Parent Participation in Kindergym

Posted by in Toddler Activities And Kindergym | 2 comments

Last week I had two Kindergym coaches from another program come to view Scallywaggs in action.

They said that their numbers are dropping, they now have a few new staff and they feel like they need to be motivated to improve their program. However, their biggest problem would be encouraging the parents that are currently in their program to be involved with their children rather than using it as a social catch up time.

This is a common issue that I have been asked about over the years. It seems quite a few programs struggle with this problem.

Here are my suggestions for Parent Participation:

1.  Set your expectations from the start. This means that your office staff should explain the program and the parent’s role when a telephone enquiry is made. The office staff or Kindergym instructor should explain what will be happening and what is expected of the parent and child throughout their time with you on their first visit to Kindergym.

2. Have a consistent introduction to your class that occurs each week. This activity can involve the parent and child so that right from the start you are indicating to the parents that you would appreciate their involvement.

3. Build a relationship with the parents too! Greet them on arrival and present yourself as a bright and enthusiastic instructor. This way when you do need to communicate with the parents on a certain matter, they will be open to receive advice.

4. Educate the parents with information regarding the activities you have chosen and how it will benefit their child’s development. Some parents do not realise the benefits of Kindergym activities.
This will certainly make the parent’s appreciate your creative efforts.

5. If you notice a child is doing something incorrectly or the parent could be assisting the child in a better way, explain this to your parent. Show them an alternative way and let them know why it is the preferred way to perform the skill. Always ensure you are communicating nicely to the parent with  light humour so that no one becomes offended to your advice. Do not present yourself as a “Know It All”.

6. If a group of parents continue to talk over your instruction especially in circle time, it would be a good idea to have quiet chat with them away from the whole group and explain to them that it is becoming difficult for you, the instructor, to be heard over the noise. Also that you feel their children may be missing out on assistance when it is needed from them.

7. The main focus is that everyone is having fun. This means that you cannot just throw a plan together at the last minute. Research, prepare, create, and enjoy success with activities. I love hearing the compliments on new ideas or seeing the children engaged in the activities I have prepared. The people who attend your classes will appreciate this and spread the word about your program.

I will continue to provide tips and ideas each week. If you have a question or even an idea that you would like to share contact me.