Monkey’s first day at playgroup!

This week was a big day for us as it was Monkey’s first day at playgroup! Looking after Monkey, raising him and teaching him about the world has been my job since he was born. It is why I wanted to be a SAHM and I feel privileged that I have been able to do so for this long. However there are many reasons why we think it will be good for him to go to playgroup. One day he will have to go to school and we want to be able to ease him into it, first of all with a couple of days of playgroup, then preschool before he starts school. The local playgroup generally feeds into the local school so our hope is that he will make friends at playgroup and pre-school and that they will move up together to school one day.

Making friends is the biggest reason we have been keen for him to go to playgroup as although he sees my friends’ children, with jobs and other commitments he doesn’t see them quite so often anymore and it would be nice for him to have more time playing with other children. But he has never been left without me, hubs or his grandparents before so we knew it would be a big change for him, and for us, for him to be in someone else’s care.

He was originally due to start in November, when he was 2 1/2, but with LM being born we didn’t want to make such a big change at that time, as we didn’t want him to feel that he was being taken there because  she was here. So we delayed his start date until after Christmas as we felt that would be the best time for a new start to the routine, and Friday afternoon was his first day.

WP_20150109_18_57_43_ProWe had been trying to prepare him and help him feel enthusiastic and excited about starting playgroup in the run up to the big day. We were recommended a lovely book by a friend who had used it with her son to help him prepare for playgroup, “Lulu Loves Nursery.”* We substituted the word nursery for playgroup but it is a really lovely book and talks about how Lulu is worried about being without her mummy, and feels shy at first, but then decides to be brave and she really loves her day at nursery. It is a great book and also comes with a certificate you can fill out and give to them at the end of their first day.

Monkey absolutely adores this book and we have been reading it over and over since we gave it to him, it has definitely helped Monkey with the concept of me leaving him there but coming back again afterwards. It has also helped that our playgroup provided a little leaflet, which reads like a story, about all of the things you can do there.

The big day dawned and we had a fairly quiet morning at home to make sure he was well rested. Daddy didn’t want to miss it so he came home and we all went off to playgroup together. Monkey had his little backpack on and was dead excited, running basically all the way there and dragging Daddy along! We got there much quicker than I thought we would have actually so had to wait outside for a little while!

WP_20150109_12_09_47_Pro WP_20150109_12_16_34_Pro

When it was time to go in, Monkey was straight in there, playing with puzzles, he didn’t seem bothered about us at all. We decided not to hang about too long so said our goodbyes after a few minutes and headed out. He only gave us cursory hugs and goodbyes, but as we were leaving we did see a bit of a sad fac, though we heard no cries and saw no tears.

We were both a bit on edge that afternoon, though I think because I still had LM to deal with I was a little less anxious than hubs who was back at work, unable to focus! I did keep an eye on my phone though in case they called but we heard nothing. When we went to collect him the staff said that he had been a little upset, and cried a few times, but that they had been able to distract him with books and toys each time and he had got over his tears.

At the end of the session they have all the children sat together to wait for their parents and then call them out one by one to us parents who are waiting in the foyer, though they can’t see us. I didn’t really know how they did it and if I had I would have asked if he could come out first, but I didn’t so they called out 4 or 5 other children before calling him out, so by the time he came out to us he was very unhappy again. I can understand it as from his perspective, sitting there waiting for mummy and daddy, watching other children go out to their parents, wondering if we were coming for him, it must have been pretty scary.

WP_20150111_11_11_05_ProWe had big cuddles though and he said he enjoyed himself. He showed us the fab picture he made and was excited about the fact he had been using glue.He was telling us about the books he had read and the friend he had played with (I’m not sure he actually did play with this little boy or just said it because we had talked about him beforehand) and within a few yards he said “I love playgroup” which we took as a very positive sign. In fact he even asked me if he could go playgroup again the next day, which is another very good sign. We stopped for an ice cream on the way home (as they do in “Lulu Loves Nursery“*) and he very pleased with his certificate from his  book 🙂

WP_20150109_15_11_03_Pro WP_20150111_11_10_47_Pro

I am expecting more tears on Monday, potentially even when I drop him off, and probably for a few more times, but hopefully he is off to a good start and it well get easier and easier the more he gets used to the playgroup, the staff and the other children. Fingers crossed anyway! But for now I am just a proud mama and think he did so so well for his first day!

Linking up to:

We're going on an adventure
Ethans Escapades


Mini Creations

with his first ever picture from playgroup 🙂

*Affiliate Links

44 thoughts on “Monkey’s first day at playgroup!

  1. Oh bless him, and you. It’s hard isn’t it, the first day. But it sounds like he had a good time. I haven’t heard of the book but I love it when a good book can help little ones and make new situations more familiar. Yummy ice cream at the end of the day too! Hope Monday goes well xx

  2. Oh Well Done Monkey and to you too, it is so hard leaving them for the first time isn’t it. Little 2 started playgroup in September and now absolutely loves it, she settled in about 2 weeks and got more confident with the staff in about a month, she hasn’t looked back since she started and I am sure Monkey will love it too.

