How to Build a Neighborhood Play Group

By Chris Hammond, MS, IMH

Once the initial shock of motherhood is over and you and your baby are finally sleeping through the night, settling into a routine that allows you to enjoy your time with your child becomes a priority. One of the best additions to your new routine is a mom’s group or neighborhood play group. Meeting other moms and other children is good for both you and your child, especially in your neighborhood. These relationships can last a lifetime and provide an avenue for discussing mutual concerns or questions. They decrease loneliness, normalize your experiences, and increase the possibility of shared help.

But how do you go about it if you don’t know anyone in your neighborhood? Try these suggestions:

• Go to your neighborhood playground or one nearby at about the same time every day. This will enable you to become familiar with other moms and begin a conversation with them.

• Take regular walks or bike rides around the neighborhood stopping to talk to other moms who are outside with their children.

• Get involved in your homeowner’s association and volunteer to put together an activity which involves kids. This further increases your chance of making new friendships.

• If you have a community pool or a nearby YMCA, visit it to meet some other moms and children. The morning times are the best times for children as by the afternoon they are usually taking naps.

• Your local library usually has special reading times for small children. This is another great opportunity to meet other moms and children.

• Some local businesses have specials for children such as kids eat free one day during the week. By attending, you can meet others while you eat.

• Local churches sometimes have programs for moms and kids such as Mom’s Day Out. These usually cost a nominal fee but it is a chance for you to connect with other moms and your kids to meet other kids.

• Some malls have indoor playgrounds which is a great place to make new friends and get a little shopping in.

• As strange as it sounds, you can even meet other moms at your doctor’s office. The first year is spent visiting your doctor quite a bit so make the most of the visits by talking to other moms in the waiting room.

• Facebook your friends and ask to be introduced to other people on their friend list that may live close to you or have kids the same age. This is another safe way of meeting other moms.

Once you have met a group of moms, suggest a regular meeting place such as a playground, the library, the pool, or even alternating houses. Establish the group with regular meeting times such as every other week at 10am, this way everyone knows when and where they are meeting. After you have begun the group, continue to invite new moms as others disappear to maintain the group over a long period of time. These friendships can be the beginning of meaningful long-term relationships not only for your but for your child as well.

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"Reprinted with permission from the LifeWorks Group weekly eNews, (Copyright, 2004-2011), To subscribe to this valuable counseling and coaching resource visit or call 407-647-7005"

About the author- Chris Hammond is a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern at LifeWorks Group w/ over 15 years of experience as a counselor, mentor & teacher for children, teenagers & adults.

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