Playgroup: why it matters

culture specific early childhood education early childhood education playgroup

Playgroup, what is it?  Is it just a place to play?  What am I going to do there?  I don’t have time or money to take them to playgroup all the time.

Playgroup is a safe space for children and parents to learn and grow through play.  The benefits of Playgroup are applicable to children and their parents/carers.  Here is what you need to know about Playgroups and why it matters.

  1. Allows children to socialise with others

Karen van Woudenberg, Playgroup NSW Deputy CEO says “Playgroup is really about following the lead of the child.”  I watch my nephew during the week and the first time that I took him to playgroup I didn’t think it was the right choice as he clung to me and didn’t want to interact with the other children.  We stayed and he soon felt comfortable enough to move away from me and play with the toys.  Fast forward to today and he will take the initiative to go out and play with other children.

Children learning to be around other people are a huge part of playgroup.  It can take some time, but that it the magic of it, your child is in charge of the pace.

 

  1. Allows parents to socialise with others

As a stay at home mother, I know firsthand that parenting can be draining and can also leave you feeling like you are alone in a world of mess, nappies and noise.  Playgroups help parents and carers to get out of their home and interact with other parents and carers who are facing the same experiences.  It can be a place where you can make lifelong friends and be a support network with each other.

I currently attend a Playgroup where we as parents and carers are there for each other and we interact and share with each other.  We have even formed a chat where we plan an outing so that we can get together outside of playgroup and be together as friends.

 

  1. Gets children accustomed to a schedule

When we go to school we are faced with set times for learning, set times for eating and set times for playing.  Many facilitated playgroups allow children to begin making the connection between timing and activities that they can participate in. For example, at the Measina Playgroup, we have the following schedule set out so that we can plan for the activities as well as to provide a structured play experience in preparation for school.

Playgroup Schedule

 

  1. Value for money

Keeping up with the latest toys and learning activities can be costly.  Playgroup allows your child to experience activities that they would not normally experience at home.  While facilitated playgroups cost money, the money outlaid will most likely be less than if you were to purchase the toys and equipment yourself.  Download a copy of the Independent Cost Benefit Analysis of Community Playgroups Report.

 

Measina also provide Educational programs that come to you!  Click here to learn more.


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