Ready, Let's Grow playgroup focuses on child development skills

Mikaela giggled as she squeezed a tong and dropped a pretend ice cream scoop inside a numbered sundae tray.

On the opposite side of the room, Harper peeked through a play tunnel contemplating whether she should crawl through it to see her mom’s smiling face.

It was a busy morning of exploring for these young tots, who came with their parents to the Ready, Let’s Grow playgroup in Holly. The free sessions feature professionally led play that encourages language, communication, motor skills, problem solving, and social and emotional development in children 18 months to 4 years old.

“I’m hoping she’s going to pick up speech,” said Ashley Liford, Harper’s mom. “Her speech is delayed and coming here and being around other kids helps.”

Harper was born with a rare genetic disorder and has had a tracheal tube since she was two months old. At night, and any time the 2-year-old sleeps, she is hooked up to a ventilator to help her breathe. Liford said Harper’s speech development has been impacted by the problem.

“Being around other kids encourages her to speak more,” Liford said.

Brook Hansen regularly brings her 3-year-old twin daughters, Mikaela and Britta, to the playgroup.

“I like that they get to play with other children,” she said. “We don’t get out a lot, and this lets them get out and play with other kids. They’ve learned how to share and improve their speech because they are around other kids who are talking.”

As part of the Ready, Let’s Grow program, children receive a hard cover book to enjoy at home.

“The program is trying to target areas where parents may not have access to books or playgroups,” said Danielle Lyons, Parents As Teachers parent educator. “A lot of our parents stay at home with their child. We are trying to show parents simple activities they can do at home with their child.”

Ready, Let's Grow playgroups are now offered at Oakland Family Services’ Pontiac office, Ferndale Public Library, and the Children’s Learning Center in Walled Lake.  Playgroup dates and times are available on Oakland Family Services’ website calendar

To learn more about Ready, Let’s Grow call (248) 858.7766 ext. 1209.