The More We Get Together: Planning & Playing in Playgroups

Four babies laying on a blanket in the grassAs a parent of an infant, your definition of a date (are you thinking swanky restaurant and then movie theatre?) may have changed. Today, your ideal date may involve a toothless, bald little one and a group of mamas and papas gathered around, “ooing and ahhing” at their child's every move.

Playgroups and other organized programs provide both you and your baby many benefits:

  • The opportunity to connect with others as you all share successes and challenges.
  • The ability to find out about the latest fads, resources, and other tools that may support you and your baby.
  • It's fun!

As a new mom, you may not be sure how to find a group that will be right for you. Need help? Try:

  • Looking at your local community organizations. Churches, libraries, and even recreation programs through your city may be a good resource for finding a playgroup or other program designed for your infant and you.

Still haven't found what you are looking for (yes, that is a song by the group U2); consider starting your own playgroup.

A playgroup may simply consist of 2-3 neighborhood friends. It doesn't have to be complex.

If you are starting from scratch, consider:

  • Checking with the families that will be involved and confirming a regular date/time that works for all. Some folks like to meet weekly in the morning, some monthly in the evening. Make a schedule that works for you. However, keep it consistent for both you and your child.
  • Communicate a plan. What is going to happen at this gathering? Will it be a simple social experience for both you and baby? Will there be an activity offered? Snack or other foods? If so, who will plan and implement it (Note: sharing responsibilities is always a good thing – after all, mamas are busy folks!)?
  • Set the ground rules. Are siblings welcome to come along? What if a child has a cold? Should they be excluded on that day? Will the group meet in a central, community location (some cities offer up spaces at libraries or other city buildings for groups to meet free of charge)? Or will the group meet in someone's home? If so, sharing the responsibility by rotating from time to time may be a good idea.
  • Have fun. A playgroup should be a fun, safe, and positive experience for both you and your child. If it is not, it's time to change plans and find another program that is.

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The More We Get Together: Planning & Playing in Playgroups

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7 comments

  1. Amy says:

    Playdates are fun with the right people

  2. sheenaholman says:

    My daughter has lots of close cousins to play with. But we have only two friends in town with kids her age.

  3. Aimee says:

    How old should your infant be before you start play dates?

  4. Jeanetta says:

    My daughter had her first play date the other day…but I still need to find a group.

  5. Janice says:

    Play dates are good for the babies and moms social skills. I called it visiting with friends, and family.

  6. Grace says:

    i wish people here were more open to letting strangers in, i know no one willing to socialize

  7. ChrisS says:

    I see. It is good that both of my sons have cousin who is about same age, just few months early/younger.

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