Finding a playgroup for you and your child can feel a little like you are entering the dating the world again. Between getting the nerve to speak to another mother and then asking for her phone number to plan a play date, this can be out of many people’s comfort zone.
But playgroups are great for parents and their young children. Not only does it help your child practice their social skills, it also helps you enjoy some adult conversation too. So how does one go about finding a perfect playgroup? Here are our tips to do just that:
- Check out your hospital. There are playgroups that can be found right at your hospital even before your child is born. If you are lucky, there are hospitals who put programs together for new and expecting parents for couples with similar due dates. Many of these support groups tend to progress into playgroups. Having this support system is pretty valuable. Many of these families are hitting the same milestones at the same time with their child, which makes it easy to bond. See if your hospital participates in these types of groups.
- Check your community Facebook page. There is tons of information on local Facebook groups with parents who are looking to get together for a playdate. Many times they meet at local parks or play centers. You can get lots of information, not just playdates, when involved in these types of Facebook groups. You can get excellent recommendations for pediatricians and preschools as well as community activities that are family orientated.
- Meetup.com. Are you looking for a group that you know you and your child will fit in? You can find tons of playgroups on Meetup.com. There are playgroups that have a special theme to them. This can be playgroups where the focus is on preschool learning, crafting with your child or even exercising with your young ones. You can find your parent tribe here with focuses on the same interests as your own.
- Local Library. Check out your local library for playgroups. You’d be surprised to see just how much playgroups and programs that libraries offer for little ones. This is a great place to meet new kids and parents at. These programs include story time, craft time and sometimes they may even have a beloved kid’s character come in to visit. There are always wonderful activities at the library that puts you in a great spot to connect with other parents.
- Start your own. Yes, you can even start your own playgroup. There are tons of resources on Pinterest that can help you do just that. Get the word out by posting it on community Facebook boards. Make sure that they are parenting related groups and that your first meetings are in a public park to play it safe. When you start your own group, it’s easier to seek out parents who have the same interests as you do.
You are now on your way to making some playgroup friends for life. Remember that the way you interact with other parents is modeling behavior to your children.
Join the playgroups that include everyone and the focus is giving your child the opportunity to socialize. It’s easy to fall into the gossip trap. But once you find your playgroup soulmates, they will be the best support group you never knew you needed.
It truly takes a village. Good luck!