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Grans and Tots Group

(19 Posts)
GrannyA11i Wed 18-Oct-17 11:44:30

I’m in the process of starting up a toddler group for grandparents who look after their grandchildren. There are lots of Mums and Tots groups so I thought I’d start one in my area which doesn’t exclude mums or dads but has as its main focus the older grandparent child career.

What I’d like to ask is - wed or thurs afternoon or Friday morning - any thoughts on which is better?

Also price - I need to cover room hire charges which will be £35 for 2 hours. Would you pay £2.50 for a toddler group which included a hot drink or juice for adult and child?

Any suggestions generally? - what would encourage you to go to one of these groups?


ninathenana Wed 18-Oct-17 16:04:40

Can I ask, what will be different about your group compared to a parents group, will it be just grans or would you welcome grandads too ?
Why do you feel the need for this specific group ? When mine were tots my mum happily took them to the mother and baby group as did other grans and shock even grandads who were readily accepted. Mum used to enjoy her Wednesday morning chats.
I think the price is reasonable and feel mornings are best otherwise people would be rushing off at 2.30pm for the school run.

Cherrytree59 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:40:27

Hi I have been part of a grandparent and toddler group
My DGS is now at school and my other DGC prefers the company if his now retired grandfather (my DH).

I enjoyed the companionship of other grandparents although it was generally
We paid £2 per family ( no matter how many grandchildren).
The group leader was initially a Age UK
Volunteer, so CRB checked.
Then subsequently after a forced move due the withdrawal of the children's services it was taken over by the school nursery.

We had visits from the local fire service.
Also just before Xmas we would have a fun session with a traveling barge group who did pottery sessions helping the children to make personalised decorations .
Which we were then able to purchase.

The children had a craft table set up with seasonal crafts (mainly internet ideas.)

The children had drinks and snacks including toast in the cold weather.
We (grandparents) had special insulated cups with lids for hot drink .(Hot drinks always a danger.)

We also had a summer outing to local farm and a teddy bear's picnic

Even though I no longer attend the club with a DGC, I still meet up for meals with the other GPs whose toddlers are now school age.
I remember it as a very happy time that I shared with my DGS.

Yes I think £2.50 is a reasonable amount to charge if providing snacks.

At Christmas and summer parties the GPs each brought a party food chosen from a list.

Good lucksmile

Cherrytree59 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:43:39

PS as the club was at a school nursery it was in the afternoon finishing in time for the older children to be picked up from achool (often by the same GPs.)

Bluegal Wed 18-Oct-17 17:57:53

Great idea GrannyAli, although as you say you won't exclude parents, how does this make it different from other groups. If you advertise it as Grandparents and Toddlers club, will parents feel they can't go?

I take my two youngest GC to a 'mother' and baby group. At first I thought I would be the only oldie there but actually MOST of them are Grandparents! Sign of the times I guess.

When I had MY children, there were hardly any grandparents, if any, at the mums and tots sessions and certainly only one or two at school pick up. Now MOST of the pick ups seem to be done by GP's

Kids now eh? They actually expect GP's to be an extension of their role in parenting their children ha ha ha

I digress....yes it's a fabulous idea. Where are you? I might come

Cherrytree59 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:58:30

I went to both GPS group and a toddler group.

I found at the GP &GC group the GPs were more involved with the children and the activities on offer.

At the toddler group (open to all) the Mums were often oblivious to the children.
Chatting and mobile phones were often the order of the day.

As well as the children it also was a chance for us as GPs to make new

GrannyA11i Wed 18-Oct-17 18:17:06

I suppose by advertising it as Grands n Tots I will be hoping GPs will be in the majority and as there are many mums groups to choose from it wouldn’t be a problem if some mums didn’t feel drawn to our group. That said, I wouldn’t turn any mums, dads, or GDads away if they turned up. I want it to somewhere a GP knows they won’t be surrouded by only young mums chatting about things the GP is not as as interested in.

I’m going to do some craft and provide fruit and possibly toast as well. As I have no funds other than the entrance money it depends how many turn up as to how the group develops.

Thanks Cherrytree for all that info - that’s a great help.

I am in Wirral, NW England if anyone near enough and fancies coming 😁

Smithy Wed 18-Oct-17 21:05:32

I've never ever attended a mother and toddler group or a grandparents version. Not that I had anything against them, not at all. As a young mum I was too shy to join anything, unfortunately for me. I've mainly helped out with grandchildren on an ad hic basis but it sounds like a good idea in theory. Good luck

Imperfect27 Thu 19-Oct-17 07:27:36

I set up a parent and toddler group over 20 years ago and to my delight, it still runs today. We often had a mix of generations present.

