Friday, August 14, 2015

Kindergarten Playdate

Kindergarten Meet up!

South Burlington families! 
Do you have a child entering kindergarten this year?

Head on over to your child's elementary school playground for an opportunity to meet classmates and their families. There we'll have some free play fun and come together at the end for a story and cold treat.
Orchard School: Mon. Aug 17, 6-7pm
Chamberlin School: Tues Aug 18, 6-7pmRM Central School: Wed Aug 19, 6-7pm
Contact us with any questions!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Finding Our Place in the World Through Play

I often notice a lot of interesting social dynamics with groups of children. Older children are finding their places as leaders, younger children are learning independence and communication, and they are all discovering how to be part of a community. This all happens through play.  
Young children, especially ages 2-4 are learning how to interact with others and begin the transition from solitary play, parallel play (playing along side another child, but not necessarily playing WITH them), and cooperative play (playing and interactive WITH other children, usually 1-2 other children). Having varying developmental levels and ages in one place poses some unique social challenges, such as children choosing specific playmates (and therefore excluding others), others contently (or not so contently) playing alone, as well as a range of skills in appropriate play. (More on play)  
As a caregiver, when I am feeling challenged, there are several things I like to keep in my mind throughout the day. Below are the top two (and are so eloquently taken from Heather Shumaker’s book “It’s OK NOT to Share: and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids”):   
1. Meet each child with where they are today,
not the 5, 8, or 10 year old she will become or the calm child he was yesterday. Look for ways to meet the child’s immediate social and emotional needs-- How he thinks, solves problems and lives with his active body.
→ When we allow kids to play and grow at their own pace, they gain a multitude of blessings. Kids learn life lessons and think to themselves:
  • I’m OK just as I am.
  • My caregivers support and understand me.
  • I can try new things when I’m ready.
  • I can pursue what interests me the most. I love to learn!
  • Life is awesome.
2. It’s OK as long as it’s not hurting people or property.  
Asking myself this questions: Is this play hurting people or property?, helps me set limits based on safety. Instead of stopping/banning play, I look to change certain aspects of it, such as location, timing or tone.
I find ways to say yes to play:

  • Yes you may only play with a few chosen playmates. I will teach you ways to appropriately tell others you don’t want to play.
  • Yes you can be angry. I can’t let you hurt people. You can use this pillow/stamp your feet/push against the wall when you are mad. I am here to support you through your emotions.
  • Yes, I will help you set limits with friends, and I will help enforce these limits too.
Children’s Renegade Rights
by H. Shumaker
A child has:

  • A right to unstructured free play.
  • A right to choose her own playmates.
  • A right to use props and choose his own play themes.
  • A right to uninterrupted play during playtime.
  • A right to feel safe.
  • A right not to have objects taken from her (forced sharing).
  • A right to move and use his body vigorously.
  • A right to be outside.
  • A right to experience and express the full range of her emotions.
  • A right to ask questions and know things.
  • A right to stand up for his own rights by setting limits on others’ behavior.
  • A right to be listened to, to be respected, and to have her rights consistently supported by adults.
  • A right to grow at his own unique pace, following the natural course of child development.
What ways do you support your child? Are you a "renegade" parent?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Welcome October!

Hello Friends!
 As we enter the first week of October, we begin to discover, through little eyes, how fascinating Vermont trees really are! Join us next week at the center (Mon-Thurs; 9:30am-11:30am) where we will be creating Harvest Wreaths to hang in our homes as well as leaf rubbings to hang....anywhere! There will also be new songs to sing about Acorns, Colors and Leaves and stories to listen to about what we can expect to see around us during an October in Vermont! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall is in the air!

Hello Friends,

This week has been off to a great start at our center! The children have been painting with corn cobs and green peppers and using these vegetables to make stamps and designs on their papers.  At the end of playgroup, fall themed stories will be read and songs about pumpkins, acorns and corn stalks will be sung! With this new chill in the air, come on into the Leo O'Brien Civic Center located at 113 Patchen Rd in South Burlington for some hot coffee, adult socialization and child's play! Our playgroups run Monday-Thursdays, 9:30am-11:30am and as always they are FREE! We hope to see you soon :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Expecting... big news!

We are so filled with excitement, that we can't help but share with you this big news!!

We're expecting...

... to have a great time at the first ever Chittenden County Community Baby Shower!

Plans are underway, and we are like little elves busy at work! Click on the picture to see the details, and DO share this with anyone you know in Chittenden County who is pregnant/expecting. Space is limited!

Folks can reserve their space at the baby shower by clicking HERE or visiting the Community Baby Shower link in the menu.

Not pregnant/expecting, but would like to be involved? We are looking for help in several areas, including funding, collecting materials for gift bags and raffle baskets. If you or someone you know would like to help, please contact Colleen at 802-489--0410 or email for more information.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Introducing... Our NEW Schedule!

South Burlington Family Center Playgroup
Leo O’Brien Civic Center *  113 Patchen Road *  South Burlington, VT
Questions? Contact Colleen Christman at 489-0410 or

NEW Schedule! Mon-Thurs: 9AM-Noon

Playgroup starts
September 9th!!!

FREE Snack, Stories, Songs and FUN!

Meet your playgroup facilitators...
Mondays: Ashley and Colleen (alternating)
Tuesdays: Colleen and Caitlin (alternating)
Wednesdays: Marina
Thursdays: Ashley

Typical Playgroup Schedule:
 9:00: Open for free play and exploration
 9:30: Story time and Craft
10:30: Monthly Visitor, Free Play, Art & Crafts
11:15: Put away small toys and crafts
11:25: Gross Motor and Sensory Play
11:40: Clean-up & prepare for closing activities

Upcoming Themes and Events

Farm Animals & Apples.  
Tuesday Sept 17th: a visit from “Goldie” the chicken!
Oct 7-10: Fire Prevention Week
Pumpkins, Harvest & Halloween!
Our body, senses & Thanksgiving! Special Event: Toy & Book Swap (Date: TBD)
NO Playgroup Nov. 25-28
Food Groups and Cookie Making!
NO Playgroup Dec 23-Jan 2

We are excited for this year and look forward to seeing you at playgroup!