Early on Friday mornings, preschool teachers Deb Martin and Taylor Wedge create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for young children to play and explore. Inside of the the ACSD preschool classrooms, each week they host a playgroup for the under-5 set. Focusing mostly on open play, the playgroup features a lovely pint-sized kitchen, a big dollhouse, loads of puzzles, cars, a sand table, a rotating arts and crafts table, and much more. Everything in the room is built for little ones – the tables, chairs, cabinets, and shelves are readily accessible for them. The playgroup offers kids a great opportunity to try things out on their own with parents and teachers close at hand. And after the first hour of play, a healthy snack is laid out for all to enjoy. There are few things more endearing than a group of toddlers sharing snacks family-style at a tiny table built for them!
Deb and Taylor are very welcoming and create a wonderful community for parents to share in the joys and travails of early childhood. Visiting and playing in the classroom gives families a sneak peek at a preschool in action. Three days a week this classroom is active with early learners getting their first taste of school and the learning environment. In fact, some of the kids like it so much, they come in for the playgroup on Fridays!
Parking is readily available in the Mary Hogan lot, though it should be noted that it is easiest to access the parking from the northern entrance to Mary Hogan Drive by the Shell station off of Court Street in Middlebury. Entry to the building is through the front office, just wait to be buzzed in. It’s a bit of a walk through the halls of Mary Hogan but soak in the lovely art on the walls and the unforgettable smell of school lunches! Remember, school is in session, you’ll hear teachers teaching and kids learning, so please bear that in mind as you head towards the playgroup.
Minibury got Deb to share her answers to a few question that should help newcomers get a sense of what to expect at the playgroup. Read on!
MB: What’s your favorite part of this playgroup?
DM: My favorite part is the relaxed atmosphere and meeting parents from our community.
MB: What’s it like to be a child at this playgroup? A parent?
DM: For a child: play time in an actual preschool room. Also meeting new friends and playing with different toys. And for a parent: time to socialize with other parents
MB: What’s a good thing to know about before someone attends this event?
DM: One good thing to know is we are a WIC approved activity and we also offer a snack each time we have the playgroup. Also, it is a long walk through the hallways to get to the classroom!
MB: What’s the best spot for little kids in town that no one knows about?
DM: I can’t think of any secret places in Middlebury!
MB: What do you enjoy about working with young children?
DM: I enjoy watching them explore the world around them. They are like “sponges” wanting to learn.
Mary Hogan Playgroup
ACSD Early Education Preschool Room
Fridays from 8:30AM-10AM
- Follows ACSD calendar, including snowdays!
Free, WIC approved