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Fresh ideas, insights, and tips from

The Little Gym 

 

Convention The Little Gym 2017

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The Little Gym Europe has organised in October 2017 its biennial convention held at Phantasialand (Germany) where the European network of The Little Gym Franchise Owners had a chance to meet up and network. 

This year’s convention “Springboard to your Success” focused on making ​the franchisee's business grow in a changing world.

 

A massive congratulations to all of our award winners, but especially owner Kate from The Little Gym Harrogate & Leeds who won the franchisee of the year award.

 

AWARDS 2017


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Franchisee of the year​

Kate Henebury
The Little Gym Harrogate and The Little Gym Leeds​
Read more about Kate's story.

Peter_Paul

Ambassador to the network

​Peter Paul​ van Reenen
The Little Gym Amsterdam and The Little Gym Den Haag
Read more on Peter-Paul's journey.

Vivian

From Bugs to Jets

Vivian​ Verstraelen
Gym Director at The Little Gym Den Haag. 
Read more about Vivian. 


Pierre

Growth from within​

Pierre​ Follebouckt
The Little Gym Uccle, The Little Gym Wavre & The Little Gym Wezembeek
Read more about Pierre.

Martin

Full steam ahea​​d​

Martin​ Petrov
The Little Gym Sofia
Read more about Martin.

Fall Holiday: a week full of adventure

The Fall holiday is coming up and runs from Monday October 23 till Sunday October 29. 

Great fun! During the Fall holiday, rain or shine, The Little Gym camps provide children (aged 2,5 to 8 years) with a fabulous variety of fun, activities, learning and creativity. Themed sessions with games and gymnastics, all in the care of our qualified and dedicated team of instructors.

Our camps run from Tuesday till Friday and each camp is 3 hours long. Flexible registrations are available. It is possible for your child to join full days (you will provide lunch) or half days. A snack and drinks during these camps are included. Choose as many days as you like!

Schedule

Tuesday & Thursday: 9:00 - 12:00 and from 13:00 - 16:00

Wednesday & Friday : 9:00 - 12:00

Reserve your spot soon because places are filling up very fast!

CLICK HERE for our flyer with pricing information

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OPEN HOUSE on Saturday September 16th from 15h00 - 16h30

Hi everyone!

Are you and your child not yet familiar with The Little Gym but curious to find out all about our program, our facility and what all those other parents like so much about us?

We invite you and your child(ren), aged 10 months - 5 years, to join an afternoon filled with fun, activities, climbing, swinging and hanging around!

Come to our OPEN HOUSE on SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16th from 15h00 - 16h30.

FREE entrance so please come in and play, have fun and receive more information about the possibilities for your child. You can even book your introductory class to have a real The Little Gym experience or sign up for this season!

See you Saturday for some Serious Fun at The Little Gym Haarlem!


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Make a business out of making a difference

Make a business out of making a difference
Team up with The Little Gym Europe and become an owner of a franchise for children by bringing ‘Serious Fun’ to the children in your own community!

The Little Gym® prepares kids – and kids at heart – for life’s adventures. We promote growth in individuals, families and our communities by serving as a trusted partner on the journey of developing well-rounded, confident kids. You could be next!

We’re continuously looking for passionate and motivated entrepreneurs to join our family. Whether you’re looking to open a new location or are interested in an opportunity within an existing location, there are plenty of ways to become a The Little Gym® franchise owner.

Take the next step!  We make it easy to become a franchise owner to bring The Little Gym programmes to more children in more communities.  

LEARN MORE NOW!


Keep moving during the Summer!

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Great fun! During the Summer holiday, rain or shine, The Little Gym camps provide children (aged 2,5 to 12 years) with a fabulous variety of fun, activities, learning and creativity. Themed sessions that change every week with games and gymnastics, all in the care of our qualified and dedicated team of instructors.

 

Our Summer program runs from July 24 till September 3.

Our camps run from Tuesday till Thursday and each camp is 3 hours long. Flexible registrations are available. It is possible for your child to join full days (you will provide lunch) or half days. A snack and drinks during these camps are included.
Choose as many days as you like!

