Best Places for Children to Make New Friends
One of the most important aspects of a child’s development is the formation of friendships. Through friendship, children can learn to appreciate differences, communicate effectively, and enjoy quality time with their peers. If your child struggles to form friendships, here are the best places for children to make new friends.
When you go to work, your child will miss you. While you could hire a babysitter, they will enjoy interacting with other children more. Sending them to daycare will allow them to make new friends in the same age group. Most of the children in daycare go there every day, which gives young children a chance to form consistent friendships that might extend well into their school years. It will also help them initiate new friendships at school.
A Local Park District
In addition to daycare, park districts serve many children in need of stimulating social activities. There are groups where you and your child can meet other parents and their children. This will make it easy for you to set up playdates. Also, many park districts have storytime and gymnastics groups for preschoolers. In the summer, they offer swimming lessons and day camp. For activities at your local park district, check out your park district’s activity guide.
Like your local park district, your local library probably has groups for children of similar ages. Libraries are great for encouraging children to learn, and at a library, children can learn together. They can read together and help each other problem-solve. They can also attend different groups to learn a variety of skills. By having fun and learning with each other, children can develop intellectual skills and emotional intelligence.
Many children do not understand how to respect their peers with disabilities. Therefore, it might be harder for a child with disabilities to make new friends. Luckily, there are support groups that specifically cater to children with certain disabilities. These groups can help children make friends with peers who understand them. When children feel understood and respected, they feel less alone and know that people care about them. Smaller groups can help children form closer friendships. Some of your child’s new friends might go to the same school, which will help their self-esteem and emotional wellbeing in the classroom.
One place all children can enjoy is the playground. Your current town probably has a lot of playgrounds with different equipment and groups of children. Try to find a playground where many of the children are close to your child’s age. Children who are social and polite might ask your child to play a game together. Some of them might invite your child to play a sport on the blacktop. One new interaction will give your child the chance to have fun, share playground equipment, and enhance teamwork skills.
Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 and social distancing policies, many in-person groups are limited. However, you can find virtual groups and help your children to make friends that way. When the pandemic is over, all the best places for children to make new friends will be available.