Why would I send my twelve-month-old baby to playgroup? What can they gain in a playgroup that they can’t get from being at home?
These are questions parents often ask about the purpose of playgroup. Playgroup is your child’s first experience of learning in a school setting and it has many benefits for the youngest of learners.
One of the benefits of playgroup is that the child comes assisted by a parent or guardian. From an emotional point of view, the child is able to explore a new environment with the safety of a carer they know. It is a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the child and their carer as they share the experience of the class led by a teacher.
Playgroup provides children with an opportunity to engage in learning with other children of a similar age. Even if the child is still learning to communicate and move independently they are provided with interactions with other children and adults through the playgroup experience. Playgroups also follow a routine and often children need to wait their turn to either participate in an activity or wash their hands. This experience develops their patience and understanding of working in a group setting.
Children are exposed to new language and vocabulary in playgroup. They engage in songs, rhymes and stories with their class. This exposure and interaction with others build up their communication awareness and is the basis upon which future literacy skills will be built.
Playgroups are conducted in a new environment that is tailor-made for the child and their specific age. Class sizes are often small which means that teachers can get to know the children and their interests, and support their needs and development through the environment setting.
Physical and sensory activity
Playgroup is another way for children to get physical as they move around the environment. Teachers provide children with physical activities through play, dance, games and other activities that promote movement and the development of motor skills. In playgroups, children are provided with sensory experiences to build nerve connections in their brain when they ignite their different senses. Sensory play also encourages scientific thinking and problem-solving.
Avendale’s playgroups are child-centered, in an environment that is purposefully built for young children to explore and discover the world. Children are not limited to one classroom space; our teachers guide the group around the campus, exploring different learning areas. We believe that learning is a collaboration between the school, the child and the home and that learning happens all the time! We invite you and your child to come to explore Avendale today!