They say that it takes a village to raise a child, or in today’s case – a community. When you live in a community you are able to connect with people who are there to help you and your family. Parent-child play groups used to be the “thing” to do but with our busy lives today, they have fallen by the wayside. Parent groups allows children to make friends and parents to vent, interact and share information with each other. These groups also help bring a community closer together. Here are five ways to bring parents together in your community.
Organize a Picnic – Nothing brings people together like food. Invite members of your community to join in a pot-luck style picnic. Everyone can bring a dish to pass along with an outdoor game and beverages. This is a great way to get adults from all walks of life together in a low-key environment. Parents are able to chat with each other about local services, share tips for juggling a busy life and even hash out which is the best double stroller. There is no stress to perform here. Everyone is there to have fun. If you plan the picnic at a park then clean-up is a breeze with designated trash cans and there is plenty of playground equipment and even a pool to keep the little ones occupied.
Host a Wine & Dine Movie Night – Let’s face it, when parents have some time together away from the kids, they want to drink. A movie night for both kids and parents is the way to go. Parents in your community can bring their own rinks while you supply the food. You can set up a movie room for kids and adults or you can have one viewing and choose a family-friendly favorite. Be sure to invite everyone over early so that parents can get their drink on and the kids can get some playtime with their friends in before settling down for the movie.
Meal Swap – A meal swap is one of the latest crazes in community events. They are pretty simple to put on. Start by finding out which families want to participate in the event so you can get a proper head count. You will want to aim to have seven families if you do this on a weekly basis. Next, each family makes one dish in disposable containers. Ideally all participants would have around the same number of family members to feed. So, let’s say that all of your families have three members. That means that each family would prepare the same dish, seven times, with the food portioned for a family of three. Next, the families get together and exchange dishes. Now, each family has a fridge full of food for the week that is already prepped and ready to be cooked. Best of all, you only had to make one of the dishes yourself. This community event is great for busy parents.
Parent Info Nights – When you start to build relationships with other parents in a community, you start to trust their judgment on everything from how to handle the terrible two’s to selecting the best stroller for twins. A parent information night is a night, once per month, where parents in the community get together to talk about their problems and parenting dilemmas. You can invite guest speakers from local organizations that are geared towards parents and even reach out to various companies for free samples of product to check out and voice your opinion on. The goal of these events is to help parents stay informed and build a stronger community together.