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week 1 Cavan Parent and Toddler Group


wk one observe and introduce

This was quite a big group around 8 families and a total of 10 children. The space is bright and colourful which goes a long way in creating a positive atmosphere. The group is organised by two parents Vanessa and Rosie who both have children they bring to the sessions. There are a wide variety of backgrounds in this group and some parents and kids with not much English. However there is a good feeling of inclusiveness and even those who seem less involved socially seem comfortable in the space. Parents and minders arrive gradually over the first half hour and teas, cakes for the adults are put on a big table and snacks of crackers and cheese and fruit for the kids on small tables.  

During this part of the session we introduced ourselves and the project to the adults and played with the kids. We also created a tent using coloured cloths which the children enjoyed playing in. Jess had brought snow drops, we showed these to the kids and said a poem with actions together. Jess played her harp and we sang a simple song about spring. The kids were quiet and absorbed for this. One parent had a guitar and we all sang action songs with the kids. It was great to have this response to what we were doing and chatted to the parent about doing more together over the weeks we are there.

We felt it was important to say something collectively to the parents about allowing the children to come and go during any activities we introduce. That they need to feel free to pursue the activity or aspect of it that makes sense to them at that time. We wanted to find a way to say this that would not be critical or serious.

It would be nice to encourage the children to eat more fruit..maybe by example of collectively eating with the parents. At the moment the kids eat one thing the parents something else. Perhaps rather than change what they already do just to introduce fruit and seeds at another part of the session.

This is a bright and inspiring space. We stayed after the session to respond to the group through charcoal and colour drawings and to discuss the session. We also spent time in a small park area near the center which was covered in snow drops.


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