Skip to main content

What are some benefits of a toddler play group?

Looking to give your toddler a little extra socialization? If you are feeling like your little one could benefit from being around and engaging in play with other toddlers, you may want to consider joining an age-appropriate play group. These tot-friendly collectives help children achieve a well-rounded upbringing — full of learning experiences and relationship building. Parents strive to give their children the best and most fulfilling experiences, and playtime is no exception.

If you aren’t familiar with what a play group is, it can loosely be defined as a collection of children and their parents (or guardians) that meet up once to several times per month for the little ones to play together. These kiddos are usually of similar ages, can consist of boys, girls, or be co-ed. These groups often meet at a central location. Some may even rotate to different spots depending on the time of year — such as a park during warmer weather and move indoors during the winter months.

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for something like this for your child, you may be wondering where you might find them, or how you might arrange a kid’s play group in the first place. Asking friends, family, or neighbors is a good place to start. Or you may also consider social media groups geared toward local parents. A parenting app is also a possible connecting medium for play groups around your area. Staying as local as possible is important to keep in mind as well, while seeking out groups to join.

Staying close to home provides parents a two-fold benefit. The first one is saving money. Let’s be honest, no one wants to be driving all over the place for play groups that cost them precious fuel and put miles on their vehicle. The other perk to staying local is it helps parents stick to their child’s schedule and routine. Children are creatures of habit and often rely on routine to get through their days. We all know the devastating outcomes of missing naptime or a meal. The idea of play groups is to bring happiness and built relationships, not cause stress or frustrations. If a playgroup causes issues, then it’s counterproductive.

But, as our title questions, what are the benefits of these play groups? The biggest reason to get a gaggle of fast-moving toddlers together is socializing. When kids play together, what they are doing is more than just laughing and playing games. They are also:

  • Problem solving
  • Learning social cues
  • Taking turns
  • Sharing
  • Showing empathy toward others
  • Not always getting their way.

These are skills that our kids usually develop on their own among other children of similar ages. This makes play groups a particularly important tool to help nurture these relationships your little ones are building.

Two mothers with their babies drinking coffee
SpeedKingz/Shutterstock

And while the benefits of these groups are mainly geared toward our kids, play groups are also a wonderful place for parents to go, as well. Sometimes when our kiddos are small, and they need us almost for basically everything, we often feel a little overwhelmed. Dishes pile up in the sink, laundry starts to fill up in the hamper, and we’re tired of looking at the same old walls. That’s where play groups step in.

Parents love their kids, but as we all know, kids can be exhausting. Sometimes parents just need to talk to another grown up who doesn’t live with them, to blow off a little steam. Releasing those tensions and frustrations often help parents feel more relaxed and less stressed, making for a happier environment all around. Taking our kids to play with other little ones can also help parents:

  • Engage in conversation with other adults
  • Build their own friendships with other adults
  • Ask questions and advice of each other
  • Find a sitter
  • Exchange clothing and other baby or child-related items.

Play groups are excellent places for folks of all kinds of home situations. It doesn’t matter if there are multiple children running around or just one in your household. Kids should be exposed to other kids outside of the home. Putting them in innocent situations that might make them think or adapt helps their emotional growth. It sort of  forces them to think outside of their normal “box,” growing their knowledge and building upkids outside of the homon it.

Whether you are a new mom looking to make a friend or two along with your little, or are a well-seasoned mama with multiple kiddos filling your vehicles, play groups are fantastic ways to assist in the making and building of bonds and friendship. Not only that, but they also foster brain growth, social skills, and problem solving. Give your kiddo the gift of a bright future when you seek out and find a local play group to join. Your little(s) — and you, to be honest – will be glad you did!

Editors' Recommendations

Emily Pidgeon
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Emily's work has appeared in the Tube City Almanac, Tube City Online and our Affinity Sites. When she's not writing, she is…
Heads up, 7 up: What’s the game and how to play it
Learn the ins and outs of this classic kids' game
Five kids each giving a thumb-up

Seven up is another classic kids' game that has definitely stood the test of time. This game has been played in countless classrooms throughout the U.S. since the 1950s. No one is actually sure who invented this popular game, but most people have played at some point. Seven up is also known by other names like heads up, heads down, thumbs down or thumbs up. Its name variations point toward the basic aspects of the hands-on game.

A majority of elementary school teacher has led several rounds of 7 up during their teaching careers. New teachers may want to add it to their menu of classroom games because it's a perfect pick to fill time when waiting for a specialty teacher or transitioning to another subject.

Read more
The best outdoor games for kids – try these fun, classic activities
Cool activities to play outside with kids
Kids playing games outside

When the nice weather rolls around, there's nothing better than getting the kiddos outside to run and play. It can be difficult these days because getting kids off the devices is always a challenge. Another obstacle is often the dreaded announcement of being bored or there isn't anything to do outside. Well, as parents, we know that's certainly not true, especially when there are a whole host of outdoor games for kids.

Having an array of fun and engaging outdoor games is always a perfect pick for the whole family, whenever you're hosting a party or when the kiddos have friends over for a playdate. The wonderful thing about outside games is that they are timeless. They take adults back to their childhood, and even teens enjoy taking a page from their elementary school gym class days.

Read more
Liven up family game night with these crowd-pleasing board games
Grab any of these board games for your next no-screen night
Parents with children playing a board game

Other than everyone staring at their personal screens or staring together at the largest screen in the home, what else are you going to do to get the family together? While cleaning the house might be a tempting answer for the parents, having a collection of family board games on hand is the right answer. Make memories, have a few laughs, and see who will come out on top in a battle of kids versus parents when you have a family board game night.
Classics never go out of style
Let's start with old-school options, which will stick around for the foreseeable future and beyond.

Guess Who?
There is no age limit to Guess Who?, which is great if you have an age range in your family. While only two people can play at a time, you could turn it into a tournament to rotate everyone in. This is a great thinking game, as parents need to break the questions down for a small child to understand but have to work to ask more difficult questions to their older kids.

Read more