1. Choose a "Featured Author" each month. Mercer Mayer, H.A. Rey, Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss are all wonderful author choices for preschool friendly books. Once you have an idea of the author, encourage moms to share ideas to capitalize on the stories. Weekly read aloud sessions, crafts, cooking projects and games are all fun and educational ideas. Each mom can contribute monthly, or you can have one parent do an author every month. Chances are that
whatever author you choose, many of the playgroup members will have resources by or having to do with that author. Dvds, memory games and audio books can be added to the enjoyment of the author's works. Be sure to explain a bit about the author to the children, too, so they understand the perspective of the featured writer.
2. Plan a hands on field trip each month. Choose a place like a pottery studio or a strawberry u-pick farm. Encourage children to get involved and share with their preschool pals. Other hands on ideas include a trip to the local ice cream shop to make sundaes, a hike at a nearby park to spot flower types, or a water playdate at a fountain park. Be creative!
3. Create a class or program for your playgroup with your local community members. For example, most libraries would be happy to do a monthly story time for your group, or you could plan to all attend one of the already organized story times together. A local area kids gym, like My Gym, can offer classes to your playgroup on tumbling or gymnastics. If you are fortunate to have a family
enrichment center, like Spark Family Enrichment Center in the Orlando, FL area you can set up a special program with them. Maybe your playgroup would like an Etiquette class, or Preschool French? Spark also offers set classes your group can attend together, thus ensuring fellowship and learning. Previously held classes include pasta making, stories and crafting or even a free play time.
Check them out at http://www.sparkec.net/index.html
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