Setting up a play group
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  1. #1
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    Default Setting up a play group

    Evening everybody - I’m new to this so please be kind ☺️.

    I have been asked to set up a stay and play group. Has anyone got any information on what I need to do in order to go ahead with this. For example insurance ect.

    Also any ideas of what you would like from a stay and play group. The venue is linked to a school so I feel very under pressure to get it right and make it a success. Any information/ideas and advice welcome

    TIA x

  2. #2
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    If it is linked to a school then I'd be asking them about their insurance and how it will cover your venture.
    I go to one, what I like is low cost, a good hot cup of tea and a choccie biscuit, space and plenty of resources for the children, a craft/messy play every week, healthy snack and water provided for all the children. Ideally I like it when there are child-free volunteers to help hands-on with crafts etc (church toddle groups are good at this where often elderly volunteers come to help).
    Good luck!

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  4. #3
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    I've never set up a stay and play session, but have been involved in running toddler groups.

    We had insurance from preschool learning alliance. We asked every adult attendee to fill out a form with contact details, child's name, dob etc. This also informed the adult that they were responsible for their own child.

    We provided a snack of water, fruit and toast. With all children sitting down together to share.

    I run a childminders group at the local children's centre and we all bring something to share for snacktime. We just sign in and out on the childrens centre register as we are all registered with the childrens centre.

    Activity wise, i like to provide a painting/sticking activity, a 'messy' activity such as sand/water/playdough/ mixing flour & water/ soil & water etc. Then we always have out role play/small world/baby toys/ construction of some sort and anything anyone asks for! We have a story and songtime at the end. I try to link the craft/messy play to the story in some way.

    I used to do story and song time when i helped run toddlers. I think it is modelling good 'practice' for parents who might not do much of this at home. Also, encouraging parents to interact with their child and not just sit and chat os best done by example. Although, making friends and getting to know mew adult friends is important too.

    Are you a childminder? Will you be doing this whilst you are working? If so, you will need back up so you are able to spend time with your minded children and/or your own.
    Good luck x

  5. #4
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    I like a nice warm smile and welcoming hello when I enter - it can be sooooo daunting going to a new group.

    I don't like hot drinks being served to adults. I can't relax when I know there are hot drinks around.

    I also prefer the ones with adults who don't have children with them. It can be helpful when the occasional dispute over toys occur and you don't want to appear to be favouring your child/mindees.

    I like 'safe' environments - so no piles of chairs stacked up around the edge, no rugs with curled up edges ready to trip little toddlers over, no handbag straps on the floors next to chairs as another tripping hazard - a vigilant leader comes in handy again!

    I hate groups where the adults sit around chatting whilst the little ones get up to all sorts. I have been to groups where I come across as a bit 'stand offish' because I don't want to sit around and gossip, preferring to play with the children instead. I have also been to one group where I could not get more than a couple of words out of any of the other mums. It was very cliquey and I felt self conscious. The leader did nothing to facilitate an inclusive atmosphere. That one left a really sour taste in my mouth and as I said earlier - I don't even go for the adult chat particularly and am happy left to my own devices with the children.


    It really is important to 'see' the adults there, even though the groups are set up for children. Some of the adults will be lonely, may have post natal depression, might be anxious parents etc. I know that when my husband was a stay at home parent for a while he found most groups very uncomfortable as the only male there - even the ones which I loved.

    I like the leader to be professional at all times and to model lovely, constructive ways of speaking to children.

    Now I'm thinking about feedback that I gave to the most amazing playgroup that I used to go to. One of the leaders, who was otherwise amazing throughout the session, would never give the children a five/two/1 minute warning that tidy up time was approaching. She would just wait for tidy up time and then call out " Okay, tidy up time" whilst taking toys out of the childrens' hands to put back in the box, or take a paper that they were painting on away from them/disassemble the tower they were building etc. I used to find it so disrespectful. Bless them though, after the feedback (which they asked for, and I didn't name the lady) they made a point of announcing that tidy up time was approaching. Such a good thing to model to parents too.

 

 

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