Start a toddler playgroup by finding interested parents through friends and family or by posting flyers. When advertising, choose family-oriented locations in close proximity, such as libraries, schools, playgrounds, churches and pediatricians' offices, Parenting suggests. Include clear details about the intended age group and an approximate time of day to weed out parents with conflicting schedules.
Before arranging any playdates, meet with fellow parents to get a sense of their disciplinary guidelines and how they interact with others, What to Expect advises. One-on-one time also gives parents a chance to discuss group rules, such as schedules, hosting obligations and cancellations. Decide how many kids to include, where the group should meet and whether food should be provided.
Choose a duration for the playdates, such as an hour, and come up with a list of age-appropriate activities. Scheduling long playdates may tire toddlers out and lead to cranky behavior, so shorter is often better. Bring stimulating entertainment that encourages interaction and sharing, such as blocks, music and puzzles. Enjoy the outdoors, and expose toddlers to fun new environments by scheduling occasional trips to zoos, parks and museums.
Use the first few meetings to evaluate the chemistry of the entire group and give parents and children time to feel comfortable with one another, What to Expect recommends. Keep playdates informal in the beginning so parents do not feel pressured to stick around if the chemistry is not right.