As a parent, you want your children to make friends, socially interact with others, and have fun. One of the first ways a child can do this is by participating in a playgroup.
First, my own quick definition of the word playgroup:
A playgroup is a group consisting of three or more children and their parents who get together weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly to socialize and play. Children might do a craft, play with toys, have a snack, play games, or dance and sing. If the children are cooperating, moms may be able to catch up with each other, savor some coffee, and be able to talk about their concerns as parents.
Wouldn't it be nice if this were how every playgroup culminated? A happy group of children and some relaxed moms. But playgroups don't necessarily turn out this way. Here are some suggestions to keep your playgroup manageable and enjoyable for everyone.
Set Limits and Structure
Limit the number of children attending and agree on some guidelines beforehand. Discuss a set time to begin and end each playgroup and decide on home rotations and types of foods to be served. Most importantly, discuss whether you all agree if a child should attend if he has a cold or has had a fever or virus recently. It can be awfully unnerving to arrive at playgroup only to see a child with a runny nose sharing a harmonica. It's best to start a group with moms that have similar rules for their kids.
Mess and Stress
Within my playgroup circle, we generally rotate homes so each mom hosts about once a month. It can be stressful when playgroup is held in your home. You may find yourself chasing little Billy who's squeezing a juice box and yelling, "I don't like fruit punch!" Making you want to scream, "My carpet doesn't like fruit punch either!"