Location: Wandle Valley – Sutton
Mum, Alina tells her story of discovering Creative Homes and what the playgroup has brought to herself and her son.
“I was looking for something new for Adrian, aged 2, and me to do together. We were going to a Tumble Park but the other kids seemed bigger, there was too much pushing and I could see he was isolated and playing alone. Then I found out about Creative Homes.
I was looking for somewhere where he could play with other kids around the same age in a safe and inspiring environment. When we first arrived I was very stressed. I was thinking “please don’t fight, please don’t run away”. He joined in straight away! He saw other children doing crafts and I watched him imitate and follow.
He did things that he wouldn’t do at home like painting with a brush. I couldn’t get him to do that at home but when he saw other children putting brush to paper he tried. The next time I offered him a brush at home he took it. Before Creative Homes I was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to play with others, that he would just fight over things. I was worried because he is alone with me all day and I thought he wouldn’t know how to communicate with other children. So now I could finally relax.
Adrian was a premature baby at 32 weeks and he was in hospital for one month and had 4 surgeries. It was a really stressful and emotional period. The pediatrician has told us he would be a little late or behind but that he was generally an intelligent little boy. So I was naturally worried about his social skills.
A few weeks into coming to Creative Homes, I remember the first time Gabriel stopped still in the middle of playing and listened to the story. He stood and listened carefully. Everybody was in a circle and he had joined it. It seemed the other children knew the story of this bear and as they pointed to the pages and the props he imitated. The next day I opened one of the books I’d tried to read him but he always seemed so disinterested. He began to show me things just like he’d done in the Creative Homes story. I honestly thought he had problems listening as it seemed impossible to read him a story. Now we read together every day.
When we played at home he would run off and he strangely wanted to eat everything. Everything would go in his mouth. I noticed after coming to Creative Homes for several sessions that he stopped doing this. With eating and drinking as well. Before he would never have drunk water from a cup or eaten grapes and now he loves them. I was always nervous to give him raisins as he would just shove them all in at once and I thought he might choke – now he eats them one by one. I wonder if it’s because of how Creative Homes present their food and snacks? Raisins are eyes, whiskers of a cat or spots on a caterpillar’s body! And the children are so proud of their food creations.
Creative Homes has given me confidence to take Gabriel out and about again. I’d noticed Id stopped taking him to the park as he kept running off and I was scared about him falling over. After watching him play and run around with the other kids I feel more confident that he is safer now.
I think there is something special about Creative Homes where there is a regular pattern to the session that children get to know and this allows them to thrive and grow and be themselves at the same time.
The playgroup has improved our life – I am more relaxed and confident at home and out and about. I am also so less stressed to see Gabriel has a will to socialise and learn and enjoy being with other children.
Thank you Creative Homes!