Types of playgroups
All playgroups are similar in nature; babies and young children accompanied by caring adults meeting regularly to play and learn together. Playgroups can also be quite diverse and unique. All families are different and bring with them a range of experiences, skills, interests and expectations.
While many playgroups are for all families with children aged 0-5 years, sometimes there are playgroup sessions organised around a particular need or common interest such as baby, non-English speaking, special needs, educational philosophy or specific approach to parenting.
In addition to different types of playgroups, you can also have different playgroup models, such as community playgroups, which are led by its participants, and supported or facilitated playgroups, which are often managed by an agency. These are explored further in the Playgroup Models section.
Some examples of different types of playgroups:
Groups for specific ages - baby, toddler and 3+ sessions
There are many playgroups that have a range of different ages in the group but sometimes families want to attend a playgroup where children are similar in age to their own child or because they want the playgroup session to focus on activities to enhance a particular developmental stage.
Many fathers already attend community playgroups. Some prefer to join a fathers’ only playgroup where the playgroup is run by local dads and offers the opportunity to hang out and offer support for fathers to meet, interact, and share experiences with other Dads.
Groups of families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
Families from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds choose to meet together to socialise with families who speak the same language or come from similar cultural backgrounds and to give their children a culturally rich experience.
Fly in fly out (FIFO) family groups
These playgroups consist of families who have a family member who works on a FIFO basis. It is a great opportunity to meet other FIFO families that know exactly what it is like when you are home alone, while the other parent/partner is away at work and share parenting tips and challenges. They are a great network of support whether you are staying at home or flying in and out.
Nature based groups
Nature based playgroups are about getting outside and enjoying nature on a regular basis. They aim to connect young children with nature through weekly, fortnightly, or monthly sessions. Taking playgroup outside in the rain or shine is always fun. Nature based playgroups provide families the opportunity to share outdoor adventures and experience the benefits of time spent outside together.
Intergenerational playgroups bring together three or four generations. Intergenerational playgroups can also be established in a variety of settings including community, school or aged care settings such as residential care facilities, retirement villages and community-based seniors centres. These playgroups provide seniors, children and their parents and caregivers with opportunities to interact through play.
LGBTQIA+ Playgroups create inclusive, supportive and positive experiences for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex + (LGBTQIA+) parents and carers. LGBTQIA+ playgroups also allow parents and caregivers to spend quality time with their children, encouraging, helping or simply playing with their children. These playgroups are sometimes referred to as rainbow family playgroups.
Grandparents often attend community playgroups and some form their own playgroup. With many grandparents providing care for their grandchildren these groups can provide much needed peer support.
Other popular playgroup types include:
- Montessori/Waldorf/Steiner groups
- Groups with children with a disability
These are just a sample of the types of playgroups available. Families are always welcome to start up their own playgroup based on their own needs and interests.