As I settle myself down in my office to begin my daily routine,  I make sure that my 13 and 10 year old daughters have some sense of and are prepared for what lies ahead for them. It can be a range of activities, from an hour of reading to 3 hours revision , but I am able to crack on with my work and just check they are feeding themselves and staying hydrated throughout the day.

We know that we are facing our own daily struggles each day and one of the ways to get through this is to try and have some perspective and think about those less fortunate than us.  One of the things I think about is ‘Gosh I’m so glad I’m not at home with a toddler!’. I don’t know how long those days must be from early morning get ups to the constant entertainment that a child of that age needs – let’s hope they are still napping!For those people who are single parents the days must be even longer and the lack of adult conversation and socialisation must be so difficult. I know for me as a sole parent the challenges of trying to manage my own mental wellbeing in the midst of the intensity of parenting has been hard.

At Freedom Foundation our work is focused at improving mental health using the creative arts and the power of music has never been as important to get us through the days. 

For those people signing nursery rhymes, Disney music or the Peppa Pig theme tune over and over again a good dose of some house music/hard rock/classical is needed at the end of the day! 

We are so pleased that after working hard on the hub we are able to bring our Funky Tots programmes to families of 2 – 4 year olds to provide a fun and creative way for parents/carers to interact with their toddler, talk about how everyone’s feeling and just let loose their creative energy for 45 minutes. Dancing, singing and talking together in a calming and happy musical environment. 

Our sessions include a section where we use emoji mats and introduce our very own Funky Tot Bear, to talk about how we are feeling today.

“Share with your bear because we care” is an opportunity for  you and your toddler to  talk to the bear – it encourages face to face interaction and eye contact, allowing children from an early age to think about their emotions whilst feeling safe to open up and talk about them. 

We also get to see other adult size people and have the opportunity to talk about the challenges of their day.

Our hub provides additional support for those attending the project with signposting, songs, music, challenges and chat away from the live sessions. Creating a community for them to feel more connected and less isolated from their friends and the outside world. 

Something to do together, something to talk about after and something to look forward to, that’s what all families need to bring them closer than ever before in these challenging times. 

At the end of my work day I will try and share some music with my children and sometimes they even let me appear in a tiktok, it’s only then that I wish they were a toddler that I could sit with and talk to a bear together 

To sign up to Freedom Foundations Funky Tots sessions please visit our website – http://www.freedomfoundationuk.org/