Tips for Starting a Play Group

Updated on November 11, 2008
A.L. asks from Kansas City, KS
7 answers

I would like to start a play group with some new mothers at my church, and I don't know the first thing about this. If anyone has ever started a play group- or even participated in one- I would really appreciate your advice! What kinds of things are helpful? What is a good size for this kind of a group? I don't want to make this too formal, I just want it to be beneficial for new moms, and I want to enjoy it too. Thanks!

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answers from St. Louis on

I operated a play group when my children were younger. We had very few rules. I kept a list of those moms who were a part of it and their contact information. We met once a month, although you could meet more often. We would meet in the park during the summer, or at someones home. We met at McDonalds a few times. At each play time, a mom would volunteer to host it the next time. She would choose a place and make sure that all moms had directions. If we met at her home she provided snacks for the kids and each mom would bring soemthing to share for luch with the other moms. If we met at a park, each mom would pack a picnic lunch for her and her children. When we met at McDonalds each mom purchased for herself and her kids.

It was something that me and my children both looked forward to. When the weather was bad, it was up to the hosting mother to cancel the event. This only had to be done a few times.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I have not participated personally in a play ground but my SIL used to have one with other moms in church. They would rotate houses and "moms in charge". Usually two or three of the moms would watch the kids while the other moms got a break to go run errands or just have some personal time. I think they did it once a week and kept track of whose turn it was to do what.



answers from Wichita on

I organized a playgroup this past summer. To keep it as simple as possible, I decided to do it every week in a park nearby. That way no one had to wonder if it was this week or next week or whatever . . . so I called everyone I could think of and invited them to come to the park from 10:30-12:00 every Tues. AM. I also put a flyer at the post office. I found that most people needed a reminder most weeks. The number of kids varied greatly. I also went through a community directory with photos (your church probably has one?) and called people who had kids who looked about the right age. I would have been willing to make it more involved (eg, planned activities, snacks, etc) if there had been interest, but there wasn't. Anyway, the kids all had fun, which of course was the primary goal.

Not sure how I would do this through the winter, though.



answers from Topeka on

I have what I call a Mom's Morning every Friday morning at my house. It's not formal at all. We just get together and I throw a bunch of my kids toys into the living room and the Mom's usually sit in my kitchen the looks into the living room. The Mom's get adult time and the kids get some time with other kids. I haven't done any kind of activities at all, we just get together and I or someone else in the group usually brings rolls or some kind of breakfast munchie. Not sure if this helps but feel free to contact me if you would like any other info.



answers from St. Louis on

Do you talk to these MOM's when you see them, are you friendly with them? If so you can walk up to them and just ask what they think about getting together and see if they would like to get a group going for moms and kids. You can do one day a week to meet at a public place or someones house. You can plan a night out a month for the MOM's to get together. All it has to be is word of mouth.


answers from St. Joseph on

One thing I've found helpful if you don't know the other moms very well, is discussing with the members what their expectations are; do a bit of brainstorming ahead of time. This can be in an organized "pre-meeting," or at the first play group meeting, or even just getting ideas over the phone or in person with each mom. You don't have to write down all the details or get too complicated with rules, but try to get everyone's input and see if you're all somewhat on the same page. If you aren't, you'll need to figure out how to handle it from there.

Have some general questions in mind to discuss with moms to help generate ideas.

Some things to think about:
How many kids should there be in the playgroup (this may depend on space limitations, ages of the kids, what hosting moms feel they can handle, etc.)? Where will the playgroup meet? How often and for how long each time? Who will host it, or will each mom be expected to take a turn? Is this just for the kids, or the moms too; i.e., will moms stay and visit with each other, or will they be free to go run errands while their kids play? What will the hostess(es) be responsible for? Should snacks or lunch be included during playgroup time? If so, how should we handle that?

And include any other questions you deem important.

HTH! Sounds like fun, good luck!



answers from Kansas City on

We have two groups that we participate in through our class at church. The first is a playgroup. It meets every other week. We do several different things from playing at someones house, the church, the play area in the mall, and in the summer activities like Deanna Rose, Zoo, and lots of parks. Not always but a lot of times we may have a craft for the kiddos- made playdough, felt pillow.
The second groups is a mom's group. We use two rooms at church, one for the kiddos and one for the moms. We havve a rotation, two moms watch the kids while the others meet. Those two moms are responsible for a craft- can be a simple coloring page, sock puppets, crowns out of paper plates, and or singing songs row row your boat- action songs, etc. This helps the time go more smoothly for them and enjoyable for the kids. Everyone brings a snack items as well- fruit, baked/bought good, whatever. So the kids start with the snack. The moms getting the kids their snack and then go to the other room. We are doing different studies. (Ok we just started this past summer. So we are still figuring things out.) We started with each mom (those who were comfortable) sharing what God is teaching them through their personal study time. Now we are doing character studies of different women in the Bible. So you can start out as laid back as you want and just stay in tune to the needs/wants of the moms and adjust the group accordingly. Don't feel the need to take it all upon yourself, delegate! Hope it goes well. Visit other groups as well and do discuss with the other moms what they would like from the group.
As far as size, that just impacts how you are going to do things. Obviously if there were only four moms you couldn't have two of them watch the kids while the other two met. If you have 15+ moms that will limit going to houses, etc.

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