Blog: Playgroup

New to Cleveland Sight Center this year is a playgroup for our Early Intervention (aged 0-3) clients! Playgroup meets once a month and is lead by Deb Tyukodi, Early Intervention Specialist. She took time out of her busy schedule to help explain why playgroup is important. Check out her responses below!

Two early intervention kids play together with bubbles while their mom's watch with smiles on their faces.

How are Early Intervention aged kids impacted by going to playgroup?

Deb: "Our EI kids are able to be with other children their own age. They meet to play in a new environment with new and fun toys. Vision strategies are incorporated into the play activities to best meet their needs. Hopefully, parents are able to take some fun ideas home with them!"

What’s the best part of playgroup?

Deb: "The best part of playgroup is seeing the babies and little ones interact with each other. Having parents together in the community doing something fun with their child is fun for me to see!"

Why did you start playgroup?

Deb: "Playgroup was restarted to bring parents and caregivers together. Our hope is that both the children and parents make new connections. As a parent, it is so valuable to meet other parents that have children experiencing similar things as your own.

Families can be excellent resources and supports for each other. And playgroup sounded like fun!"

What is a highlight from the playgroups you’ve hosted so far?

Deb: "We had one little one crawl on hands and knees for the first time in playgroup!"

Three parents sit by each other while watching their kids play with toys at CSC's playgroup. Two EI specialists are also watching over the kiddos.

How do you prepare for playgroup?

Deb: "I like to have a theme and then plan an activity for the kiddos to explore in as many ways as I can think of. For example, we hosted a balls themed playgroup. We had light up balls, balls with bells, containers with balls inside, different textured balls, balls of different sizes, hard and soft balls, balls in bowls with flashlights, and balls on a lightbox. While there are a lot of activities, we ensure the environment is calm by dimming the lights and spreading the activities out to avoid clutter."

What have you noticed in the children who have come to playgroup?

Deb: "The children who come to playgroup are generally curious about their surroundings and explore the toys and other people. Knock on wood, everyone has seemed to enjoy the hour they spend together full of smiles!"