Wind-Down Time

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The end of the Playgroup year is a very special time for children, especially those that may be moving on to school the following year. Many of these children have been with their Playgroup family since they were small babies. It is a time to recognise and share how much they have accomplished, the friendships they have made and the next steps in their lives. Here are some ideas for your final weeks at Playgroup.

End of year party and presentation or graduation  

Have a party and invite extended family or a special friend. Hold an awards presentation where each child gets an award for their special accomplishments, contributions, gifts and/or talents.  Have a graduation ceremony for the children that are moving on from Playgroup.

Get festive 

You might like to invite a special visitor in red and white to celebrate Christmas. 

Make memories 

Make a special group memory book with photos and journals of each child’s Playgroup journey. This can be a wonderful keepsake that kids will enjoy sharing together.

Enjoy a day out

Go on a special excursion to celebrate the end of the year. It doesn’t have to be fancy – it could be simply to the local park. 

End of year jobs 

If you are no longer going to be the main contact, work out with your group who the new contact will be and refer them to the coordinators checklist. 

Plan some Christmas craft activities for the upcoming weeks. 

Organise a working bee to tidy up the Playgroup area, cupboard, room and sandpit or send equipment home to be washed and returned before the end of the year. Make sure that old play dough is thrown out as well as broken toys and other perishables. Wash paint smocks, dress ups, tea towels and disinfect baby toys and books. 

Decide on the start date for Playgroup next year and advertise it to members and potential members.

Update your contact lists so that members of your group can get together during the school holidays, if they wish. This is a nice way to stay in touch throughout the lengthy Christmas or New Year break. 

Organise a Parent Committee to get the ‘okay’ for continuation of your Playgroup next year.

If you are going to require a new venue, look into this now so that your whole group can agree on where they would like to meet in the New Year.

Coordinators New Year Checklist

Beginning a new Playgroup year needs careful planning.  To help the new or existing coordinator get off to a good start, we’ve created the following guide to make the start of the new year as easy as possible:

  • Ensure your Playgroup Affiliation form is filled in and submitted to Playgroup SA for the 2018 calendar year. Playgroup Affiliation can now be submitted and paid for online.

  • If the existing coordinator will not be staying on for 2018:
    • Make sure the new Playgroup coordinator is listed as the contact person on the Affiliation form
    • Organise a handover meeting to hand on the Playgroup Guide, financial records and attendance sheets to the new coordinator
    • List venue details, including key arrangements, contact names and numbers 
    • Notify venue administration of new coordinator's details
    • If your group has a bank account, arrange to change signatories
  • Ensure all finances are in order. If your Playgroup has a designated treasurer, this is their responsibility.
  • Advise Playgroup SA of any other important changes.
  • If your Playgroup is incorporated, make sure all the public officer tasks have been completed.


Graduation Hat

Makes: 6 hats

You’ll need: Cardboard, scissors, glue, paper fasteners, wool (for tassels). 


  1. Cut a piece of cardboard into six 15cm x 15cm squares and six 60cm x 8cm strips.
  2. Cut out the v-shaped notches in the strip. Fold the strip in half.
  3. Form the strip into a circle with the notched part facing into the circle. Adjust the size to fit the child’s head. Glue the ends to form the hat band.
  4. Glue the hat band to the square piece of cardboard.
  5. Make a tassel by winding wool around a square piece of cardboard. Wind the wool around the cardboard about five or six times.
  6. Slip the tassel off the cardboard. Wrap a piece of wool around one end and tie it securely. Cut the long end of the tassel.
  7. Attach the tassel to the hat using a paper fastener.

Note: You could use white or light coloured cardboard and get the Playgroup graduates to decorate their own hats. 

This article was originally published in State of Play, Issue 4, 2015