Thursday, October 14, 2010

Find playgroups in your area

If you're looking for a playgroup, we just updated our site with a new AND improved way to search for groups. Now you can search by zip code, keyword, city or all of the above, AND you can select how many miles to search. We hope this makes it easier for you to find playgroups.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Casting Call

Our friends over at the Discovery Channel Network, asked us to post this about an upcoming show on their new network.

Are you a career driven "workaholic" parent struggling to balance work and life?

Are you "married to your job" and your missing out on your family's milestones?

This original TV series is seeking a career driven "workaholic" parent that wants greater balance in their family life.

An alarming number of parents in the US feel overwhelmed with their demanding careers, leaving them insufficient time to spend with their family. If you're one of the many millions, now is your chance to explore a plan of gaining greater balance in your life and reconnecting with your family.

For this pilot, we are looking to identify a variety of different careers that demand long hours in an intense work environment. It is especially important for us to find families with very expressive and opinionated older children who have a strong reaction to their parents overwhelming responsibilities at work.

Candidates selected must be available for 5-7 days to be followed in their demanding work place and at home with their family.

To be considered, please email us with the information below:

1. Family Name: Name of parents, name of children and age of children and location of residence (must be in the greater Los Angeles area)

2. Occupation of parent with intense career and a description of their responsibilities at work.

3. Please include how this overwhelming career affects your family.

4. What areas of your life would benefit from greater balance? Relationships with family, physical health, reducing stress, organization, nutrition, etc?

*Please also send a recent picture of you and your family.
*Please also indicate how you found out about the opportunity

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's Back to School Time....

With summer coming to a close, and back-to-school in full swing, we wanted to send out an update on some really exciting news at Social Toddler.

On behalf of the entire team, we are very proud to announce that we have just launched our Online Event Center. Earlier in August we told you about our activity listings, which we had launched in a number of test cities. Based on your feedback, we've expanded this feature to include local children's and family-friendly events across the United States and parts of Canada. If you're looking for things to do with your children, you can now go to Social Toddler to look up events in your area. We've also updated our home page with a fresh new look, and easier navigation. You can click here to check it out.

In other news, we are happy to welcome another expert to our team. Corinne McDermott is our new Travel Expert. She runs a website called Have Baby Will Travel, and will be contributing tips, tricks, and product recommendations for parents that are traveling with their young children. You can take a look at her profile here.

Finally, as a special thank you to our members, we have arranged a one-time free webinar with parenting expert Amy McCready on "The Art of Consequences for Toddlers". During this hour, you will learn why toddlers really misbehave, the pitfalls of time outs, and how to establish fair and effective consequences. This webinar is on Wednesday, September 22, at 9pm EDT. You can sign up for free here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

News from Social Toddler

A lot of big things are happening at Social Toddler so we wanted to update you:

First off, we are very excited to announce that we have just launched a new section of our website where you can find kids and family-based activities in 16 major cities across the United States. In the coming months, we will continue adding more so if you don't see your city on the list, please be patient with us. To see the new activity section of the site, please click here.

We're also very proud to welcome a new parenting expert to our team, Kathy Sinclair, from Baby Sleep Solutions. Kathy provides one-on-one individualized sleep consultations, leads Mommy & Infant groups for new moms, and lectures on sleep related issues.

Hopefully, by now you've found a playgroup on our site, or started your own. New groups are forming on a daily basis - we now have playgroups in almost every state and a number of provinces so if you weren't able to find a group in your area, or it's been a while since you've visited Social Toddler, feel free to browse our new groups.

As always, your feedback is what drives our features, so if you have suggestions for how we can improve the site, please click on the red feedback tab on the left side of the website. The more votes a feature gets, the higher priority it becomes.

Have a great rest of the summer!!

Your friends at Social Toddler

Monday, June 7, 2010

Introducing...the Social Toddler Expert Panel

On behalf of the entire Social Toddler team, I'm thrilled to announce the launch of a new feature on the site - the Social Toddler Expert Panel. Social Toddler has partnered with a number of leading parenting experts to bring you a variety of compelling articles and advice that we as parents are looking for. So without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to our panel:

Pattie Fitzgerald (Safety Expert) - Pattie has been successfully teaching Child Predator Safety Awareness since 2001. She is the founder and creator of Safely Ever After, Inc. and provides effective, non-fearful safety workshops, seminars, and keynote speeches at schools, community organizations, churches, and corporations throughout the United States. Learn more about Pattie here.

Sara Bingham (Communication Expert) - Sara is the founder of WeeHands and the author of The Baby Signing Book. WeeHands is the world's leading children's sign language and language development program for babies, toddlers and preschool children. Learn more about Sara here.

Lianne Phillipson-Webb (Nutrition Expert) - Lianne is the founder of Sprout Right, a company that specializes in pre-conception, pre-natal and post-natal nutrition for women as well as good food and good health for the whole family. She also runs Mommy Chef, a hand-on series of cooking classes for moms. Learn more about Lianne here.

