What is playgroup?

Playgroup is an informal session where mums, dads, grandparents, caregivers, children and babies meet together in a relaxed environment.

Toddler enjoying singing at playgroup

Playgroups are set up and run by parents and caregivers, with a range of activities designed to meet the needs of the children attending. Playgroup activities may include:

  • music and singing
  • imaginative play
  • outdoor and free play
  • art and craft
  • outings.

Playgroup can be held anywhere that is safe for children and where groups can meet. Playgroups meet in community and neighbourhood centres, health clinics, women’s centres, preschools and kindergartens, church halls, parks and playgrounds.

An important part of playgroup is having parents and caregivers stay to interact with each other and to play with the children.

No child is too young for playgroup. All children from 0–5 years of age, including babies, love new experiences and benefit from developing sensory, social and communication skills through activities at playgroup.

Meet new people

For first-time mothers and fathers, or those new to a suburb or town, playgroup offers a great way to meet other local parents and share parenting highs and lows.

Community playgroups and national programs such as PlayConnect provide families with vital support, guidance, community connection and links to essential services.

Primarily, it was for us. We desperately needed it. It helps you keep your sanity when you’re home with a baby all day. We’ve become good friends and are very supportive of each other.

Toddler learning while playing

Playgroup is fun

Children like playgroup because they can:

  • be part of new experiences
  • develop and increase their social skills
  • learn all about sharing, cooperation and simple routines
  • interact with other adults and children in a safe environment
  • enjoy learning more about the world around them.

Playgroup offers support

Playgroup isn’t always a mothers’ group. All parents and carers benefit from playgroup. Playgroup can be a time to talk, make new friends and share experiences, while children learn through their play experiences.

Adults like playgroup because they can:

  • meet other local families and develop new friendships
  • relax and talk in a friendly environment
  • share experiences and ideas
  • play with children and nurture a spirit of cooperation
  • take up opportunities for personal development.

We’ve used playgroup as an open forum to talk about the things that have happened during the week, to share the changes having a baby has had to our lives, talk over concerns and share in the wonderful milestones of our babies.

Did you know?

Playgroups benefit a child’s development across all areas: physical, social, emotional, language, cognitive and communication (2012 Australian Early Development Census).

What do families say about playgroup? Find out more in our 40 Years of Playgroup: Celebrating Our Story of Connecting Communities.