    • Thanks lovely and that is good to hear, so far he is not settling well at all, with actually being more upset each time :/ hopefully it will improve and he will start to enjoy it more soon! xx

  3. Bless!! However he sounds like he did really well considering it was all new and different! As you know, my twins started last week and Harry has been OK, but Lottie was very upset 🙁 And so I found it quite tough! However here’s to the next few weeks, staying strong, and hoping it all gets easier! Jess x

    • Thanks lovely and good luck to you too, so far he is getting even more upset, not less. Really hoping it gets easier as I am finding it really hard now!! xx

  4. Well done Monkey for doing so well on your first day at playgroup – what a big step. Hope that there will be fewer tears as the weeks progresses and that tomorrow goes well too – Jessica has her second morning tomorrow as well so we’re are in the same boat. Lovely photos of you all and fingers crossed for a good day for Monkey tomorrow 🙂

  5. Oh bless him and those beautiful eyes. I was like you when Boo first went to nursery and I think she was unsettled for about a fortnight as she learned the routine. She started going two mornings a week but is not there 5 and the difference in her is amazing. After Christmas, she was up at 4am excited to go back bless her (my mistake for telling her before bed on the Sunday night!)
    I honestly believe it was worse for me. Big hugs for today #MaternityMondays

  6. How lovely this post really made me smile. I so remember my kids first times at school and play school like it was yesterday . I have a grandson and and granddaughter on the way so looking forward to reliving it all over.

  7. awww Well Done Monkey! .. what a monumental milestone this is! .. I am glad Daddy got to go too .. my hubs is booking the day off on Joshua’s first day of school in September

    Thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

  8. Well done Monkey! Yes, I love the photo of the three of you too and such a lovely idea to support the change with a book-I use books all the time for these kind of moments and I think they really do make a difference xx

  9. It’s so bitter sweet isn’t it…we know they’ll love time at playgroup but we miss them when they’re away. It’s nice to hear he went to playgroup without tears…the preparation really helps. #magicmoments

  10. This is such a good start! With my son its a bit different and hard. I am always the last parent to go home as my son wont let me go and the teachers doesn’t want to force him to be in there. Eventually though he goes in without me going in with him. #magicmoments

  11. Aww he dupe finitely did so well. When you think about it, going off to nursery or school for the first time is a big deal for a child, I mean if I start a new job it is terrifying and I’m a grown up! That little book looks fab, definitely a great way to prepare wee ones for the big step.
    Hope he continues to enjoy playgroup x

  12. Glad his first day went well I am sure he will settle into the new routine soon enough.

    I remember how tough it was to pack them off whilst you have a newborn to look after…

    My eldest loved nursery and my youngest is due to start this year – I may have to buy this book and read it with him as he is such a mummy’s boy! #TriedTested

  13. what a lovely book and what a big brave boy (and mummy!) glad that his first day went well, I’m sure he’ll have lots to tell you when you pick him up!

    Thanks for linking to #toddlerapprovedtuesday leandra & becky x

  14. Ooh I’m glad I came across your post; my little girl is hopefully going to be starting nursery soon and I hadn’t thought of getting a book about it. We have the potty training version of this book and that is good so I think I will get this one too.

    I’m glad your little boy seemed to enjoy his first day 🙂 x #TriedTested

  15. Ah what a lovely post. It brings it all back and the realisation that I will have to do this with Flo when she is older.
    She is starting nursery in February but is too little to understand too much but pre-school is a different kettle of fish isn’t it!?
    Love the book, we also had a similar one when we potty trained my eldest called ‘Pirate Pete’s Potty’ that may help you when you’re ready/if you haven’t already!

  16. Couldn’t have read this at a better time for me. I’ve been ringing round pre-schools today trying to get my own little girl in ready when she turns 3 at the end of March. First time she will have been away from me but we also have number 2 on the way so don’t want her to feel shipped out. Totally unsure whether to delay it like you did. Great post #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

  17. Awww what a good boy he was!! That book sounds like it really helped a lot, that’s fab!! Sounds like you coped with it very well too so well done 🙂
    Let’s hope he likes it again on Monday! Xx

  18. It was Potato’s first day yesterday. He’s 2 and 8 months and I hate the idea of leaving him. But I’m having to go back to work, so I’ve started him off with 2 mornings a week while I job hunt, to get him used to it. He had a wonderful time, but I was a bit of a mess at drop-off! Glad Monkey enjoyed it too. I hope it continues to go smoothly xx

  19. So pleased it went well. I can always remember Lucas’s first day at pre-school and then at big school. Both me and OH took the day off and we were literally pacing the house!!! Well Done Monkey for being so grown up and such a cool dude as ever xx #sharewithme

  20. Lucas says – Sending you XL MEGA AWESOME High-5’s for being so grown up and cool Monkey. Well Done. We’re so proud of you over at the GL Gang. You’re doing fab at being a big brother and now you’re at playschool. You truly are one awesome dude!!! #sharewithme

  21. Hurray I am glad it went so well for monkey. That’s brilliant. Love the photo of the three of you. Hope it’s all going smoothly with two little ones in tow. Adorable little ones I may add. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. Sorry if you had any trouble commenting on my site today as the host is being transferred there are a few glitches to fix. Apologies. #sharewithme

  22. Aww, bless him. It must be really strange being left for the first time if you’re not used to it. Sounds like he did really well though and it is a good idea to get him mixing with children he will hopefully be going to school with. I hope he enjoys his next session too. xx

  23. Very well done to him! It’s a big step for a child who has never been away from their parents before. My kids all did nursery two days a week from six months, but even then my daughter found adjusting to playgroup hard.
    I hope the next few sessions go just as well for him.
    Thanks for linking with Loud ‘n’ Proud.

  24. Lucas says – We’re popping back over as we just want to say that we’ve been watching Monkey’s progress as we think he’s doing a fab job. That is a fine first piece of artwork. XL MEGA High-5’s to you Monkey.
    Thanks for linking to #minicreations

  25. A big step for you all, well done Monkey for coping with all the challenges and excitement.
    It’s always difficult to turn around and walk away when they’re upset, hopefully he’s settling in.
    Thanks for linking up with #SSAamazingAchievements 🙂

  26. Pingback: Small Steps Amazing Achievements linky – Weds 21/1/15 » AutismMumma

  27. Pingback: Settling in to playgroup | Becoming a Stay at Home Mum

Thanks for taking the time to write something. I love comments and read every one xx

Your email address will not be published.