Thursday, February 28, 2008

Playgroups are no place for Children

I cannot take credit for that title as it is the name of some other, much more clever mother's blog, but these words are ringing in my brain today.

You see, a few weeks ago I thought it would be a great idea to volunteer to start/run a playgroup for our neighborhood. In hindsight, this was anything but.

You see, while I love MY child and am moderately pleased with myself that I have managed to keep him alive for the past 19 months, I am no good with kids.

So why, do you ask, did I throw my hat in the ring for this daunting task? Simple: I need adult conversation and I must have heard somewhere that a playgroup is a great way to get that. I also must have heard somewhere that if something isn't being done, that probably means it is your job to do it.


So...Today I got the call that I have been dreading: my church leader asking for me to "email her a sign up sheet with all the particulars" (she said it as if I actually had "particulars" in mind).
I put on my "I used to be a sales person and can make you believe almost anything" voice and said.. "of course! no problem. I have come up with some really fun ideas."

The problem, friends and fellow bloggers, is that I don't have much in mind. I don't know how to go about this. I have never even been to a playgroup, let alone started one!

I turned to google and fortunately I was able to find some things out. But I am asking for any help. What are some fun things that you ahve seen happen at Playgroups. I want moms to WANT to come and for it to be fun for the kids too (I guess) and I know that generally people only give you one to two chances with their time.. so I have to start with a bang.

Please help.


MamaGeek said...

First of all, get lots (like 4.4 tons) of goldfish snacks. Then let the kids obliterate the playroom while you sit back and talk with someone NOT in diapers.

thekirnancrib said...

snacks. coffee/tea for the mamas/caregivers. location that doesn't involve a ton of cleanup (for instance, the playground). I don't think a playgroup should be based around set "activities" for the kids... especially since they are probably going to do their own thing anyway, especially at that age!

Jayna & Family said...

I officially endorse the first comment with a hearty AMEN! The playground is fun, but you end up chasing your kids all around and not really talking to people. The playgroup I've had the best success with was just held in our church gym (during the winter). It was perfect because the kids are contained, you could bring fun bikes, balls, etc. and sweep up the goldfishes when done! Good luck!

LindsSawyer said...

Somehow reading your dilema makes me appreciate my 12 hour day yesterday in the corporate world. Trying to drag doctors to a dinner at Ruth's Chris last night certainly seems easier than pulling off a fun filled adventure at Boondocks! Good luck! I will stay in the rat race for now.

Erin said...

I would delegate. Have every mom bring a snack to share (but have a back-up just in case) and make sure you have paper and crayons. I tape butcher paper to the wall and let the kids go at it. Good luck!

girlymom said...

Make it a convenient time for moms with kids of all ages. I have a hard time going to a great group here because I have to also get lunch crammed into the preschooler and kindergartener before afternoon school.

I agree with keeping the play to an open play, that's what the kids need anyways, a way to interact with other kids- parents too

Snacks, yeah!
Good luck with it all.

Beanie said...

The most kids can handle at their age is one idea. Be simple and not stressed. Lay down some clear rules. Ask Laura about their singing group in Vancouver. That looks really fun.

shauna said...

I am sooo with you on this one. I was never one for playdates. But it looks like people are giving great ideas. I agree with simplicity--don't feel obligated to make it a big event. Kids happen to love simplicity and can keep themselves busy with a bunch of boxes and some crayons. Good luck! (You've been posting like a mad woman these past few days!)

jennifer said...

How did I miss this?! Hope playgroup turned out well...

I've never had much luck with large playgroups, smaller ones have always suited me better. Also, I particularly enjoy "cocktail playdates!"