If your baby is quickly turning into a toddler (like all babies do), or you already have an energetic toddler on your hands, you’re probably ready to start looking for a playgroup in Singapore. A playgroup is a regular meeting of children, usually organised by parents, that allows their kids to participate in supervised play. Nowadays, preschools also offer classes that are more like a playgroup than traditional classes.
A playgroup is an excellent opportunity for your child to interact with other kids in a fun and educational environment. While you can plan your casual playgroup with other moms or dads, joining a more structured playgroup is also a great idea.
Playgroups are also great for parents and caregivers. The playgroup allows them to socialise and interact with other adults, as some are stay-at-home parents and their child’s full-time caregivers and don’t interact much with other adults. To put it simply, playgroups allow both parents and children the opportunity for social interaction. They are a good choice if you’re looking for a short class or session for your child to build their social skills.
Typically, playgroups are ideal for kids 18 months to three years old, although some babies as young as one year old can join a playgroup. Still, even at such a young age, they can already benefit from interacting with other kids and participating in activities.
There are a number of options if you want to join a playgroup in Sengkang, or at least nearby. Like any other school or enrichment activity that your child will join, there are some things you should consider when choosing a playgroup for your child:
Location is always important when considering schools and playgroups. Is the playgroup located in Sengkang? Where is the playgroup going to meet regularly? Is it convenient for you and your family’s needs? If you need to wait for your child, are there places to wait nearby, or is it near enough for you to go home after drop-off? Choose a playgroup near where you live or work to make pick-up and drop-off convenient.
An excellent way to assess a playgroup is to ask for referrals or talk to people whose children have attended the same playgroup. What are the pros and cons of that particular playgroup? How do the teachers (if teacher-led) talk to the children? How do the parents interact with each other? These are essential questions to ask when choosing a playgroup in Singapore.
Do you want your child to attend a playgroup to prepare them for school, or is it more for social interaction? What kind of programme does it offer? Is it more structured, or do they allow lots of time for free play? Think about how old your child is and ensure that the playgroup is appropriate for your child’s developmental needs.
Now, let’s look at the different kinds of playgroups in Singapore. Many preschools offer a playgroup programme for children 18 months and older. Some offer mommy and me classes for children as young as six to 12 months old. Again, the type of playgroup you choose will depend on your goals. Is it more for fun and social interaction, or is it a pre-preschool program in your eyes?
Below are some examples of the kinds of playgroups available in Singapore.
Take note that there are a lot of programmes available, but these are some that stand out:
1. Little Oxford Schoolhouse
If you want a playgroup that starts preparing your child for formal preschool, Little Oxford Schoolhouse offers a playgroup for 18 months old and above in Sengkang. It focuses on child-initiated learning and emphasises children using their five senses to explore and discover the joy of learning. The program also offers many opportunities for fine and gross motor skills development. It encourages them to learn about their feelings and how they interact with others. The program also encourages pre-writing, pre-reading, and incorporates Math and Science concepts.
2. Parent-Toddler Playgroup
Some preschools offer a parent-toddler playgroup. Here, parents stay in the class with the child and are encouraged to participate in the learning activities. Parents support their toddlers’ learning through exploration, discovery, and manipulation of materials. In WeeCare, for example, they present activities based on a weekly theme that is the backdrop of each week’s activities. Usually, there is music time, stations for structured learning, circle time, and snack time.
For a different kind of playgroup in Singapore, try Center Stage School of the Arts Playgroup. Here, the focus is on the arts and creativity. Classes for six to 18 months old are 45 minutes long and lessons for 18 to 36 months old are 1.5 hours long. Imaginative play is emphasized during class through stories, drama, puppets, and music. This helps develop confidence and clarity of speech. Parents are also welcome here.
Little Gym is arguably one of the most popular types of parent-child playgroups in Singapore. Their program focuses on gross motor skills, creative physical activity, and teaches its lessons through gymnastics and dance. Little Gym even has parent-and-me playgroup classes for babies as young as four months old.
A playgroup is your answer when you and your child are ready to socialize and interact with other parents and children. It offers fun, adult-led activities that still emphasize enjoyment over structured learning. Joining any playgroup in Singapore is also a great way to prepare your child for preschool. They get a head start on their social skills while building other skills, such as language, gross motor, and fine motor skills.
If you’re unsure whether you’re ready to enroll your child in a formal playgroup programme, try to find a playgroup in Sengkang first. This type of playgroup will be more casual and easier to adjust to compared to one in school. In any case, you and your child will make new friends and, most importantly, have lots of fun.