Tips for safely returning to playgroup

As more playgroups are starting to reopen, many of you have been looking for advice on what other groups are doing during this next phase.  

Our development officers have gathered some good tips from those that have resumed sessions, some of which could apply to or be adapted to work within your own playgroup. Have a look at these below.  

 Cleaning 

  • If possible, prior to opening, head into the venue and sort out which toys are and aren’t suitable. Pack away the ones that won’t be used and give the other toys a good clean and wash and have them ready for when sessions resume. 
  • Have antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer on hand, if possible purchase a food safe sanitizer. 
  • Incorporate cleaning into each session time and make each individual responsible for cleaning what they’ve used. Introducing a ‘cleaning checklist’ would be useful in this instance.  
  • “Clean Wheelie Bin”: use a wheelie bin for members to place toys into that need to be cleaned at the end of each session. These toys will then be washed with warm soapy water. 
  • If you feel more comfortable, you could ask members to bring in their own toys. 
  • Ask members to complete the Infection Control Training to help take pressure off the committee and provides more flexibility with someone being able to assist if needed. 

 Toys & Activities  

  • Remove dress ups or other soft items that require laundering. 
  • Have less toys out or a higher rotation of toys. Ensure the toys available to play with are easy to clean and sanitize (avoid any that have small fiddly pieces). 
  • Limit ‘shared’ activities such as sensory tables and playdough. Should you want to still put on these activities, one playgroup was making playdough at home and then packing it into individual zip lock bags for children to play with; another playgroup was going to make ooblec or slime and give each child a bowl or plate for them to enjoy; and another suggestion was to look into making up individual ‘sensory bags’ for children to have fun with. 

 Managing Numbers 

  • Adin an extra column on attendance sheets for parents to sign and agree to the playgroup’s health and hygiene guidelines and contribution to cleaning. 
  • Look into doing an online registration process so that there is a limit on numbers for each session.  

 Morning Tea 

  • Ask members to BYO morning tea  
  • Should you want members to still bring in fruit, allocate one person in the kitchen to washcut it up and place into individual bowls  

 Most importantly, communication has been key to ensuring families are aware of expectations and how they can contribute and attend playgroup safely.  

Do you have any other advice you could contribute? We’d love to hear from you.  

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