 

Schedule

Tuesday to Thursday:

9h00 - 12h00 and 13h00 - 16h00

 

Check the full Summer camps schedule and themes here!

Summer Classes

Every Saturday morning we offer regular classes for children aged 10 months to 5 years old. The Summer classes can be scheduled during the 6 weeks of Summer and can be paid per class.

Check the Summer classes schedule here!

 


Sign up for a brand new season!

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On September 4 a brand new season starts at The Little Gym. After a fun Summer break with busy camps and full classes our team is looking forward to welcome you and your child(ren) (back) in their favorite class!

This season runs from September 4 2017 till the 22nd of July 2018. You can sign up per semester.

The first semester runs from September 4 till February 18, 2018.

Join us for an introductory class before or during the Summer so you won't have to miss anything and to be sure to have a spot in the class that best meets your and your child(ren) requirements. Our current members are already signed up so classes are filling up now soon!

Call or email us to book your introductory class today. Check out our schedule here and let us know on which day you want to join us. Also for more information we are happy to help you!

Call 023 - 5767 316 or mail to haarlem@thelittlegym.eu.


SHOW WEEK

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Just before the end of this season, from Wednesday July 5 till Tuesday July 11, we celebrate during our Show Week! The children are already preparing for their special class.

During their Show Class each child will receive a medal from The Little Gym, recognizing their individual effort, achievements and progress during this Season.

We invite you, family, friends and neighbors to join this celebration in your child’s regular class. Don’t forget your camera!

Also please note again that make-up classes can only be used until the end of this semester (July 23) so please take the opportunity to use any in the next couple of weeks to help your child prepare really well for their Show Class! If you have any questions or requests concerning your make-up classes please see us at the front desk and we will look at it together.


For members only: Priority Enrolment for the NEW school year is about to start!

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From Tuesday June 13 till Sunday June 25 we start Priority Enrolment for members for the new school year 2017 -2018. During these two weeks, members can reserve their spot in their favorite class against a special member rate!

Make sure you book your spot during this period. After June 25, regular prices do apply and non-members and parents on waiting lists can reserve a spot as well. 

Do you have questions about which class best fits your child's needs? Is you child ready for the next group or is he/she going to school after Summer? We are here to look at all the options we have!

Speak to one of our team members at the Gym, or.....

Call us on 023 - 5767 316 or mail to haarlem@thelittlegym.eu


An unforgettable birthday bash at The Little Gym (1 – 12 years)

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Give them the best birthday party ever! 

Awesome Birthday Parties at The Little Gym gives your birthday child and their friends the full run of the facility, filling the celebration with instructor-led games, music and fun activities created especially for your birthday boy or girl. And you don’t have to worry about setup or cleanup, making it totally awesome for you too!

Your fully supervised, gymnastic based, private party will be filled with music, games, obstacle courses and of course laughter. This may be their first try at gymnastics or you could have a household of budding Olympians, the key to our parties is FUN, FUN, FUN!


Our parties are for kids of all ages, led by trained staff in our custom designed, bright and colorful gym including the very comfortable lobby where parents and young children are catered for. Bring wine and nibbles and relax whilst our team of instructors entertain the children. You have exclusive use of the whole facility for the duration of your party!
We create your individual party to meet the needs of each child.


We offer our parties every Saturday and Sunday.

For more information and availability you can call 023 - 5767 316 or

mail to haarlem@thelittlegym.eu


Get Up and Get Moving!

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The times, they’re changing, and it’s becoming even more difficult to keep our kids engaged, happy, and well, out of our hair. I know I’m not alone when I say that I have used my friends: television, computer, and tablet as a distraction for my children when I need 30 minutes of peace.

 

As parents, we know it’s not always easy, but are kids being exposed to too much technology? According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children spend an average of 7 hours a day using media including television, computer, internet, video games, and cell phones. In an ever growing media driven world, it’s becoming even more important to make sure your child is getting active every day.

