In the digital era, gathering community members together in person is challenging. The pandemic made connecting through online media platforms even more accessible and convenient. Moms must find creative ways to rebuild their sense of community and bring their little ones together, supporting their development.
There are six unique methods of bringing your neighbors together, safely supporting social interactions. Building community is essential to a child’s cognitive and emotional growth. Before exploring the eight methods, we must assess the significant benefits of group engagement.
The Importance of Community Engagement
Community engagement is essential for establishing a development space for children. It also enhances your family’s safety around the neighborhood. When many parents know your children, they can look out for them and ensure their protection.
Connecting with other moms in the area also expands your network for childcare. When you need a night away from your little ones, you can either schedule a playdate within your community or reach out to local moms for babysitter recommendations. Building a relationship with other parents in your area can additionally expand your network of emotional support.
Being a mother in the modern age is challenging. Society expects you to become a parent, work full-time, cook and tend to other household needs. The stress deriving from society’s expectations can feel overwhelming.
Maternity leave is legally 12 weeks long, and postpartum depression can last up to a year after birth. Returning to work in an emotional state causes additional challenges. Creating a strong sense of community among the mothers in your area can increase support around the modern challenges.
Children also need playtime with others their age to promote efficient development. They expand their cognitive and literacy abilities while playing with their friends. Moms can promote the connections by using the six creative community engagement techniques listed below.
1. Organize a Neighborhood Toy Swap
Moms can expand their community connections and connect their little ones to children in the area by organizing a toy swap. Kids are constantly changing and growing, losing interest in their playthings. Instead of overspending on temporary toys and contributing to plastic pollution, moms can unite and exchange old gadgets.
Society creates 380 million tons of pollution annually from plastic waste. Reusing toys instead of throwing them away can significantly minimize environmental degradation, creating a cleaner future for your little ones.
2. Host a Mommy and Me Playground Meetup
Moms can also engage their communities by hosting a mommy and me playground meetup. Playgrounds are inclusive spaces, allowing families of all economic backgrounds and mobility levels to participate. They also promote a healthy lifestyle, helping little ones get active and socialize with other children.
Playgrounds also enhance a kid’s exposure to sunlight, expanding their vitamin D absorption. Children need the vitamin to absorb calcium, promoting bone development efficiently. They absorb nearly 80% of vitamin D through sunlight exposure, increasing the necessity of outside playtime.
3. Schedule a Weekly Music Class
Scheduling a weekly music class for moms and their children can bring the community together while supporting necessary emotional and motor skill development. Researchers at Carnegie Hall found newborns listen to music longer than a human’s voice, teaching them connection and concentration. Making music also teaches children fine motor skills, promoting clapping, stomping, dancing and more.
Music also builds intimacy between a mother and child. You can support your community and family connections by creating a weekly community music class.
4. Organize a Meal Prep Playdate
Moms may also expand their community engagement efforts by organizing a meal prep playdate. Cooking every day is challenging for many mothers, especially working parents with younger children. Getting together with other moms in the neighborhood to meal prep for the week can expand your social network and help reduce stress throughout the week.
Cooking with your children also expands their language and math skills. You may have little ones count the number of ingredients in each recipe or teach them the names of new foods. Involving kids in the meal prep process can create connection and enjoyment.
5. Create a Rotating Afternoon Homework Group
Parents can additionally promote community engagement by creating a rotating afternoon homework group. Children enjoy learning new lessons from different perspectives, especially if they are struggling in the classroom. Exposing them to various learning environments may increase their educational understanding.
Afternoon homework groups also allow moms to run errands and catch up on personal tasks. You can assign one afternoon to each mother in the neighborhood, providing all parents with a bit of extra alone time each week.
6. Schedule a Library Get-Together
If you have a local library, you can schedule a weekly get-together, connecting with other moms and expanding your child’s cognitive skills. You may develop two groups by age differentiations, one where parents read aloud and another where kids read independently. Reading aloud can improve a child’s listening skills and their recognition of sounds and letters.
It also helps little ones understand the inner workings of stories. Moms may also use the meeting time to socialize and support each other. Creating community engagement may seem intimidating, and it is highly beneficial for mothers and their kids.
Taking the First Step
If you are new in your area or want to expand your neighborhood’s sense of community, you can begin by conversing with other moms around the block. You may stop and talk to parents outside with their children on walks or distribute fliers, expanding your local network. Over time, you will create a group of moms willing to connect and support each other.