Today was the last session of Orana Playgroup.
Closing a playgroup is kind of like killing a sacred cow, but what can you do when families in the area just won’t come along?
It’s been fun. A lot of fun.
When I started in July 2008, I had just one family coming to playgroup. Slowly it built up. Over the years the numbers have fluctuated. At its peak we had fifty people coming. The onsite preschool used to thank me for having such a structured playgroup where children did art and craft, sat to hear a story, and did songs and movement. They said the playgroup children had already formed lovely friendships and were in a better position to take advantage of the learning activities at preschool. Playgroup is important in the lives of children.
I have so many memories of kids being kids – creative, funny, clever, and completely awesome. This blog has recorded just a few of those magic moments.
One family gave me a card today. Three of their four children have grown up with Orana Playgroup. The mum said that they had a “remember when” session for playgroup at home.
They put some of their memories on the card…
Today we remembered certain children and parents who have come to playgroup over the years and we sang songs for them.
The last few weeks Shona (3) has wanted us to sing the train song, and so we did. Today she lined up the chairs and wanted us all to sit on the train, and so we did. She even wore the train hat and found a disc that she could use as a steering wheel.
We also sang The Wheels on the Bus.
The last few weeks Ruby (2) has wanted us to sing a funny monster song. But we don’t know any funny monster songs. This week I wondered whether we could adapt a song we already know, and thought Dingle Dangle Scarecrow might do. But one of the mums, Liz, suggested we adapt Down in the Jungle.
It was GREAT! Liz and I had such fun with it. Ruby looked at us like we were a bit crazy, but she did her funny monster dance after the song, and all was well.
I like the monster version much better, and couldn’t help thinking of the book “Where the Wild Things Are” as we were singing.
Here it is with just me singing it. The words are below.
Click here to play: Funny Monster song for Ruby
. Down in the valley where nobody goes There’s a big funny monster washing his clothes With a scrubba-dubba here and a scruuba-dubba there That’s the way he washes his clothes With an i-tie growl growl growl With an i-tie growl growl growl With an i-tie growl growl growl That’s the way he washes his clothes Down in the jungle where nobody sees There’s a huge hairy monster scratching his fleas With a scratch scratch here and a scratch scratch there That’s the way he scratches his fleas. Down in the jungle where nobody hears There’s a young funny monster cleaning her ears With a flippety flap here and a flippety flap there That’s the way she cleans her ears Down in the jungle when nobody’s there There’s a big funny monster combing his hair With a comb comb here and a comb comb there That’s the way he’s combing his hair Down in the jungle it made me turn pale I saw a slinky funny monster wiggling his tail With a wiggle wiggle here and a wiggle wiggle there That’s the way he was wiggling his tail Down in the jungle when the stars are bright I saw the funny monsters dancing all night With a boogie woogie here and a boogie woogie there That’s the way they’re dancing all night.
So much fun on our last day of playgroup.
Young fellas Aston (1) and Jason (17 months) have got used to singing the songs, and participating in group time. Jason is always on the go, but it has only taken him a few months to get used to circle time and participate. It took a while for him to get used to music in the raw, just human voices, with no accompaniment, rather than recorded music, but every week he has increased his focus and participated more. Sometimes it takes a while for little kids to get used to Circle Time. We just let them regulate how much they want to participate and eventually they get it and they love it. I remember one little girl who took about 18 months to fully get involved in Circle Time. It’s all OK!
Liam, Jason’s dad, discovered that the instrument we have been calling a ‘handbag‘ is actually called an ‘agogo’. So we sang “I am a fine musician” with the correct name, and the instrument felt much better about itself.
One song that I wanted to sing at the end of playgroup was I Have Made a Pretty Nest but I completely forgot. The children have loved this song, so here it is one last time…
Click here to play: I have made a pretty nest
Goodbye Orana Playgroup.
This now ends five-and-three-quarter years of my involvement in Kingswood Park, and I have truly loved every minute of it.
Until we meet again.
Narelle Smith ♥