Saturday 18 April 2015

Making New Friends (Parents and Children!)

Helping little ones make friends, to form bonds, have fun, learn to share and interact with children is just one of the very many ways that parents help their little ones develop. Unless you are surrounded by friends with little ones already meeting other children and parents (we can all do with some adult conversation from time to time!) can be harder than it sounds. 
If you are looking to meet other parents and children these are all great places to start: 

Netmums, Facebook and Similar Online Resources While Netmums is a website it also serves as a fantastic resource for local information. Users have access to local pages and news and some areas operate a Netmums meet-up group where parents and their little ones can get together and socialise.
Facebook is an incredibly popular social media site which often advertises local mum and dad groups, children's activities and more as well as local meet-ups.
*As with any meetings arranged over the internet though make sure it is in a suitable public place etc.  

Playdates Playdates are a great way to spend time with others, inside or outside of the house, to entertain the little ones, encourage nice play, sharing, communication and of course enjoy some adult conversation. If the weather is nice pack up drinks and snacks and head to the park or similar;  the fresh air is good for everyone. 

NCT The National Childbirth Trust is a membership group which offers everything from antenatal classes to advice and support and even Nearly New Sales. They also offer members an opportunity to get to know other parents in a variety of ways. If this sounds like something you think you could benefit from get in touch with your local branch for more information or visit the main website. 

Toddler Groups Most areas have a number of parent and baby, toddler groups, toy libraries and similar on offer. Your health visitor, community boards and other parents with be able to point you in the right direction. Most are free, some may charge a pound a time or similar to cover the cost of the room / hall and any coffee, tea, juice and biscuits. These are great places to visit for an hour, to meet other parents and children. 

Classes There are a great number of infant and toddler classes dotted around, from baby signing to gym or dance and more. There is a fee for all of these and they all offer different experiences and help develop certain skills so you have plenty to choose from. These classes are also great for meeting other mums, dads and children. 

Nursery or a Childminder If you are concerned about your little one not spending enough time with other children perhaps a regular session or two with a nursery or a childminder could be beneficial? All childminders and nurseries are Ofsted registered and of course you may visit the settings for a look around before deciding. Again there is a cost for this however if you feel your child could benefit from regular time outside of the house and away from you with other children this could be an option. 

Set UYour Own If you feel there isn't a suitable group for children and parents to get together set one up! Perhaps you would like to arrange a Netmums meeting or an independent and informal local group? The chances are that if you are struggling to find a suitable place for you and your little ones to meet and interact with others, that there are plenty more who feel the same.

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