 

So, how can you encourage your child to get active? Show them that being active is fun! Exercise as a family by going for a nightly walk, jog, or having a family soccer game in the back yard. You can also get your children involved in activities outside of the home like The Little Gym to help them appreciate a healthy and active lifestyle for years to come. Whether you’re running, jumping, or tumbling, get moving with your child to build the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits!


Our Top 5 Family Dinners

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You know how important it is that your kids eat a healthy dinner every night and we know how hard it is to get your kids to eat the food you want them to eat. If you’re tired of mac & cheese and frozen chicken nuggets, here’s a list of our top five healthy dinners that the whole family will enjoy.

 

  • Looking for a way to pump more vegetables into your kids’ diet? Let’s start with Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs. The spaghetti squash is packed full of nutrients. The recipe also includes a healthy amount of celery, carrots, and tomatoes all disguised in the sauce. If you want to make it even healthier, try trading the ground beef for ground turkey.
  • These Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls are stuffed full of healthy things like black beans, spinach, and corn. If you want to make them even heartier try adding some cooked chicken breast. These save so well you might even want to make a double batch so your kids can eat them the next night, too!
  • We love burgers! As a parent you’ll love these Ultimate Turkey & Black Bean Burgers even more because not only are they made with healthy ground turkey but there is also a serving of protein- and fiber-rich black beans in each one. Add some sliced avocado to really make it healthy to the max.
  • We love this recipe for Sesame Chicken Salad because it’s a little out of the ordinary and easy as can be. Your kids will love eating the carrots, snow peas, chicken and pasta, especially when they’re the ones who mix the peanut butter dressing.
  • Your family will beg you every week to make these Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers, a fun play on the traditional chicken pot pie. You’ll be surprised how easy it they are to make. This recipe calls for chicken breast, celery, and carrots, but don’t be scared to add other vegetables to the mix.


Happy eating!


Benefits of Chores

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Do children need chores? According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, young children who are given household chores “build a lasting sense or mastery, responsibility and self-reliance.” And what parent doesn’t want that for their child?

 

The article also found that those who began chores around ages 3 and 4 were more likely to have positive relationships with their families, higher academic success and were also found to be more empathetic and responsive to others needs. Need we say more? Check out these 5 ideas for encouraging your child to help out around the house:

 

  1. Turn on some music while your child sweeps the kitchen or picks up their toys. Adding music to the mix will make doing chores more enjoyable for both of you.
  2. Kids love a good game – set a timer and motivate your kids to do their chore as fast (and efficient) as possible.
  3. Consider the way you approach chores – make it fun and let your child know that they are “helping” you by completing a certain task.
  4. Keep a chore chart - once your child has filled their chart let them choose a “prize” of their choice like staying up “late” on a weekend, ice cream with mom & dad, or a trip to your local children’s museum or zoo.
  5. Have fun with it. Making chores fun is the best way to encourage your child to complete their chores now and for years to come.

 

To read the full article, click here.


Nice Kids Finish First

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The Little Gym helps kids develop social skills, which studies find may be the most important factor for long-term success.


Science has confirmed it: nice guys don’t finish last. At least not according to a new study which suggests that kindergarten students who display pro-social behavior may be more likely to graduate college and have steady jobs. The 20 year national study tracked more than 700 children from kindergarten through age 25. The researchers found that young children that scored highest in social competence skills, such as sharing, taking turns, and listening, were four times more likely to graduate from college than those who did not. The study also found that, in some cases, these types of social skills may be better predictors of future success than academic skills.

Positive social skills are something that can be learned and improved upon throughout childhood. Programs at The Little Gym help children grow and develop social skills in a fun environment that provides a different context for learning. Games are purposefully designed to enhance social development and the non-competitive environment encourages children to play with each other rather than against each other. Children learn to become more considerate of one another, more aware of the feelings of others, and more willing to work together for mutual benefit. These essential life skills help children learn how to interact in positive and socially acceptable ways which helps them become well-rounded little people so that, as research now confirms, they grow into well-rounded adults.


Oh where, oh where have our dear manners gone? Oh where, oh where could they be?

