Sunday, September 28, 2008

Developmental Playgroup

Last week Sophie started a playgroup at our local Developmental Services Center. This is a very wonderful playgroup and already I can tell the staff are very caring and knowledgeable people. Developmental Playgroup is for little ones with some sort of developmental need, though Sophie is the only child with Down syndrome in the group. Her peers are 1-2 years old. Sophie was the only newbie in a small group of 3 kids. A few kids will be starting in October and a few more called in sick so it will be bigger soon. That day with only 3 kids and 2 staff plus an intern, we were one-to-one. There are waiting lists for this playgroup and I can see why.

During playgroup I 'play' right along side of Sophie for an hour and a half, once each week while Alexander is in preschool. It is written into her IFSP and is at no extra cost to us. Each playgroup follows the same pattern. First up is free play among the many fun activities set out in the room. Sophie took a little warming up to each activity, but after a few moments, seemed to enjoy each thing she did. Her favorite was sitting in the ball pit. At first when Ms. H. scooped more balls on her she would kick and push them away. Soon, she was having, well, a ball and didn't want to get out.

Then we do the "clean up" song while laundry baskets are passed out to collect toys. The purpose isn't really to get the little ones to clean the room, but to gain experience being helpers and engage in an activity that signals transition to the next activity.

Next was an art project. The little ones put on smocks and sat in tiny chairs around the little table covered in paper. The older kids had paint rollers and blobs of of different colored paint right on the paper in front of them to roll and mix. Sophie had a large zip lock baggie with red paint on one side and blue paint on the other. They taped the baggie down on the table and Soph squished the baggie. She mixed the colors together making purple. She loved it. I was amazed as I never would have thought of that. Frankly, seeing my little girl in a smock like a big girl at the table was an experience - for me.

Then, it was time to wash hands for snack time. The kids got goldfish crackers and Cheerios with sippys of juice. They got experience scooping out the snacks and taking turns. There were more songs and talk about what happened during play time. Last was Circle Time on little rugs. The time was filled with jingle bells, singing, music, and a parachute. We said our good byes until next time.
I can see that this playgroup is going to be AMAZING for Soph. She is a very social girl, but has limited interaction with kids who aren't her brother. She had a great time and so did I. The staff know what they are doing and are lovely. They are so good at gently but firmly encouraging Sophie to try new things. I can already see that I have a lot to learn about my daughter and her capabilities. This playgroup is just the thing to show us both what she can do.

7 comments:

Melissa @ Banana Migraine said...

That looks like fun, how great you have a playgroup like that.

Katie said...

You go Sophie, I am excited to see how you are developing..into such a strong little girl...you truly are amazing and have alot of character. Sounds like your mom has you involved in a great playgroup...Your momma is the best, you truly couldn't have any better.
Love your Aunt Katie

RK said...

Awesome! You got in! What a fun time! You're so right, she is gonna love going.

lintofpocket said...

Sounds like it will be great for both of you.

Love to Sophie...

Anonymous said...

Ok, so like I know its been awhile.... But you do realize that you probably are gonna have to buy/make your own ball pit! I can just see it now. 1st Soph, then Xander, Mark, you(?)lol, and the cats. What a blast that would be. I would like to be a mouse in a corner to watch you all play. Heres what you do, buy a small pool, fill it with the balls, and have fun!:) I think you should do this before we come, so we can join in the fun. HA HA see you real soon. Love Liz

JRS said...

melissa-
We are very lucky.

katie-
Thanks! Miss you.

rk-
We both are loving it.

lintofpocket-
Thanks. It's great for us both.

AnonyLizzy-
No ball pits at home. It's already a mess. That's what playgroup is for!

JRS said...

melissa-
We are very lucky.

katie-
Thanks! Miss you.

rk-
We both are loving it.

lintofpocket-
Thanks. It's great for us both.

AnonyLizzy-
No ball pits at home. It's already a mess. That's what playgroup is for!