I have two children, 18 months and 3 that attend North Ringwood Playgroup. We love the fact that NRPG is attendant run. As a mother, I enjoy the activities as much, if not more than my kids. I also love the fact that the attendants set up before we arrive and pack up once we leave, which means my little ones and I can just have fun! I think this is a great informal setting to make friends and get the kids ready for kinder.
As a long time member (8 years) all three of my daughters have attended and enjoyed playgroup. In my opinion all have gained many skills that made not only transition from playgroup to kinder smooth, but from kinder to school easy. NRPG is exceptionally well run and the session facilitators are in my opinion extremely well suited to co-ordinating early learning programs specially designed for this age group.
Playgroup aged children are going through a stage of rapid brain and skill development.
At playgroup children can:
- make new friends
- have new experiences
- gain self confidence
- develop physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually
- develop their skills of cooperation through music, group singing, free play and snack time
- develop verbal and non verbal communication skills through their contact with other children and adults
- develop fine and gross motor skills
- gain better body control, hand to eye coordination, spatial awareness and balance when they play with balls, sand, blocks, puzzles, playdough, paint and paste
- discover shape, size, texture, quantity and consistency when they play with dough and clay
- learn to recognise colours, develop fine motor skills and express emotions by experimenting with paint, collage, chalk, crayons and stamps
- extend their experience of literacy in a social environment.
How Parent’s benefit:
Playgroup can be a lifeline to parents with babies, toddlers and preschoolers who might not have any other opportunity to get to know local parents going through similar experiences.
This is what parents tell us they get from playgroup:
“The playgroup has been going for years and there’s a good supply of toys, play equipment, books and a great outdoor area.”
“It’s giving my child some stimulating experiences in a relaxed, informal setting.”
“It opens up the community to you. Before I went to playgroup I had no idea where the best places were to go locally for a good children’s doctor or that you could go to the hall down the road for immunisations.”
“I want to meet people who’ve got children the same age as mine.”
“I’m not ready to hand over my child to someone else yet. I’d rather be there and be involved.”
“I’m an army wife and we move around a bit. Playgroup is more like an extended family or support group to army families.”
“I feel comfortable with the other women at playgroup; it used to be a mother’s group. I can say anything to them and still feel I’m okay.”
“I like getting out of the house each week away from the mess.”
“It’s good to see how other parents solve problems with their children. We’ve only got one child but we’d like to have more. There’s one woman at playgroup who’s got four children. She’s a good person to talk to sometimes.”
“This is my fourth child and playgroup is a special time each week I can spend just with her.”
“I’d like my child to get to know some kids he’s likely to go to kinder with.”