Question: How Do I Start A Playgroup?
I've just moved to a new area and would love to start a neighborhood playgroup. How do I get started?
Answer: Playgroups can be as equally advantageous for young children as they can be for the caregivers or parents. A well-formed group provides kids with an outlet for play and to develop social skills, while providing parents with an opportunity to make friends with and simply socialize with other adults. Long-term friendships often result in playgroups, because often, the parents end up with a lot in common with the simple starting point of having similar-aged kids.
Identify a common feature that will draw in parents to your new group. Is there a playgroup in your neighborhood already or would this be a new concept? Are there similar-aged kids around? Do most parents work or are there an ample number of those with a stay-at-home parent? (If most families work, this simply means that a playgroup time will need to be during non-working hours.)
Here are tips for starting a successful playgroup in your area:
Determine interest level. Check with the homeowners group, apartment manager, or neighborhood "in-the-know" person to determine whether this is something that could create interest.
Assess whether you want to be the organizer. It's a fact that the person with the idea is usually the one who does most of the work, at least initially. Are you willing to serve as the key coordinator who comes up with the ideas, creates a playgroup roster, and helps to generate activities and ways to make the playgroup a success?
Determine whether the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. If you're yearning for adult time and want your tot to interact with similar-aged kids, then go ahead and get started. Create a flyer and put it on homes, call families that have kids (if you're lucky enough to get a list that has this detail), or even post signs at the park. You can even start with a simple meet and greet open house to meet some new families. Most likely, you'll find that there are others desiring the same interaction. The result could be some long-term friendships and a great network for parents and kids alike.