Parents Night Out
From: Becky Schaller (
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 2002 19:43:02 -0700 (MST)
 We tried a slighly different kind of event  yesterday evening which I
thought went quite well and which I thought others  might be intersted in
trying.   We had what we called a Parents Night Out.  About 7 adults
volunteered to do childcare from 5:00 to 8:00 pm while parents could have
some time to themselves.  They could go out for dinner, visit neighbors,
stay home, or whatever they chose.  It turned out that the cooks prepared a
Brazilian Feast so some parents simply enjoyed the common meal and the
conversation afterwards without having to worry about their kids.

We started at 5:00 with some outdoor activities.   At one point, I heard
someone look over the grassy area seeing a variety of adults and kids
playing together say, "Isn't this wonderful."    Around 6:00 it started
getting dark and we had dinner.  Then we had some planned activities in the
kids room.   Some simple pre-made little blank booklets were quite popular
with a number of children.  Another popular activity was popsicle sticks and
glue.  Of course the possibilities here are endless.  Some kids chose
activities that were always available in the kids room.  A number of adults
read children stories.

Since we had 7 adults with 19 kids, I don't think anyone felt overwhelmed.
I'm not sure how clearly it was stated, but one of the goals of the evening
was to provide an opportunity for intergenerational activities as well as
giving parents some time off.  To do this, it's best to have sufficient
adults present.  We began looking for a date for this over a month in
advance.   We could have done this with less adults, but it was sure nice ot
have everyone who came.

Becky Schaller
Sonora Cohousing
Tucson, Arizona

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