By Michele Benjamin /
We know the benefits that playgroups provide our children—peer socialization, new activities to learn and ideas to explore—but have you ever thought about what it can do for you?
My family moved to Tecumseh in 2008 from Central Illinois, not knowing a soul in the area. Gulp. On top of that, I was new to being a stay-at-home mom to our 3-year-old daughter. Double gulp. It was an interesting transition, to say the least! We visited parks almost every day, hoping to meet new friends.
Soon enough, someone told me about these playgroups at the old middle school run by the fabulous Miss Kim. I was not at all aware of this sort of thing, but knew I needed to check it out. Wow, I was so glad we did! My daughter loved it…new toys and friends and a place to run when the weather was bad.
I loved talking with other grown-ups. Getting the scoop on pediatricians and preschools and library story time. Discovering the therapeutic power of crayons and Playdough. We live in the age of the internet, and most questions can be “Googled” and answered with a few clicks of a mouse, but having an opportunity to actually talk to other moms (and dads and grandparents and daycare providers) about these things is priceless! To actually talk to a family who has been through a speech evaluation and speech therapy, and hearing first hand how their little one’s speech has improved, is reassuring. Meeting three other kids who aren’t yet potty trained and being able to talk about different strategies is a relief. My daughter and I met wonderful families that we are still friends with today.
Now I get to run playgroups in Tecumseh, and I love to see these same connections being made with families. We may all do this parenting thing a little differently, but in the end, we all just want the best for our children. If you haven’t yet, please check out the playgroup schedule on the Great Start activity calendar and visit a playgroup…you’ll be glad you did!
Photos by Michele Benjamin
Michele Benjamin has been the Lenawee’s CHILD parent educator in the Tecumseh Public School District for almost five years. She is a former Child Welfare Specialist and trainer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their 10-year-old daughter; volunteering at the Lenawee Humane Society; and cooking and gardening.by