- Family and Parenting
What are Playgroups Like?
Are you looking for a playgroup for your child? Are you wondering what playgroups are all about? Are you curious what happens at playgroups? Are you nervous about visiting one? Just wondering if a playgroup is for you? Playgroups are a great way to make new friends, help your child learn socialization skills and just have fun.
A playgroup is a group of moms (and sometimes dads, nannies and grandparents) that schedule "play dates" for their children to interact. Sometimes playgroups will have "Moms Night Out" meetings as well. Playgroups might also arrange for the kids to do an activity together, such as attend library story time, a music class or a day camp.
Playgroups are usually for children ages birth to 6. However, in some areas there will be elementary-age playgroups, and groups for home schooled children.
While the majority of playgroups are for stay-at-home moms, large cities often have specialized playgroups that include working moms. There might be a playgroup solely for twins, and another for kids with special needs. There are even playgroups for kids with nannies, Christian playgroups, and playgroups for only children.
Some playgroups are homeschool co-ops, where the moms will take turns teaching preschool lessons. Play dates generally last one to two hours. They might take place at a park, church play ground, restaurant, kid's museum, or other locations. Some playgroups do have meetings in the homes of members.
Some might have a monthly celebration for the kids with birthdays in the group. Others will have separate birthday parties for the members.
Not all playgroups are free from drama. Some moms will be cold to new members. Some groups will not be welcoming to members who aren't on the same economic level. Some playgroups will have cliques within the group. Some mothers will judge other moms on their parenting choices. These parenting choices can include choosing not to breastfeed, allowing children to play video games, and other controversial choices.
Sadly, some playgroup members will even subtly discriminate members. While this is uncommon, it does still happen in our society. One excellent resource that strives to "be a support group to mothers of color" is Mocha Moms. They offer play groups and moms groups. Click here for the website.
If you visit a playgroup, moms should be very friendly and welcoming to you and your child. If they don't, then the group probably isn't for you and your children.
Remember, you can start your own play group. Meetup.com is a great website for managing a playgroup. You might even consider joining MOPS to network with other moms and schedule play dates.
For the most part, playgroups are usually a very positive experiences. If you are starting a playgroup, be sure to check out "Preschool Playgroup Advice: 10 Fun Indoor Play Date Ideas." Also, browse, "How to Start a Lego Playgroup for Kids." Another great article to read for play dates ideas is "20 Fun Activities to Do With Toddlers."
As mentioned earlier, playgroups will sometimes have "Mom's Night Out" activities as well. In addition, playgroups can be a fantastic way to promote your business. For example, if you sell Mary Kay, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Candles, Arbonne or other products, you can make some great connections through playgroups. One of the members might be willing to host a party for you. However, if you join and immediately start encouraging members to buy from you, you might be quickly shunned.
Playgroups can be fun, help you find support and just make life a little easier. If think you'd benefit from a playgroup, join or start one today. Happy Parenting!