 months, 18 months to 5 years, and 3 to 5 years. Check out our print calendar on the monthly storytimes page! We also have areas for all ages to explore and learn any time, like My Library Place or our Early Literacy Center. Just come on up to the second floor and look around! Our calendar of events is at this link: https://lclsonline.org/calendar/.
If you’re out near Burns or Pine Bluffs, check out our Fun for Kids storytimes in the calendar. If you can’t drive or leave the house too easily, we have Bookmobile stops as well which are listed here: https://lclsonline.org/outreachservices/.
We often have interactive exhibits come through the library with fun and exciting elements for kids to get their hands on. We have a fun exhibit from the Children’s Museum of Cheyenne now through April 14. During the summer, even toddlers can participate in summer reading and get prizes if their grown up will read to them.
We have Baby Einstein, Daniel Tiger and Sesame Street movies that you can check out with your library card to keep your toddler entertained! We also have books that include ideas for toddler crafts and activities. Try checking out Wonderplay or Wonderplay, Too! by Fretta Reitzes for some great tips on how to keep your toddler engaged, learning and entertained.
A library partner and another great resource is the Botanic Gardens. Their new building is an excellent place to see some green growing things in the midst of a Wyoming Winter. They have a story time on Fridays at 11:00am and other arts, crafts or activities almost every day of the month. Click here to get to their page and then click on drop in classes: https://www.botanic.org/discover/childrens-village/.
The Wyoming State Museum, another library partner (http://wyomuseum.state.wy.us/) has an interactive room for kids to explore things like bird calls and deer tracks. Kids can play with a topographical sand box projector, camp in a tent and push a button to see bats in a cave! They are open Mon-Sat 9am- 4:30pm.
Need to cuddle a pet? The animal shelter has little rooms for playing with a pet. Their website is https://www.cheyenneanimalshelter.org/. There are also two pet stores in the mall with animal petting rooms, as well as PetCo on Dell Range, though they don’t have cats or dogs. The Cheyenne Aquatic Center offers a toddler time for caregivers and kiddos 3 times a week during the school year. Their schedule is here: https://www.cheyennecity.org/699/Aquatic-Center-Hours-and-Fees. Be advised, 2 kids to 1 grownup is their limit.
There are three McDonald’s and one Chick-Fil-A with play places in Cheyenne. The Frontier Mall also has a play place for kids 4 and under. Also, just this year a new free play place has opened up next door to Element Church on Carlson Street. Click here for more information: https://playcity.fun/
If you are doing this more than just one day, you might want to sit down with these websites and make a weekly plan for yourself and your small charge. Remember to work around naptimes. You can also talk to the caregivers you meet at these places and get ideas from them, or set up a time to play. And remember, you can never have too many wipes, extra kid clothes, diapers, crackers, or patience! Good luck!