View Full Version : Does anyone organise and run a playgroup?

13-10-2011, 05:51 PM
I am the village magazine editor and also did a bit of work at the local school when I was teaching. I was emailing the head teacher today (he prints our magazine) and happened to ask about their Thursday morning toddler group (which they started in order to get more people knowledgeable of the school and wanting to send their child there, although there is no preschool at the moment as the village hall is in progress!). So his response was that there are still parents/children wanting the group but no one to organise it - his words were that it needs a new stimulus!

I got the impression he was nudge-nudge-hint-hinting me!

So do you and would you take on a toddler group that, as it stands, has only been running about 6 months anyway? What sorts of things do you get up to? How difficult and time-consuming do you find it?x

13-10-2011, 06:38 PM
I run a toddler group at my local primary school. I charge parents 50p to cover the snacks which I keep simple such as biscuit or raisins. I only run it for an hour so they don't need a big snack.
I do one activity but keep it simple such as playdough and set out a few toys.
It does'nt take that much time up but can be hard if you have children with you that need a lot of attention. Especially when your trying to tidy up and amuse the kids. Most of the parents that attend are really good at helping me to put the toys away though so that helps.

13-10-2011, 07:04 PM
I run one in the local village hall. I charge £1 per child as it also covers parents/minders tea and biscuit. I just usually get loads of toys out and if there's a specil occasion (Halloween) we do activities to cover that. The childminders that attend are excellent at helping get snack ready, cleaned and tidied up but parents are a different matter. It's not hard, i get snacks, organise the insurance, collect money and spend it wisely.

13-10-2011, 07:06 PM
I don't run one but help at a few. Today for eg I helped with circle time. I often come early or stay late and help put toys away etc.

From what I've experienced in different playgroups the ones with structure are the ones that are the friendliest and most visited.
For example as everyone arrives there is a wide range of toys set out tochoose from and also one or two tables with crafts / messy play (today it was painting a ferris wheel as there is a fair in town and making hedgehogs with clay and matchsticks)
After a certain amount of time a bell gets rung and it's tidy up time. Everyone helps put away toys and wipe tables down for snacktime. Snack consists of a drink and a selection of fruit and biscuits or cake or flapjack etc but fruit is always served, along with raisins.
Then everyone sits down for a story and after the story we sit in a circle and sing some songs - if there is a birthday among the children we sing happy birthday and if not a selection of songs - seasonal too obviously and nursery rhymes.
Then we say a short prayer (church hall) and a goodbye song. Some parents usually stay a little longer to help fold tables up and sweep tr floor. Then it takes about another 20 minutes for the woman who runs it to wash the
Dishes used and tidy the last bits and bobs up.

There are some more unstructured groups too but these don't tend to be as well liked.

Anyway I would go for it as I think it's a great wayto meet people and also to get your name out there! :)

13-10-2011, 07:54 PM
So glad I saw this post as I am in a similar position.

Our local toddler group, run by a methodist church, has closed due to lack of people running it and I am wondering how much work it would be to take on in additon to my childminding. I can obviously assess what goes into providing food and activities but how do you deal with the insurance side of things? If it is a church group are they likely to deal with all that?? Also does it have any impact on our childminder insurance if we are running the toddler group?

Any advice appreciated as this group was perfect for a wednesday morning mindee entertainment!

13-10-2011, 08:43 PM
I run a toddler group from our village school hall each week. We charge £1.50 per family and include a snack with a mi of 3 fruit and veg choices and something carb based. We offer hot drinks for the adults and a slice of homemade cake.

We have a range of toys laid out for free play, have an organised activity each week and then after tidy away we sing songs and play instruments. Once a month our local preschool joins us for singing and they might lead a movement and dance to music session.

I organise and buy activities and snack and run the accounts, we have different mums who bring a cake each week in lieu of subs, its a lovely village community group with a mix of mums, childminders and grans. Doesn't take much of my time up to be honest - I see it as a natural extension of my job.

13-10-2011, 10:28 PM
I helped to set up a toddler group 5 years ago, we got a council grant of £3,000 and in between then and now, it has been well attended.

I've now more or less taken over the role (last 3 months) of getting there for 8.45am, opening up the hall, de-setting alarms, opening firedoors, setting up the kitchen, making sure loo-rolls are in toilets, etc.

Then you have to get milk, teabags, coffee, biscuits, juice the night before.

Also, it's heavy work getting out the tables, equipment, and all while you've got your mindees. Then putting it away.

You need people to help wash up (I have to keep reminding people to wash their own cups) otherwise I often end up in the kitchen the whole time.

My Mum used to serve the teas/coffees/cakes/kids juice/biscuits and wash up until 2 years ago but had to retire due to my Dad not being well. So it's a good idea to have a volunteer in the kitchen. I'm going to advertise for this soon.

We're lucky in that the tenants association don't charge us a rent so the £2 per parent/carer goes towards toys, summer/xmas entertainers, tea, coffee, etc. and craft materials which cost quite a bit for 30 odd children.