Ideas for toddlers' playgroups

Written by stephanie kelley
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Ideas for toddlers' playgroups
Encourage costumes during themed playgroup dates. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Playgroups are a way to help toddlers learn socialisation skills. Many playgroups involve free playtime and social time for parents. Engage toddlers in structured activities that teach different topics and let them explore the world. Consider playgroup activities that take the kids to exciting places, engage them in hands-on crafts and encourage imaginative play.

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Outdoor Ideas

When the sun is out, it's fun to take a toddler playgroup outside for some outdoor activities. Toddlers are able to enjoy sunshine, fresh air and all that outdoor play has to offer. Outdoor playgroup activities don't have to be enjoyed only at a public park. Consider a trip to a working farm. Toddlers can see animals and learn more about how farms operate. Other ideas include a trip to the zoo, to learn about exotic animals, a water park on a hot day or an amusement park for a day of fun.

Indoor Activities

Indoor toddler playgroup ideas include some low-key fun for rainy or cold days. Arrange a craft playdate for a playgroup. Plan two or three simple crafts. Provide materials for some interesting free style crafts as well. Be sure to have plenty of paper towels on hand to help clean-up the inevitable mess. Another indoor activity is a book playdate. Choose two or three age-appropriate titles to read to the group. Use puppets to bring the stories to life. For an active group of toddlers, rent a gym on a rainy or cold day. Provide some balls, skipping ropes and hula hoops for some freestyle physical activity.

Themed Ideas

Choose a theme for a toddler playgroup. Themes bring continuity to the event and help direct decisions, including stories, crafts, games and even snacks. Most children like bugs. Some bugs are creepy and crawly. Some are cute. Choose a story, such as "Miss Spider's Tea Party," by David Kirk. Add a craft, such as making ladybirds. Make a ladybug by painting a rock red, adding black spots and googly eyes. Play simple bug-themed games, such as a spider scavenger hunt. Serve celery sticks with peanut butter (make sure no one is allergic) and raisins stuck on, also known as "Ants on a Log" snack. Other theme ideas include the seasons, holidays and favourite fairy tales. Include costumes and imaginative playtime into themed playgroup dates.

Special Events

Hold a dance for toddlers. Play lively music and allow children to wear dance-inspired outfits. Give small trophies or ribbons to all contestants. A talent show is another way to showcase toddler's talents and to give them practice performing in front of an audience. Hire a special guest, such as a clown, children's musician or a character artist, to visit the playgroup and perform for the children,

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