I’ve just finished my weekly playgroup session with my son. My son loves going to playgroup. I’ll tell you a secret. I love going to playgroup. I probably love going to playgroup more than him. I get sad if I can’t attend for the week. Some friends I know haven’t had the best experience with playgroups and I realise I am very spoilt with my amazing playgroup that I take my son too.
Playgroup and mothers groups are more than getting the children out of the house and getting them social with other kids. Playgroups are for the mums (and dads) too. At my local playgroup, we have a wonderful group of mothers, fathers, carers, grandparents and volunteers that catch up for an hour and a half each week during school terms. There are play stations- not the electronic kind, dress ups, cooking areas, car tracks, bikes and scooters, sandpit, play do station, a new craft activity each week and paint stations. We have group time where we read books together, and we dance and sing as a group. We celebrate every child’s birthday by singing happy birthday and blowing out candles on a pretend cake. We stop for morning tea and the parents are super spoilt with a barista made coffee and adult morning tea and 10 minutes to sit and talk to other adults.
As a speech pathologist, I encourage you to participate in playgroups and mothers groups not just for your child’s best interest but for yours as well.
My son is almost two. He does not play with other kids yet. He is not at that stage. But he watches. Oh how he watches. He watches the big boys dress up and pretend to be superman. He watches them ride their bikes really fast and dodge the babies crawling around. He loves it. He has started to take turns with the other kids his age at the train station. We have been going to playgroup since he was 6 months old.
He loves going and spending time with me, away from distractions of the house; the cleaning, the cooking and the washing. Away from my mobile phone and the temptation of checking work emails.
I encourage everyone to find their local playgroup and be involved. Be part of the community. Make some new friends. Participate in craft (my favourite part!). Sing baby shark, play trains and dress ups and dance to hokey pokey.
Be connected with your child and watch them grow and learn.
You are their best toy.