Christie Schultz (Career Expert) - Christie is the Founder & CEO of Entrepreneurial Moms International, a global networking organization built by entrepreneurial moms. Christie founded Entrepreneurial Moms International to support fellow entrepreneurial moms she so admired and respected. Learn more about Christie here.

Our experts will be actively posting articles, advice, and recommended links on a regular basis so I encourage you to stop by, look around, and reach out if you have a question. We're also actively working to bring other experts on board, so if you have a suggestion on the type of articles and advice you'd like to see, please drop us a line at

Visit the brand new Social Toddler Expert Panel here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Structured vs Free Play

Playgroups are a great way for new moms and dads to encourage child development while getting in a bit of socialization and a break for themselves. Children benefit a great deal, especially during the all-important and formative toddler years, from being able to interact and play with other kids their age. It helps teach the social skills necessary to be successful later in life by exposing them to a wide variety of personalities and situations. They learn sharing, patience, and also conflict resolution skills just to name a few of the many benefits. These groups can be run in many different ways, but primarily fall into two categories: structured and free play.

Both types of playgroups have their advantages. Therefore, parents have options with which both they and their children can feel most comfortable. Depending on what you wish your toddler to get out of a playgroup as well as their own likes and dislikes, one option might be better than another for your particular situation. However, it is important to keep in mind that just because your child might favor free play that they can also get a great amount of benefit from participating with groups offering more structured kids activities and vice versa. Exposing kids to a variety of social experiences is what is most important when it comes to child development.

When it comes to structured playgroups, parents typically take turns or else choose to collaborate planning various activities and kids' games. This kind of group ensures that kids will have a way to be engaged and also helps to develop skills that will be helpful in both other social settings as well as for when they start school. These groups, although more structured, still provide plenty of opportunities to play games and have fun.

Groups that offer free play are just as beneficial. Although for some moms and dads this can seem to be a recipe for chaos, it is actually important for child development to have the freedom to create new activities and to have the experience of socializing on their own. By encouraging creativity and social skills, these playgroups are a great way to provide variety to your child's day while allowing you the chance to socialize with other parents as well. Each type of group can provide tremendous benefits and are easy to start up or join one already organized by clubs or other groups.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why your toddler needs friends their own age

Humans are social animals. For many thousands of years, as we lived and worked in tribal societies, every toddler had ample opportunity to be social with the people around him. Learning and playing went hand in hand and all young children participated in tribal events and group socializing. It is only in the modern world, when we have lost the ‘village’ and fractured into single family units that our children do not get adequate socialization. In today’s busy world we use playgroups, playdates and kid’s activities to give our toddlers get a chance to learn interaction and social manners and behaviors.

There are two key reasons for getting your toddler involved in playgroups. The first is to expose them to other young children. When children are playing together in a group, they are automatically and sub-consciously learning from each other. Kid’s activities, special events and playdates are all opportunities for socializing with kids from a variety of backgrounds and cultural situations. Through social interaction your child will learn how to relate and effectively ‘deal’ with children of their own age. Too often our children have social interaction only with adults until they must go to school at which time the culture shock is immense.

The second reason for getting your toddler involved in playgroups is that being around other young children creates confidence and sense of security while in a group. Your child will not only interact personally with the other children, but will have the opportunity to make observations of the activity that surrounds them. Watching other kids playing or learning can give your child ideas – how to solve problems, how to make friends, share etc. This type of socializing is critical for development but, perhaps more importantly, it is fun for your child. Studies have proven that children who are regularly exposed to kid’s activities, events or playdates are better adjusted and better behaved overall.

If you want your toddler to be more social, playgroups, playdates and events where other young children are present are a good way to accomplish it. Learning to play well with others is a critical part of human development and the skills gained while playing and learning will pay great dividends later in life. As adults we sometimes look at socializing as something frivolous – something for our spare time. For toddlers, being involved in kid’s activities and spending regular time with children of a similar age is a critical part of development.  To find or create a group online, visit

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to create an online playgroup

If you've looked around and haven't found a group to join, you can create your own playgroup in a few easy steps.

1. Click on the Group tab, then "Create a new group".

2. Fill in your group's name, a short description, and the zip code of where your group usually meets (this helps other's find you when they search the site). These are required fields.

3. If your group has a regular meeting time, please enter the next meeting date, a time, and how often you meet.

4. Select whether your group is public or private. If it's private, people will need to ask to join your group.

5. If you'd like to add a photo for your group page, click on the browse button.

6. To create the group, click on the "Create" button.

7. Next, enter the email addresses of friends you'd like to invite to the group, or pick them from your list of friends already on the site.

8. Once you've entered all the friends you want to invite, you can put in a message that will be sent along with the invitation.

9. To send the invite, just click on the "Send" button. Otherwise, just click on "Skip" and you can invite your friends later.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Social Toddler Beta

We are thrilled to announce the beta launch of our site. We are still working through some bugs so please be patient. If you happen to catch an error, please email us at with a description of the error and how you found it.