Some girlfriends and I have started a weekly learning co-op for our two and three year olds. So far I'm loving it, and so are the kiddos. The moms take turns teaching and being the support mom (we discovered that two moms worked best), so we end up teaching about once a month.
We try to structure it loosely so the kids know what to expect and so there's some continuity. Each month we pick a theme (last month's was nature, this month's is cultures) and use that to dictate what we teach. The kids bring a little pillow to sit on and we start each class in a circle, singing a welcome song and reading a story or two. Then, while their attention spans are still somewhat intact we do a craft and from there it just kind of goes how it goes. We do songs and games, have a snack about halfway through, have some unstructured outdoor time and then the moms come to gather everyone up.
The kids really look forward to it and it's been a great way to get them together for a little socialization and learning about how to be in a group. And it's fun to see that they are learning too; I hear them singing songs they've learned at co-op, or relating random facts about bugs or gardens. In the picture above Sam is displaying his sun catcher from a class on weather. And in the picture below the kids are decorating dragonfly wings for their class on bugs.
I love co-ops in all forms; it's such a brilliant way to maximize your resources and build community. I especially love the idea of utilizing other moms to help teach my kids, especially as I plan on home schooling, I think this will be a great way to not burn out and to fill in areas where I'm weaker. Plus, having a little mid-week break where I can run errands kid-free is a nice perk too.