It’s not always easy to get to playgroup on time, remembering everything and leaving the house looking respectable. Even with one child it can be hard, but when you have two, three or more to get there, it can be a whole lot more challenging – especially when one (or more!) is a newborn.
You might remember those first years of playgroup with your first, spending time doing things together – crafts, painting, reading a book, song time. Now you find yourself juggling your child, who still wants to do all of these things, with another child who equally needs your attention.
Playgroup can be a great source of support. It gets you out of the house and offers the chance to talk to others with children of a similar age. It provides an upbeat, fun and friendly environment. Life-long friendships have started at playgroup for both adults and children.
Here are some tips to help you manage multiple kids at playgroup:
- If playgroup seems a bit long, try attending the first or last part of the session and work your way up to stay for the whole session over a number of weeks.
- Don’t feel obligated to attend every week. If it’s been a long night, have a week off!
- Ask a grandparent or friend to come along with you for some added support. Alternatively, have them look after one or two of your children at home and take turns which child you take to Playgroup each week so you can have some quality time with each child.
- Get prepared the night before. Organise a snack, a piece fruit, water bottle, hat, change of clothes etc.
- Check if there is pram access or bring a baby carrier or sling for little ones so that you can still assist with your other children.
- Accept help from others who offer it. It is okay to ask for help when needed!
- Let other parents or carers help your child with a painting or craft. This can be hard when you are so used to helping your own child, but they will be proud to show you what they’ve achieved.
- Don’t overdo it or stress yourself out. Do what you can at the time. Some weeks will be easier than others.
- Smile and accept the chaos. Soon they’ll be off to school and hopefully you’ll look back and treasure these wonderful (sometime challenging!) pre-school years.