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Good manners are not something that children will naturally pick up. Children need to be taught, reminded, and reminded again of the importance of having good manners.  Good manners help children become well-rounded adults. The trick is to teach your child manners that are age-appropriate so they are able to understand why manners are SO important!  Here are 6 manners that are at the top of our good-manners list.

 

  1. “Thank you” is a word that both parents and The Little Gym instructors cannot stress enough!  A simple thank you sends a powerful message of gratitude. When someone does something for you, gives you a compliment, gives you a gift, etc. it is important to always say thank you. When a child is old enough, a good practice is for children to write their own personal thank you notes when receiving a gift or spending time at a friend’s house. A written note goes a long way!
  2. “Please” or “the magic word”, is an important tool for children to get what they want. Please is a great manner to learn for even children who are not yet talking. If a child wants something it is important for them to use their manners by expressing ‘please’ and following it up with a ‘thank you’.
  3. “Excuse me” or “pardon me”, at a certain age children should learn not to interrupt adults when they are having a conversation. Rather, they should learn to wait their turn or say ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’ if they need to interrupt. These phrases also work when in public and your child needs to get around a person who may be in their way, or when your child bumps into someone by accident. By using ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’ your child will not only be heard but will be doing this in a positive manner.
  4. “Hello” and “goodbye”; Greetings and goodbyes are basic functions of communication. Beginning at a young age children should learn the appropriate way to address people when they enter and leave a room. Greetings and goodbyes are a great way to teach children how to interact with one another.
  5. Table manners; starting at a very young age children can learn table manners. Starting when children begin eating solid foods they are often re-directed when throwing or spitting food. This helps children learn what is acceptable and what is not. When children get a bit older it is important for them to learn basic table manners; knowing how to use your utensils, asking for things to be passed when they are out of reach, and asking to be excused when they are finished with their meals. Basic table manners follow children throughout their lives and helps parents enjoy their mealtimes as well!
  6. Be kind to others; it is important for children to learn how to be kind and positive. Teaching children that mean words and teasing is hurtful helps a child understand the importance of kindness.

 

Practice makes perfect – keep practicing and reminding your child of the importance of having good manners. Be repetitive, if your child does not say please then simply make them ‘say the magic word’ and they will begin to catch on! Often times role-playing is a great way to have your child experience the appropriate way to act in certain situations. Great manners go a long way and it is best to begin good practices at a young age!


Cold and Flu Myths

Cold and Flu Myths

It starts with a sniffle – next thing you know, the whole household is sneezing, coughing, and passing tissues. If you’re feeling confused about how to treat colds and the flu, you’re not alone. Separate the facts from the fiction and check out the top 3 cold and flu related myths.

 

Myth #1: The flu vaccine causes the flu: Getting a flu shot may cause symptoms that feel like the flu, but the viruses contained in the flu shots have been killed, or “inactivated.” which means they can’t cause infection. While there may be some achy side effects that can sometimes follow the flu shot, it just means your immune system is responding and processing the vaccine.

Myth #2: You’re more likely to get sick if you’re cold: Despite mom’s warnings that you should bundle up, being cold does not cause a cold. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, infections prevail in winter months because they are spread when more people stay indoors for longer periods of time and are in closer contact with each other.

Myth #3: Hugging and kissing are great ways to spread cold and flu germs: Cold and flu viruses like to enter the body through the nose or eyes, so a hug or a peck on the cheek isn’t likely to be dangerous. Don’t be afraid to give your sick child plenty of affection, and don’t worry that a kiss or hug will spread your germs to him (or vice-versa).

 

Many parents recognize The Little Gym as a safe and clean place in which to bring their children. We work hard to ensure each and every visit lives up to your expectations. Daily and weekly cleaning and sanitation helps keep our environment sparkly and keeps the germs away.  And if your child is feeling a little under the weather, our generous make-up policy allows you to attend a make-up class by simply calling us prior to the absence.


6 Ways to Build Confidence in Kids

6 Ways to Build Confidence in Kids

Parents are a child’s greatest influence. As a parent, there are many things you can be doing to establish and strengthen your child’s confidence. Here are 6 tips for strengthening your child’s confidence.

