The husband was a stay-at-home dad for a year between my return to work when the girl was one and my maternity leave with the boy. I remember asking him what he was going to do with her all day. Having a toddler to look after is a lot busier than staying at home with a baby! I even looked for and found a few playgroups close by and presented him with the options.
He said he didn’t need them. He said he would sign up for a playgroup on one day and then the rest of the time they would just hang out.
That didn’t last long.
Playgroups soon became their favorite activity. It was a way for the girl to play with other kids her age and for the husband to talk to other people his age. They started going to various playgroups every day of the week. His favorite, and mine too once I started maternity leave with the boy, was at the Old Town Hall at 61 Main street.
The playgroup starts with free play for the kids. There are lots of toys and a small play structure. A table is set up for crafts and another for kids to sit and eat their snacks at. Circle time has them sitting quietly signing and then marching around the room signing. At the end of the playgroup the ride on cars come out. The girl was always waiting at the door as they were wheeled into the room.
The playgroup is open to kids from zero to five and is running on Mondays and Wednesday during the Spring session. Instead of offering a playgroup on Fridays this session they have introduced a new program called Parent Playtime. Childcare is provided for kids aged 19 months to five years while the parents work on projects of their own, like scrapbooking, writing or knitting. I have registered the boy for this five-week session from May 21 – June 18 and I am looking forward to it!
The Community Activities Group for Old Ottawa East runs programs for kids and adults out of the Old Town Hall. They have some great classes for older kids, like martial arts, robot building and soccer. I am most interested by the Parent’s Night Out they have introduced. Parents can register their kids age 5 to 13 for a games/ movie night on April 30th or June 4th and then go out for a night on their own. If only my kids were old enough!
The Community Activities Group in Old Ottawa East is located at 61 Main Street. Registration for playgroup is required and costs $35 for one day per week per child; siblings over 12 months of age are $20 per child. Siblings under 12 months of age are not required to register and are free. Parent Playtime runs for five Fridays from May 21 to June 18 and costs $20 per child. Parents’ Night Out is on April 30 or June 4 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m and costs $12 for the first child and $7 for siblings.