Learn and Grow (and play)
is a hard job and that sharing with other parents is one of the best
ways to rejuvinate yourself and keep your parenting skills sharp.
together with moms who have children of similar ages and start a play
and learn group where your children can play while you learn something
to make you a better parent.
Thanks to the United Way Welcome
Baby Program, we have lessons that can be presented during the
playgroup. The lessons only take about 10-15 minutes and have
valuable information to help you. The lessons are located in the
left column and the basic steps to organizing a playgroup are
to a Successful Babies and Moms Playgroup
you are starting a playgroup, you will want to make some decisions
about how you would like the playgroup to run. If you make
decisions ahead of time, you can let other parents know what to expect
when the playgroup begins. That way, they can make a good
decision about whether the playgroup fits their needs.
what type of play group you will have. Will children play
will you have something for the mothers as well (we like this idea so
that you can learn and keep your mind limber--see the lessons on the
- Decide if you will
always meet just to play or if
you will consider
having fieldtrips or meeting in public locations. Some groups like to
go once a month to a special outing like a museum or park.
some moms who are short on cash, having to pay for an activity might be
what age-range of children you will invite. Remember that if
ages are too different, kids will not find as much in common.
- Select a day and time
that works well around naps and other considerations (this may limit
who will come because of schedule).
- Select a location. You
can rotate homes, meet at one house, or meet in a place like a park
(depending on weather)
- Decide how many people
you want in the group. This depends on
where you will meet (in a home or park) and what ages of children you
will have. Usually 5-10 moms is a good number.
other ground rules like who will provide snacks (if it is at someone's
house, the hostess will generally do this but if you are at a park,
this must be determined, what kind of snacks are
additional kids can come (friends, siblings, etc), and so
a clear idea of how you want the playgroup to function will help
everyone and help you be successful. It will also help you
other moms who want the same thing from a playgroup as you.
you have friends who have kids your child's age and who would fit well
in a playgroup, start with them and see who might be interested.
If you want to extend your group beyond this, consider
flyer in a location where similarly-minded parents might look like a
church bulletin, community board, or at the pediatrician's office.
Remember to include the basic structure of the playgroup
time of day, type) but not enough information that your group is at
risk for predators (location and activities).
You can also use our Babies and
Moms Community to locate other moms in your area who want to
have a playgroup!
Join our Facebook Group
the first official playgroup date, have a meeting of the parents to
make sure that you are all in agreement on what to expect and set the
specific date, location, and assignments at this meeting.
the Kinks Out
worry if your first few play groups are not perfect. It takes some time
for kids to gel and learn to expect that they will have fun at a
playgroup. And don't be offended if parents drop out of the
group. If it doesn't meet their needs, it is better that they
leave early and find something that works for them. If you
friends, it doesn't mean that your friendship has to stop. It
just means that the playgroup dynamics are not right for them.
be afraid to change things as you come together. Adjusting
as you go along is a great way to find success in the long
The Long Lasting Friendships
of the best friendships you can make as a mother are with other mothers
in your playgroup. Also, for your children, the other
often become their friends. Some playgroups last for years
keep kids bonded to a group of friends. And, you will be
surprised at how much you grow to care about the other children in the
group and their growth and development.