A playgroup is a formal or informal gathering of babies or toddlers and their caregivers. During a playgroup, young children are provided an environment in which to interact with their peers while being supervised by adults. More structured playgroups often have planned activities, while informal groups focus on free-play and casual interaction.
Playgroups for babies and toddlers are usually organized by parents or caregivers and are held at various locations, such as a member's home, a playground, the library, a park or a church. Some of the more structured groups have rules regarding group behavior, addition of new members and other issues that may arise. These groups often keep kids engaged with arts and crafts, music, story-time and snacks. Parents and caregivers may take turns providing entertainment and food for the group.
Playgroups benefit both the children, who are given an opportunity to interact with their peers, and the adults, who can exchange parenting tips and socialize with each other. Parents or caregivers looking for a playgroup for their children can start one themselves, or they can check with their child's pediatrician, the local library, a church bulletin board or even the local newspaper to see if there are existing groups to join.