Playgroups Offer More Than Child's Play

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Playgroups can offer more than play time for your preschooler. They can teach valuable lessons and even prepare your youngster for school.

Field Trips
Many parents’ groups and playgroups schedule field trips and other special events. In addition to the usual locales, such as a zoo or museum, field trips can be “behind the scenes” tours of such places as fire stations, police stations, and local businesses. Parents and children get a chance to see the local sites and learn more about the community in which they live.

Community Service
Some groups even become involved in the community through various service projects. By volunteering for a local agency or organizing a community service project, not only would you be serving your community, but also your children would benefit from participating in your efforts. Your actions will go a long way in teaching your children the importance of community service and the satisfaction of helping others.

Structured Activities
For free or low-cost entertainment on a regular basis, the playgroup is unmatched! Weekly playgroups provide an enjoyable diversion where the children can play with friends while their moms talk or where all the members enjoy a structured mom-child activity. Even babies enjoy watching older children play.

Many playgroups provide crafts or other structured activities for babies and preschoolers, where they learn how to cut, glue, paint, listen quietly to stories and follow directions. These activities develop their listening, language and motor skills. For families who don’t want to consider a preschool program, a playgroup is a viable option.

Socialization
However, even if a playgroup does not schedule field trips or offer structured activities, a playgroup will provide a valuable chance for socialization. Unlike a Moms Day Out program or babysitting service, playgroups keep parents and their children together. That means no worries with separation anxiety! The children can play and have fun without having to worry about mom leaving. It’s a very reassuring and confidence-building way to introduce children to socialization and to give them a little bit of independence at the same time.

Besides, children learn a lot just by playing. Even babies enjoy watching older children play. During play, children learn valuable social skills, such as how to share, take turns and role-play. In addition, they learn good manners, cooperation and consideration for others as they work together to pick up toys and clean up after playgroup. Best of all they get to make friends.

Friendship
Friendship may be the most important reason for joining a playgroup. Playgroups provide children with the opportunity to make new friends and to play with others besides their own siblings. In addition, many of the children in playgroup will likely be in their classes when school starts, especially if the group is composed of neighborhood residents. Children can make lifelong friends in playgroup!

Playgroups can be the beginning of your child's social life as well as a lifetime of learning. Nurture both by joining a playgroup today!


A Stay-at-Home Mom's Complete Guide to PlaygroupsAbout the Author:
Carren W. Joye is the author of A Stay-at-Home Mom's Complete Guide to Playgroups. A homeschooling mom of four children, she has founded four successful playgroups and one homeschool support group as well as helped start countless other playgroups around the world via the Internet. Visit her web site at http://www.carrenjoye.com.