When you think of playgroups, you might immediately imagine a group of children playing, getting messy, making noise and having fun!
Playgroup is all of these things. But what makes a Playgroup so unique is the many benefits on offer for both parents and children.
Friendships and Support Networks
A survey by Playgroup Western Australia found that over 84% of parents believed the biggest benefit of attending playgroups were the friendships made.
For children, playgroups offer the opportunity to socialise with children of a similar age and similar level of physical, social and emotional capabilities. Through a range of play-based activities, children at playgroup learn how to connect, begin to manage feelings, share, and develop empathy and kindness.
Friendships for playgroup parents are equally important and many families love that playgroup helps them to meet new people and extend their social circle and support network. This is especially true in the case of people who have just moved to a new area or who don’t have friends and families nearby.
During the toddler and pre-school years, children develop their ability to see themselves as separate and unique individuals. Their sense of self and independence grows and this fuels their curiosity and desire for self-directed exploration.
At playgroup, children are encouraged to explore, create and imagine as they develop their confidence. For parents, being able to watch their child within a new and different environment helps them better understand the layers to their child’s developing personality.
The Learning Journey
Supported playgroups, where children are accompanied by a parent or caregiver and experiences are planned and provided for by qualified educators, can benefit a child’s learning as well as positively influence the home learning environment.
At 2 and 3 years of age, children are inquisitive, excitable and curious. Playgroups help support their imagination, language and cognitive capabilities through a range of play provocations that may include science experiments, dramatic play, music and movement, creative art and outdoor learning.
For parents, being active participants in a Playgroup program helps to develop their confidence and capacity as a child’s first educator. Many report that attending a playgroup helped them better understand their child and their ability to support their child’s educational journey over a number of years.
So while playgroup appears at first glance like a lot of fun and chaos (and it is!), the benefits for everyone can have a long-lasting impact.
DOWNLOAD OUR IN THE GARDEN ACTIVITY BOOK
At Toorak College, we believe in nurturing young learners so they can develop their sense of self and connection to others while exploring the world around them.
We invite you to join in the fun as we explore the garden, from growing flowers to planting a vegetable patch our free downloadable activity book is designed to develop early learning skills and encourage imaginative play and curiosity.