We're looking for your views on how to find a really good playgroup or mum & toddler group, so we can share them on MFM.
Is it the toys and equipment, the friendliness, the activities, the convenience or how much your little ones seem to enjoy themselves?
Have you ever been to a playgroup once and never gone back?
Do you go to a playgroup where you make sure newbies are welcomed?
Let us know...
Personally I consider lots of factors,snacks are they healthy,staff,are they friendly? Are the toys suitable for ages of children who attend? and then distance plays a part for me,as picking 1 up from nursery at half day can be tricky.
I attend 2 mother and baby groups,both cost £1 which you cannot beat on price,they run from 10am til 12pm and have a range of activities for the boys,my gripe is biscuits are offered as snacks but alas I'm guessing they are volunteer groups and they'd have to charge much more fo a choice of snack,which may limit their numbers,so I just take a banana with me!!!!!! They are more than happy for me to do this,think that's because I make the cakes at christmas and easter!!!!!
As for playgroups where you leave your children.....anyone who's aregular will no I'm not afan of doing that and very fussy about snacks,activities etc.....Jc wont be attending one,he can go to nursery at school at 3,that's plenty soon enough I think!
The mum and toddler group that I take Jack to is good. Recenlty, they needed new Chairperson, secretary, etc, and I am now Chairperson. We all have an input into the running of it, deciding what toys come out, planning parties, etc. and I think it everyone feels included, then everyone feels more a part of it and enjoys it more.
New mambers are welcomed, and everyone tries to get on. I hate groups which click together, and don't let anyone else in.
I have been to three, in total, and went once to each. I found it was more about parents chatting than playing with their kids or even socialising their kids as many just ignored them and there was conflict with no resolution(!) many times.
When my daughter out-grew the baby group we were attending we went along to the mother and toddler group at the same centre with some of the others of the same age as my daughter. We only went back once to give it a chance. On our 1st visit all the other Mums were more intereted in chatting and drinking coffee than stopping their children from stampeding into our little ones. Hardly anyone chatted to us. The 2nd week my daughter was chewing on some hand bells and got a clump of hair, from inside the bell, in her mouth so we never went back!
I go to a gaelic playgroup where everything is shared and we all talk about ways to fundraise for the group etc. Nobody minds if you tell someone elses child off. This may be because it is such a small group that we are tight knit but we are also very welcoming to new members.
I like groups where there are plenty toys for all ages, healthy snack and drink, coffee for the adults, parents that pay attention to their children and to other parents. I always watch my daughter carefully when she goes somewhere new to see how she reacts and if she's happy then I'm happy. I usually ask her, after a 1st time anywhere, if she enjoyed it and if the play leaders were nice.
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