The Rapidian

Toddler Tails provides children with hands-on animal experiences, education

The Humane Society of Grand Rapids holds Toddler Tails, a monthly event for young children and their caretakers. Children meet and learn about interesting animals, share storytime and participate in craft activities.

/Courtesy of the Humane Society of Grand Rapids

Toddler Tails Event Location

When: Second Tuesday of each month, 10 - 10:45 a.m. 
Where: Humane Society of West Michigan, 
 3077 Wilson Dr., Grand Rapids, MI 49534 
Cost: $5 Suggested Donation 
Jennifer Self-Aulgur at 616-791-8066 or [email protected] 

/Courtesy of the Humane Society of Grand Rapids

Every second Tuesday of the month, an average of 20 toddlers aged two to four years and their caretakers arrive at the Humane Society of West Michigan for storytime, crafts - and animals. 

"It’s a great way for us to reach out to kids who are a little too young for our other programs." explains Jennifer Self-Aulgur, the Director of Education and Community Programs. "Toddlers are at an age where they are so inquisitive, and they have  a natural affinity for animals. It’s a really great way for them to come with their parents and explore different animals and get to have safe, healthy interactions, and also enjoy story time and a craft."

Toddler Tails hosts a variety of different animals, and invites local groups like The West Michigan Ferret Connection to attend.

"We definitely have our cats and our bunnies and small animals like that. Then we bring in other special animals, whether it be our special education dogs or others groups. We’ve had ferrets, we’ve had snakes, chickens,” says Self-Aulgur. “We try to keep it interesting. Because of our summer camp, we have a lot of contacts within the animal world who are usually happy to come in and help educate kids about the specific animal that they work with."

Interested parents or caretakers are asked to pre-register by phone with Self-Aulgur or online. A donation of $5 is suggested for the event.

"It's just a really great way for parents, caregivers and toddlers to bond and explore the subject of animals together," says Self-Aulgur. "Anytime we can teach kids to have a positive interaction with animals, it’s a good thing for everyone involved.”

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