What is Kiddie Sangat?
Kiddie Sangat is your local Sikh parent & toddler playgroup. We get together every two weeks and enjoy playtime, crafts, stories, songs and activities in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Kiddie Sangat is an opportunity for both children and parents to spend some time in a Sikhi oriented and fun environment, make new friends and maybe even learn a thing or two. The group is aimed at toddlers, preschoolers and children under 5 years old.
How did Kiddie Sangat start?
The initial idea came from a group of young parents in West London (Southall) area to have a regular Sikh playgroup. We formulated the idea and approached our local Gurdwara for permission to use their premises. Once we’ve got the room each family brought some toys from home and that was it! Some toys, a couple of children’s Sikhi books, CD player with kiddie friendly songs and kirtan, and snacks, of course.
The first group opened in Southall in March 2012. About a year later the second group opened in Ilford.
What are Kiddie Sangat sessions like?
In Southall group we have 2 hour fortnightly Saturday morning sessions. The first hour is free play – families arrive in their own time and there are plenty of toys to keep kids occupied. Then we tidy up and sit down in a big circle. We sing the “Sat Sri Akaal song” with all the children’s names in it. We’ll have a sakhi or a story or a song after that. Depending on a circumstances we might have an activity or a craft or a role play following the story straight away or we might have a snack time. After snack we’ll continue with the activity or a craft; and finally songs to finish the session off.
Ilford group has one and a half hour fortnightly Sunday morning sessions. Playtime and crafts run simultaneously as there’s more room. Ilford sessions also welcome slightly older children – up to 6 years old.
If you decide that you would like to start a Kiddie Sangat playgroup in your local area you’ll need to:
- Contact us via our contact page or by email and let us know about your interest.
- Arrange a date to attend Southall playgroup. This is essential for establishing good communication and relationship between the groups and for you to experience the core playgroup.
- It will be your responsibility to liaise with the local Gurdwara to arrange the venue.
- At the Kiddie Sangat we present Panthic views and do not discriminate or represent against or for any particular jatha/group. We make a point not to discuss or introduce any controversial topics. However, it is essential, that the person leading the Kiddie Sangat is a practising kesdhari Sikh.
- Kiddie Sangat is a “stay & play” type of group – i.e. parents are responsible for their children at all times. Also, parents are responsible for their children’s behaviour, f.e. if a child is unsettled and disturbing the rest of the group – a parent should try to resolve the situation.
- You will be required to collect the details of the families attending (names, emails and numbers) and keep a register for each session (both documents are available for download).
- Each Kiddie Sangat group has their own Facebook group (it will be up to you to determine the privacy settings for it). All the families are requested to join the Facebook group for the ease of communications.
- As this is a community project and parents are required to stay with their children there is no need for DBS checks. However if there’s a situation where children are taken out of the main group (f.e. a separate group for older children) there should always be minimum two adults present with any group of children.
If you do not agree with these rules, please DO NOT use “Kiddie Sangat” to name your playgroup as it is an official project by the UK registered charity “Everything’s 13“.
If you don’t want to use “Kiddie Sangat” as the name of your playgroup you are still more than welcome to use our ideas and crafts. Do drop us a line – we’d love to hear about your group/class and help you promoting it.
- Please read the “Kiddie Sangat rules” tab – contact us to get the conversation going.
- Get a group of parents together who are interested and are supportive of the idea.
- You need at least two families (preferably three or four) willing to coordinate the sessions. With young children it is hard to commit 100%, so if one family is unavailable, the other can run the session instead.
- Here is the letter that we have used to get permission from our Gurdwara to use their premises: Kiddie Sangat proposal. Download it and edit as appropriate.
- Once you have the premises, make sure they are safe for young children, have easily accessible toilets and changing area. Think of the first aid.
- Get some toys together. If each family brings even a couple of toys – that is enough to start with.
- See our recommendation page for ideas of interesting books, music and games that you could use in your groups.
- Use the songs, activities and crafts ideas from our website.
- Use our Kiddie Sangat Registration form – download, edit and print out the copies you need. (Change or reduce the font if 2 forms don’t fit onto A4)
- Enjoy the Kiddie Sangat.
Founder, Southall groups coordinatorDriving force behind Kiddie Sangat project and Mighty Khalsa publishing house.
Ilford group coordinatorKiddie Sangat Ilford on Facebook
Birmingham group coordinatorKiddie Sangat Birmingham on Facebook – group for the families attending