Just 4 days ago, i led my first ever playgroup in English in my little Swiss village in Canton Solothurn 😀
i was so very very nervous and worried about everything; mostly that the kids will not understand me and will not want to participate in the songs and games at all. i packed the books i had bought just for the group, made sure i had spares of the name drawings of the each child, listened like crazy to the Good Morning song i chose to sing, double checked that i printed the right school holiday schedule and heave a huge sigh.
Thursday morning came and i was up before the alarm. Laid in bed thinking, “Oh my, today is it!” Got up, ran through the morning routine with my boy and then got myself ready, kissed the husband goodbye and wheeled my box of stuff up to the playgroup building (it’s just a 5-minute walk away from our house).
i arrived to find the other playgroup leader doing a quick clean up from the previous day’s activities. It was nice and reassuring to have someone to chat with for a bit. Then i set up the book corner, arranged the chairs in a circle, pasted up my weather poster and paced.
The first little girl to come through the door was a delight. She was so ready to come and have fun and was so responsive. i was so very thankful for her. Then another little boy showed up and then another. The boys took a while to warm up to the idea of being at an English-speaking playgroup.
We sang songs and talked a tiny bit about animals and the weather. i asked them to paste up the weather for the day, which was a lovely sunny day. Then off they went to free play time. i followed and joined in as and when they wanted me to play with them.
The boys and the one girl chose to play different things so i switched between them. And soon it was snack time. Everyone was quite ready for snack and we had a lovely quiet snack time (quite different from when i did my internship). Then it was off to play again.
By now, the boys had warmed up and was really into rough-housing with me. Of course, they both decided to “attack” me. After a while, i went to check on the girl who was quietly playing with homemade “playdoh” with one of the visiting grandmothers (her grandson will join the group the week after). i started playing with the doh and the boys joined in. It was a good time of just squashing and rolling orange doh around.
After which, it was time for a story. i had thought one story was all they would want since English isn’t their first language. But they actually asked for a second one! i was thrilled. So i read We Are Going On A Bear Hunt and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, both wonderful classics for pre-school children.
To end, we sang Old MacDonald which they liked and the Goodbye song.
2 hours had just flown by and i am most grateful for the lovely grandmother who came to visit and help, and for the mums who stayed for the first half of the time.
i am excited and so looking forward to the coming Thursday mornings! 😀
PS: if you would like to know about the English Playgroup or the Deutsch Spielgruppe, check out our website!