Most playgroups find that their playgroup experience is enhanced by having a simple structure each week. A routine means everyone knows what happens and what to expect (although on occasions every playgroup needs to be flexible). Your team of Development and Support workers have put together a sample outline of how to organise your playgroup to enrich your time together. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page and Pinterest boards for even more ideas.
As Everyone is Arriving
As you know, not everyone will arrive at the same time. It is a good idea to set out several activities such as blocks, dress-ups and soft toys and allow children time to explore whatever takes their fancy as their friend’s dribble in. In fine weather, children can play outside until everyone arrives.
Once Everyone is There
Gather everyone together to sing a hello* song. This helps to reaffirm everyone’s name and is especially nice if you have new families attending. After this, you can move on to some other planned activity such as music and dancing/movement; or craft (always
remember the process is more important than the product so encourage and appreciate your child’s efforts); or simple traditional games such as Duck, duck, goose or Row, row, row your boat.
Get everyone to help pack up the activity and wash their hands ready for fruit or other healthy snacks. Remember healthy habits such as using tongs etc. (And, grownups, remember to model healthy eating habits!! Save the chocolate biscuits for another time!)
After snack time, get everyone to help clean up and wash hands again.
Encourage children to play outside or continue with an inside activity they love. This is an opportunity to
encourage playing together but don’t force the issue.
Finish with Story Time and a Song
Gather everyone (grownups and children) into a circle sitting on the floor. Every grownup can take a turn to read a story. Make sure to use
appropriate expression and gestures. Ask the
children ’what do you think happens next?’ or other questions to stimulate thinking about the story.
A lovely way to finish playgroup is for everyone to sing a goodbye* song.
Hello or Goodbye Songs
Sit in a circle. You can sing children’s and adults’ names to the tune of ‘Loo Loo Skip to my Loo’.
Hello everyone, hello everyone,
hello everyone, how are you today?
hello (choose a name), hello (choose a name), hello (choose a name),
let’s have fun and play!
Or – as a goodbye song:
Goodbye everyone, goodbye everyone,
goodbye everyone, we’ve had fun today!
goodbye (choose a name), goodbye (choose a name), goodbye (choose a name),
we’ve had fun today!
Alternatively, to the tune of ‘The Farmer in the Dell’:
It’s time to say goodbye, it’s time to say goodbye, everybody wave your hands,
It’s time to say goodbye!