 

  1. Consider the compliments you give your child. Words of praise mean more when they refer to a child’s specific efforts or new abilities. Try using Specific Positive Feedback to focus on specific feedback rather than simply saying “Good Job”.
  2. Nurture your child’s special interests. Every child is unique, as parents and caregivers it is your job to help your children feel confident about those interests.
  3. Provide endless encouragement for your child. Your child will never forget the way you make them feel – that’s why it is important to be supportive of your child. Encourage them to reach for the stars!
  4. Do not label your child as anything – this may limit them and the way they feel about themselves as they grow.
  5. Extend trust in your child and let them make decisions.
  6. Focus on the glass half full – teach your child optimism. Teaching your child how to have an optimistic mindset will allow their confidence to shine!

 

Building self-confidence begins very early in life, it is important to set your child up for success. Use these simple tips to help your child become more confident. 


The Importance of Reading Aloud

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It’s no secret that reading to your child is a good thing – but do you know the positive effects reading has on your child’s development now and in the future? According to a recent study in Time Magazine, reading at home with your child early and often activates the part of the brain that allows them to understand the meaning of language. The study also added that reading has been proven to expand a child’s vocabulary and helps to strengthen the bond between parent and child! Need we say more? Check out these four tips to help make reading together a daily habit:

 

  1. Read to your child in the morning when they wake up and each night before they go to bed. Setting aside special time to read together will help make this a daily routine you and your child will cherish forever.
  2. Keep books in every room throughout the house; in the bedroom, bathroom, living-room, and even in the kitchen! Exposure to books throughout the day will encourage your child to read more frequently.
  3. Introduce new books. Check out your local library and let your child explore all of the books they have to offer; your child will enjoy the ability to pick and choose new books each week.
  4. Most importantly, make reading fun! Create silly voices for different characters or actions; this will help keep your child’s attention and will even encourage a giggle or two!

Physical Activity can Boost a Child’s Attention, Memory, Self-control & Goal-setting

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Everyone knows that physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that it can also go a long way toward children’s brain development? The results of several studies involving grade school children suggest that daily vigorous physical activity can greatly improve children’s development in areas such as a child’s attention, memory, self-control, strategies and goal-setting.

 

In general, these skills develop rapidly through the elementary school years and then develop at a slower pace during adolescence.[1] The more vigorous exercise a child gets, the more the development of these skills increases and is reinforced. Think of kids on the playground who learn that by pushing themselves to run faster, they can catch who’s “it.” Or consider children shooting hoops who learn that, though it may be frustrating when they miss, the more they practice, the more consistently they’ll make it.

 

One researcher suggests that:

 

…in a period when greater emphasis is being placed on preparing children to take standardized tests, these studies should give school administrators reasons to consider investing in quality physical education and vigorous activity programs, even at the expense of time spent in the classroom. Time devoted to physical activity at school does not harm academic performance and may actually improve it. [2]

 

So what can you do to help boost your child’s brain through exercise?

 

  • Train as a family for a charity run or walk
  • Celebrate special occasions—like birthday or anniversaries—with something active such as a hike, a basketball or soccer game or a bike ride.
  • Play tag, jump rope, dance, or even play a dancing video game.
  • Get Moving at your local The Little Gym

 




[1]Davis PhD, Catherine L, and Norman K Pollock Phd. "Does Physical Activity Enhance Cognition and Academic Achievement in Children? A Review." Medscape. http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/764365 (accessed February 6, 2014)

[2] Tomporowski, P.D., Lambourne, K., & Okumura, M.S. (2011). Physical activity interventions and children’s mental function: An introduction and overview. Preventive Medicine, 52(Suppl.1):S3- S9.

Pediatricians Call for Parent to Read to their Children Everyday

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Do you read aloud to your child every day? After numerous studies have been conducted to measure the importance of reading aloud to children, The American Academy of Pediatrics announced a new policy in telling parents to read aloud to their children daily.

 

Reading, singing, and talking to your child starting at birth has a significant impact on your child’s literacy development. During the first three years of a child’s life their brain is like a sponge, soaking up information and growing at a faster rate than any other time in their lives. That is why it is important to begin conversing with your child to enhance that brain development, and to ultimately set your child up for a lifetime of success.

