A Baby and Toddler Playgroup near you can be an incredible gift. Here’s why.
As a mum, I LOVE Toddler Groups. They completely kept my sanity when I was new in Poole with a clingy baby and a super active toddler. Although we don’t get to go to many Playgroups anymore, we are still lucky to keep the friendships we made in those early days. Most of my memories are about me trying to have a cuppa and a chat on the go while keeping up with my Speedy Gonzales toddler.
If you are a new mum, and you’ve never been to one, here’s what a Toddler Group is and what you can expect.
Most Toddler Groups are drop-in play sessions, usually organised by a group of volunteers at a suitable location, like a church hall. They can be FREE, or there might be a fee or donation to pay at the door, which usually includes a hot drink for the carer and a snack and a drink for the little ones.
Here are 7 reasons why we love them
They give the right kind of structure to your week. Enough structure so you and your child look forward to it, but not too much, so you don’t feel disappointed if you need to miss it.
We know what is like. Some days you are so tired after a bad night with a teething baby that you simply can’t face it. Some days the sun is shining and you decide to go to the beach. The lovely thing about Toddler Groups is that they are there if you need them but there’s no judgement or money wasted if you don’t go.
They are a brilliant place to meet friends with kids of a similar age to yours. Having a lovely Toddler Group near me meant my eldest had ready-made friends when he started school. It made a huge difference during those terrifying first few days.
They give mums a much-needed break. Yes, you are still responsible for your child and some kids may need more help than others in joining in and making friends. But you are also very likely to have moments of peace when your child is busy and happy and you can just have a chat with another mum -if you choose to- while keeping an eye.
They are fantastic for new mums in the area. These groups are usually organised by the community for the community. They are the perfect opportunity to get involved and become part of it.
They help toddler development. Toddler Groups are usually well thought through by the organisers. You are likely to find lots of stimulating toys and get to do lovely activities that you may not have thought of.
They are a brilliant first step in preparing your baby or toddler to go to childcare. My second child found it much easier to settle at pre-school than my first did. I’m convinced she was much more comfortable around lots of other children because we went to many toddler groups from day one. They have a similar ‘vibe’ to childcare settings, but run for a lot shorter and, crucially, mummy (or daddy, Granpa, nanny) is still around.
They are usually very cheap. Lots of Toddler Groups are free, but if they charge a fee or donation is usually around the region of £0.50 – £2 per family.
They are a great solution if someone else is helping you out with childcare for the day. It’s a perfect activity to suggest to Gran and Grandpa or anyone you leave your baba with because it’s much easier on them.
We have some awesome Toddler Groups in pretty much every area in Poole. You can check them all here.