Toddler Time is coming to the North YMCA.

The program for children ages 6 months to 6 years and their parents will meet from 10 a.m. to noon the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at the North YMCA, 1640 Sandalwood Place.

The program, which originated at the John E. Bickley YMCA in Gahanna, begins Tuesday, Jan. 29, and continues through April 23.

The cost for each child is $3 for Y members and $5 for nonmembers.

"We wanted to make sure it was affordable," said Marci Hasty, executive director of the North YMCA.

"We were really focusing at the Gahanna Y on creating programs that parents could do with their children and then trying to create a community within the Y," said Valerie Baumann, executive director of the John E. Bickley YMCA and also manager of the Whitehall Community Park YMCA.

Hasty credited Baumann with developing Toddler Time.

"It is parent-child play," Hasty said. "It's not a drop-off situation."

Children in the targeted age range simply want to "run and play and destroy everything," Baumann said, but Toddler Time brings the parents into the running and playing, although probably not the destroying.

"Also, it's great because we see a community building between the moms," Baumann said. "They get to hang out together. Some of their kids are the same age and so sometimes we see friendships building within the program.

"Now a lot of the moms will come together for fitness classes before Toddler Time."

"Social development, mental-health development, all of the play leads to that," Hasty said. "It's a good opportunity for play dates."

"It's a blast," Baumann said. "The kids are just having so much fun. We always try to think of new little things. The best thing to watch is the patents interacting with the kids and having fun."

Advance registration for Toddler Time is not required, but parents may if they wish, Hasty said.

"We don't really have a capacity issue," she said.

"I don't think we'll get to the point where we're like, 'Oh, no, we can't take any more.' "

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1