I’ve found playgroups to be so enriching for children and a lifesaver when parenting-at-home starts to feel isolating, and really it’s not too hard to start one. If you just determine to do it, you can get your own going without much trouble and then have one more scheduled activity a week to look forward to.
All you need is some other families, a place to meet, and optionally, snacks or games or planned activities. But seriously, if you just want you get out of the house and help your kid make friends while you associate with grown-ups for a change, all you need are the people and the location. If you can organize that, people will be so happy with you they’ll not notice the rest.
You can volunteer your house, or pick a good park, and you can always rotate it to other people’s houses and other parks. Once it’s going well, you could branch out to outings like the zoo, walks or hikes, fruit picking, children’s museums, library storytimes and such. The social relationships could naturally develop into special occasions like trick-or-treating together too, and networking with parents can help you hear of more community events.
I’ve been in successful playgroups started in many simple ways. Really, the hard part is just deciding to do it and asking people to join. you can do this!
- a neighbor who asked a couple other neighbors plus some families she kept seeing at the park.
- four acquaintances from church agreed to make a weekly playdate and their friendship thrived
- a La Leche League member hoping to make like-minded friends simply announced at each meeting that she always went to a certain park Monday mornings and would welcome anybody to join her.
Sure, you could post an ad on Craigslist, or on a school’s bulletin board, but I’m being realistic here. You’re a busy parent and you’re consciously choosing good influences on your kiddo, and so maybe you feel iffy about putting an ad out to anybody. That’s why it’s so great to start with acquaintances who share a common interest- let the fear go and make that casual contact into a friend!