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organizing a playgroup? ideas?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
okay so another thread got me really thinking about this. we have no playgroups in our area at all. I'm a stay at home mom, and I would love to get together with other moms for a playgroup. However, I am kind of shy and organizing one seems very out of my element... but, have any of you ever organized one and what kind of venues/activities/snacks and such did you do? or alternatively, what are the playgroups that you go to like? does someone lead them or do the moms just show up and chat together while the kids play? I just have no idea what they are like.
post #2 of 5
I am a member of a playgroup that another mom just set up last year. She said she was sitting at home with her baby, not sure what to do with her, and saw another mom walking with a baby around the same age in a stroller, and she was tempted to just run outside her house and say "I have a baby, too, be my friend!" She started a yahoo group. She put up flyers at the library, local grocery store, that type of thing, and also put an ad in the paper.

The first meeting was just at the local park. I actually didn't know about it, just happened to be there, and she came up and introduced herself & invited me to join them. For the most part, we have one playdate per week, at the park in spring/summer/autumn, and then different people in the group would host the playdate at their house over the winter. There are also stroller walks, usually once a week, and usually 1 or 2 "mom's night out" events a month - usually just dinner at a restaurant. I think the yahoo group works well because it's not just up to the woman who started the group, anyone who has an idea can post and say "hey, anyone interested in doing this with us?"
post #3 of 5
A mom in my neighborhood put up flyers on the mailboxes to set one up. It's still going strong two years later.

We meet at the neighborhood playground once a week. It is very low key. Everyone brings their own snack (or not) and their own toys (or not), and the kids play while the parents bounce between chatting, supervising, and joining in the play. Sometimes we meet at someone's house in which case the host will do some simple snacks and maybe have a little activity or set up the kiddie pool or whatever.
post #4 of 5
I love meetup.com. You can organise the meetings yourself, but open them up so that they can be at other members houses too. I belong to More than moms in catonsville, md. That one is open on the web - check it out for ideas. Everyone takes a snack, the kids help themselves, and just play, and the moms chat/supervise/play.

Another one I belong to, the hosts ask for volunteers, and then post where the playdates are, and separate them according to age! You RSVP online, and the mom says how many families she can manage in her house. If that number is reached, you go on the waiting list.
post #5 of 5
A mom near me used meetup.com to set one up. Its really big though (over 100 families) so the group does lots of activities for kids of all ages. But it started small and I was organizing a walking group within it. I would say post in the local grocery store, coop, churches whatever is popular in your area. Since this particular group I belong to is so big, I go to some events, but ended up meeting moms near me and now I just casually meet with them and our kids throughout the week.

This big group has several moms who later joined as organizers and pretty much anyone with an idea can become an organizer for it. They have moms nights out abotu once a month and do everything from informal weekly playgroups to museum visits to daytrips. They also have virtual events through the meetup website which is pretty cool.

I would start meeting in a public place like a park or a kid friendly cafe. Go from there. Maybe if you all live relatively close you can host on a rotating basis. My SIL had one like that when her kids were little. There were about 6 moms or so and each week a different mom hosted the pläygroup (which usually entailed at their house and providing snacks for bigs and littles).

Another group i belong to charges a membership fee, but this fee is used to buy communal toys and the snacks for parents and kids. It also meets in a communal space (a community/activity type room owned by the town).

Anyway, give it a try. There are probably moms just like you sitting there wishing they knew someone etc.

Good luck.
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