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to use the five R’s of Early Childhood Education to help boost your child’s development. The five R’s are;

 

  • Read together. Again – read aloud to your child EVERY DAY starting at birth. This will help with your child’s literacy development.
  • Rhyming, playing, talking and singing together.
  • Routines and regular times for meals, play, and sleep which allows children to know what they can expect and what is expected of them.
  • Rewards for everyday successes – praise is a great reward!
  • Relationships that are reciprocal, nurturing and enduring.

 

Reading aloud to your child daily has so many benefits that will help your child enhance their vocabulary and communication skills at a very young age. Use the 5 R’s of Early Childhood Education from The American Academy of Pediatrics to help give you ideas on how to boost your child’s development starting at birth.


Let your Child’s Imagination Run WILD!

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Imaginative play is more than just fun and games. In fact, young children learn by expressing their imagination. Picture a child caring for a doll or stuffed animal, or a child pretending to be a fireman and saving the day. These children are creating life-like scenarios and acting them out. With pretend play, children are able to take on different roles, giving them the unique opportunity to learn social skills, problem solving skills, communication, and empathy.  

How can you encourage your child to use their imagination? Join the fun! Observe your child’s interest and get on their level, sit face to face with your child and imitate his actions. Keep it simple and take turns. Your child will likely mimic your actions as well.  Let your child’s imagination run wild and get playing today!


Is Your Child Getting Too Much Screen Time?

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In this day and age, it is impossible for children not to be exposed to screen time. From tablets, phones, computers, and television, technology is everywhere.  But how much screen time, if any is appropriate for young children?

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, “Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”

As easy as it may be to place your child in front of a screen, there is no evidence showing that electronic media has developmental benefit. Instead, put the electronics away and offer your child non-electronic formats of fun such as books, board games, and active play. Taking a “electronic diet” doesn’t need to be grueling, rather see the developmental benefits in limiting screen time now and in the long run.

Read the entire article from The American Academy of Pediatrics here: http://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/pages/media-and-children.aspx


5 Ways to Make New Mom Friends

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Making friends as a new mom is not always an easy feat. It’s like standing in the cafeteria on the first day of school surrounded by strangers wondering where you fit in – but this time you’re at the playground, you have a baby on your hip, you just finished singing “The Wheels on the Bus” for the 1000th time, and you just want to have an adult conversation. Is that too much to ask?!

 

Whether you’re at the grocery store, the playground, or at The Little Gym, as a new mom you’re constantly scoping out potential mom friends, eager to strike up a conversation about ANYTHING. No matter where you are, making new mom friends does not have to increase panic or stress. Here are 5 tips for making mom friends with ease.

 

  1. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. No seriously. How are you going to meet an awesome new mom friend if you’re cooped up in the house all day? Put yourself out there by getting involved in a mom’s group or mommy meetup. Enroll yourself and your little one in a Parent/Child class at your local The Little Gym. Or head on over to the playground and scope out a mom that looks like you may have something in common with. It could be the start to a beautiful friendship!
  2. Find a friend? Get her contact information! Don’t be shy! Finding a new mom friend is like dating… if you find a mom you like get her number so you can see her again. If you guys don’t connect the second time around you can’t say you didn't try!
  3. Plan a play-date. Find a mom you like? And she has a little one the same age as yours? SCORE! Plan a play-date! This is the best way to get moms talking – to each other.
  4. Plan a “Mommy” play-date. Find a sitter or get your significant other to take the baby reigns, it’s time for a mom’s night out. Grab some drinks or dinner and enjoy a kid free night with your new friend. Moms deserve off nights too!
  5. Be yourself. This is the best way to find genuine friends that will last a lifetime.

 

Finding new mom friends may not always be simple, but having one or two really awesome mom friends can make a world of a difference. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, playground, or even your local The Little Gym, don’t be shy – strike up conversation and see where it takes you! There are plenty of fish in the sea and soon enough you will have a group of great mom friends that will last a lifetime.