Set right size. The general advice on this one is to keep the group size small: and the younger the age of the kids, the smaller the group. For preschool age kids the maximum should be six kids per adult.
Provide rosters. Each parent in the playgroup should have a roster of the names, phone numbers, and addresses of the children. Additional contacts numbers and cell phones should also be on the list as well as a medical release form for the doctor or the hospital authorizing the play group parent to use in case on an emergency. Also determine if any of the children have any allergies or fears (for instance: bee stings, peanuts, milk, dogs or loud noises). You will also want to set a "no sick child" in attendance policy. And finally: do remind one another to "safety proof" their home.
Playgroups are a wonderful chance for your child to be with other kids and participate in new activities, and develop social skills such as taking turns, sharing, cooperating and solving conflicts. But playgroups are also a chance for parents to enjoy each others' company. By following the simple secrets, your playgroup will more likely be not only be a valuable learning experience but also fun for your child as well as you.
Michele Borba, Ed.D., is an educational psychologist, former teacher, and mom who is recognized for offering research-driven advice culled from a career of working with over one million parents, educators, and children. A frequent Today show contributor she also appears on Dr. Phil, The View, CNN American Morning, and The Early Show, Michele is the author of 22 books including her latest release, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries. Visit her daily blog on or follow her on twitter.
Copyright © Michele Borba. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.