Be prepared to 'start slow.' For the first few weeks no-one came. Then, just when we thought we might give up. 5 mums arrived and going forward we found that numbers fluctuated - anywhere between 8-20, peaking at 24. If it gets 'too busy' some people give it a miss for a week or two. We found we always had lower numbers in holiday times despite saying older children welcome and providing a craft table for them.

We met on Thursday mornings, open from 10-12. Maybe other grans here will be able to say if they would prefer mornings / afternoons. If you go for afternoons, bear in mind the school run - this might mean mornings are better as many grandparents are on school gate duty too.

Good luck! Communities so need groups like this xx

Anya Thu 19-Oct-17 08:17:34

Good luck with your group, it’s a great idea. I completely understand why it’s needed. I gave up going to Mums and Tots because the young mothers were so unwelcoming to grans.

Stick with it though it might take a while to get off the ground and will need lots of advertising. Get yourself on local radio - they are always keen to interview people.

Pittcity Thu 19-Oct-17 14:10:34

Make sure it's on your local Gransnet pages too.

Grands with tots can arrange to meet on the local forums.

Deedaa Thu 19-Oct-17 17:35:59

I took GS1 and 2 to Jolly Babies and didn't have any problems with the mums. There were usually 2 or 3 grans there and an occasional dad.

dorsetpennt Thu 19-Oct-17 21:05:46

My son nearly started up a group for stay at home dad's like himself. He was very good at taking each of his girls to play school but the only people who talked to him were the organisers. When I visited them at home I'd go to the playgroup with him. Once a few mums started up a conversation with me, they were very sweet and friendly. I mentioned it to him on our way home. " I've been going there for six months and I barely get a head nod let alone conversation why do you think I take a newspaper ?" . Women want and should have equality but it works both ways.

Beau Thu 19-Oct-17 21:26:01

I would definitely go to a Grans and Tots group with my grandson. I see one other Gran at a baby music class but she alternates weeks with her grandchild's father and everywhere else I take him, there are only mums, and young mums at that - younger than my daughter. There were 2 grans out of 50 mums or so at a different baby music class but now my grandson goes to nursery on that day I never meet anybody of my age. (I don't know anyone at all here as I relocated from the South East to the North West to look after the boy).

glassortwo Thu 19-Oct-17 21:51:25

GrannyAlli I am just taking over a toddler group I attended with my Grandson until he went onto Nursery. The group had closed due to the young parents being unable to commit to opening and closing the group. They tried a rota but some days people were left stood at the door when someone failed to open up.
So I have made the decision that the group needs to be open and be available for all the Mums/Dads.
It has been Parent led group where we paid £2 per family and each family brought piece of fruit for snack which is shared on the snack table.
We have an area for babys with mats and various baby toys. A table for puzzles etc and all the floor toys. After snack we then have craft time which we try to tie it with the season. Then story and song time. Looking forward to getting back into it.

Maggiemaybe Thu 19-Oct-17 23:01:49

I must say I never had a problem with the Toddler Group I used to take DGS2 to every week. The regulars were five grandmothers, perhaps ten mums, one grandad, and two dads. The grandparents did get on very well, but we mixed with most of the younger ones too, and were occasionally asked for advice, which was nice. smile And the three men weren't left out at all. We had a lovely couple running it, childminders the same age as me, and we all took turns making the refreshments and clearing up. We paid £1 per child. Afternoons worked for this group, as it finished 10 minutes before the primary school up the road did, which fitted in well with the school pick up.

Bambam Sun 22-Oct-17 00:07:52

I've looked after all my pre-school GC and took them all to Play Groups (as we call them).
There are so many near me, (in Church Halls usually) that there was a different one for every moring.
I took them from about six months, sitting on my knee, watching, then crawling round with me walking behind so they didn't get run over by a bigger children.
I found them indispensable.
From experience, I would say mornings are best as most have a little nod after lunch. (the toddlers I mean grin ) If we're lucky.
And the price sounds fine.
Best of luck.

GrannyA11i Mon 23-Oct-17 10:57:53

Thank you everyone for the comments. I’m going with Friday morning - I’d forgotten about afternoon naps! I take my DGD out in her bugggy after lunch and she invariably nods off - then I march home fast as I can to grab a cuppa with feet up before I hear “gwannyyyyyyyyyyy” !

Bambam Mon 23-Oct-17 23:15:10

"gwannyyyyyyyyyyyyyy"! Awww bless! They're just scrumptious aren't they!
Wishing you lots of luck with your new venture. 😃