What are good ways to find or form a playgroup?
Playgroups are great for both moms and kids. Moms get support and friendship from other moms and kids get to learn how to interact and share with other kids. What are some tips for finding a playgroup to join or starting your own?
I googled Moms and my zip code. MEETUP has several options that will pop up, as will any MOMS Clubs in the area. :) There wasn't a MOMS Club in my area so I started my own, using the resources of MOMS Club International. I, personally, liked that MOMS Club Int'l had already done all the work, obtained the non profit status, etc. They already did all the hard work and worked out all the kinks! :) My calendar is so full that I turn down events! Isn't that amazing? So many options of things to do (with other mommas) that I can't even do them all! :) What an amazing difference from sitting at home with two kids all day, every day, while hubs works! :)
Meet up . com is the best place to do that. It connects you to other groups in your area that might already be formed, or you can make one yourself. I have found two in my community through that site. They have been great. The local library is a great place to meet parents if you have little ones under 5. Your church might also be a good place to check if you attend one.
I would start with your friends first. If you have friends that are Moms, and have children around the same age, just start sending invitations and see what happens. You may want to see if your church or religious institution has an organized groups for Moms. Story time at your local library is a great place to meet other Moms and kids. Most libraries have story times for specific age groups on specific days. Find your day and start making friends. Check with your community center, preschool, neighborhood association, local Mother's groups...
You may have to create your own, so be prepared to have to do a little organizing. Number 1 rule, keep it simple. A park meet up day. Story at the library with group snack after. A hike. Don't go over board with the activity. We're all busy, but simple things are easy to squeeze on the calendar.
Happy play grouping!
If you're in Australia, try this website: http://www.playgroupaustralia.com.au/
You can search in your state for the closest group. Or you could start your own mother's group as we did in our community. As a group of friends we would get together at the same time each week, at someone's place, the local park or pool. It gave us a good chance to gossip, ask advice and the kids to play with each other. We would all bring something to eat to share. Perhaps there is a notice board somewhere like the community health centre or shopping centre where you could leave a flyer. Or even your local newspaper or newsletter.
MOMS Club is a fantastic resource! My chapter has all kinds of terrific activities including Play Groups. You can check the website to see if there is a chapter in your area.
I've only been in one. A young mother in our apartment complex invited all the young mothers at church who had children in the nursery with her daughter to participate in the play group. We all took turns hosting the playgroup at our home which meant we were in charge of the refreshments as well. When the playgroup got too large we got permission to meet at the church except when the weather was nice enough we met at the park and everyone brought their own sack lunch. It was always on a set day at a set time once a week. It's important to have a set ending time. We noticed after 2 hours the kids had enough of each other and were ready for naps. Anyway this mother was new to the area and didn't know anyone and that's how she made friends. It was nice for me because I wasn't brave enough to start something, but I didn't know anyone either until after that.
I agree with Holly Moms club is the best. They have things going on everyday except weekends. its great to meet other moms and the kids love it. We have parties for every holiday from cinco de mayo to christmas. There is a membership fee but its not alot and worth it. Another option is called mops. Mothers of preschoolers. This is a christian based group. They meet up only 2 times a month. These called at are world wide so I'm sure there is one near you or you can start up a moms club if there is not one in your area.
meet up.com is the one I am using right now. I emailed a few groups and ask them to try their group make sure we are a good fit. They normally have a cost in them ranging from $5 to $30 a year. And depending on what activity they do also cost money. But we don't go on our first one until friday. Also I am finding that theses groups activities fill up FAST! So it doesn't give the best option sometimes and you have to ask what age group they specialize in too..
For starting your own if there isn't one already in you area you should go to your local community/ family resource centre and tell them you wish to start a playgroup. They will be able to tell you what to do, what funding is available for equipment, advertising etc. Let other moms know what you plan to do so you know there is a real interest.
The one I attend is one morning a week from 11am-12:30pm. As it is funded by the government we only pay €1 per family per week which is used towards an outing at the end of the year.
Lunch is provided for the children and tea/coffee toast or biscuits for moms at no extra charge.
Our group welcomes fathers, grandparents or carers/gurdians- basically whoever is in charge of caring for the child/ children.
We get our activities from Community Parks and Rec. We have 3 community centers each doing 2 days of pay a dollar to turn your kids loose in the gym. Every branch of the local library has 2-4 different age groups of story time for free. 2 of the 3 local nature centers have multiple classes for the preschool set and few of them are more than $5 per session. A lot of the local homeschool groups also have group activities that younger siblings are welcome at as well.
I haven't read all the suggestions, but the easiest way to find local mums and/or already established playgroups is to ask at your local maternal health centre, community centre or even doctor's office. Post a message there too, leaving a contact number. God bless.