Step 1 – find families
Once you have found some interested families, arrange a time to sit down and talk.
Step 2 – define purpose
Step 3 – choose a time
Generally playgroups meet once a week for one and a half hours. Some meet over lunchtime and children and adults enjoy a meal together. Others have a longer session with families coming and going to meet their needs.
Decide whether you will meet in the school holidays.
Step 4 – choose a place to meet -when the weather allows the playground works well (west end park).
Step 5 – choosing activities
Discuss together how you will spend your time at playgroup keeping in mind what would work well for adults as well as children.
A general program involves setting up, time for children to play and adults to chat, a snack time, more socialisation and play, then time for everything to be packed away and a general clean up.
Snack time considerations:
- Offering healthy foods/vegetarian choices
- Think through safety issues – e.g. danger of children choking if eating while running
- Keep hot tea/coffee out of reach of children
- Be sensitive to food allergies
When thinking of the play activities for children, offer plenty of free play. Toddlers are not ready for lengthy instructions and rules. They need plenty of uninterrupted time to make choices, freely explore and experiment.
Most popular playgroup activities are painting, sandpit, swings, playdough, cutting and pasting, bikes and home corner.
Step 6 – equipment
List the toys and play materials you need. Can anyone get things donated?
Step 7 – adult responsibilities
Our experience has shown that a playgroup succeeds if it belongs to everyone, if everyone shares in the decision making and everyone helps with the workload. If one person makes all the decisions they are often left with all the work. Before long they burn out and people leave because their opinions are not being heard.
Be sure adults bringing a child to playgroup know they are responsible for their child’s behaviour and safety, and that it is every child’s right to be supervised for safe and fair play.
Many playgroups find that it’s best to write down simple guidelines that outline expected behaviour of both children and adults at their playgroup. It may be more appropriate to discuss this after the playgroup has been running for a few weeks.
Simple guidelines let everyone know what is expected. This helps to maintain a relaxed group that is fun for everyone.
Step 8 – ready to start
Set a playgroup starting date for about 2-6 weeks time.
source: playgroup victoria