Happy Mothers’ Day! ‘I feel like playgroup is all about the Mums. It’s one time of the week that I can talk about my problems and concerns and feel normal. Everyone is going through the same things. Of course, there are enormous benefits for our children too. They form lifelong friendships, often going off to sporting activities, kinders and schools together. Playgroup builds community, it gives the kids and parents familiar faces and a support network, which in turn gives the kids grounding and confidence.’ I popped over to Roslyn Playgroup on their Friday morning session to interview Fiona Thomas who has been the coordinator for the last 5 years. The experience brought back so many lovely memories having been part of this group for 8 years.
Sitting around the kid-sized table where the children were sharing healthy snacks, I remembered many birthday celebrations shared with my own and friends’ children around these same tables.
‘It’s a safe place for the children to play and for us to be ourselves. It makes our job as a mother so much easier if you know other parents. For a couple of hours each week I have a group of friends to talk to.
‘Our Committee is made up of about 12-16 volunteers from the 6-8 groups that are held at the centre. Among the usual roles there is also an Arts and Crafts and Events Coordinator.
Our Christmas Party is amazing. The Mik Maks have performed the last couple of years. There is a mini train that runs around the oval, an animal farm, face painting and jumping castle.
‘Many groups start off as Mothers’ Groups going around to each other’s houses but once the babies become mobile and messy this is a great stepping stone. Our Hall at Wandana Heights is a lovely large space and a whole range of toys and books have been built up over the years. The children wander around and chose what they’d like to play with. There is an enclosed outdoor playground.
‘The Roslyn Playgroup will be moving next year to a new centre that is being built at Bellaire Primary School. It will have a Five Star Green Building Accreditation, Maternal and Child Health Facilities, a Pre-School with 66 places and a Multipurpose Playgroup room. Council chose the site to allow for a connection between Early Years and Primary School Children.
Another Mum who is new to the area added ‘This is a great support for me. It has enabled me to meet other Mums. Coming to playgroup adds structure to my week. I really look forward to having adult conversation. As my daughter grows she will make friends.’
Roslyn Playgroup is 30 years old. Hundreds of families have attended over the years. Roslyn Playgroup https://www.facebook.com/roslynplaygroup/ Or if you are looking for a playgroup near you https://www.geelongaustralia.com.au/playgroups/article/item/8cdbdd1812e9a3c.aspx or Playgroup Victoria http://www.playgroup.org.au/FindaPlaygroup.aspx
Story: Jacqui Bennett Photo: supplied. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.