What are play groups like?
Play groups are designed to be a learning and social time for both parent and baby. Groups starts with introductions. During introductions each family shares who they are, the child/children's age or ages, and a little about how things are going. You could share a new skill learned, or something you that is going really well. You can also share something you are struggling with or that is just frustrating. Next is the activity or material exploration. Some times these activities are more directed and sometimes it is more open ended exploration for the children.
During group Patience moves between interacting with the children and chatting with the parents. Patience also likes to point out the discovers and thought processes the children are making during play time.
These is always time during play groups for parents to talk together and share stories and ideas. You also have an opportunity to ask Patience Bleskan your parenting questions.
Below is a description of how the play groups are different from each other.
Infant Play & Learn:
Play for our non-movers is designed to help mom and babies explore and play in the best way for development. Each week we do a section of play focused on motor development and ways to play with baby that encourages baby to use his or her body. Young babies are first discovering they have a body and then they work on how to control and use their bodies. This body mastery is the main developmental task of the first year.
In addition to the body work, we usually have an added material to explore and use with the babies. These materials are either used to enhance the body work or to expose baby to new sights, sounds and textures.
Infant Play & Learn:
Each week of the month has a different theme.
Groups ends with Story Time
Week 1: Open Play
- The children are provided with more traditional toys to explore and work with. These toys are all natural and green made toys.
Week 2: Sensory or Art Exploration
- The children are provided with materials to entice their senses and expose them to a wide variety materials. The children are encouraged to explore with their entire body. Examples of materials are clay, rice, corn meal, and paint.
Week 3: Every Day Objects
- Every home is full exciting things for children to explore. The children are provided with materials found in most homes. Parent and child get a chance to explore these items in a new way.
Week 4: Gross Motor Activities
- Infants and toddlers are working on mastering the movements of their body. The children are provided with an opportunity to climb on, crawl through, and pull up.
Toddler Play & Learn
This group combines structured time with open play time.
Since walkers love to move and move fast, we like to make sure that we spend some of this class running. We work on helping the children move through space and learning to pay attention to what is around them. Other actives in this class include obstacle courses, acting out stories, and making art.