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Subject: Parents with young kids - how do you find nearby playdates? rss

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Eric Etkin
United States
Gloversville
New York
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I have custody of my five year girl 50% of the week, with alternating weekends. About a year ago, I bought a house in a somewhat rural area (average space between houses is about 2-3 acres), so there isn't really a defined "neighborhood." She goes to school about 20-25 minutes away in a different district, so her classmates are not what I would consider nearby.

I'm now running into a situation where there doesn't appear to be any kids her age in the immediate vicinity, and her only playmates are generally myself, my girlfriend, and very occasionally the neighbors' kids... who are significantly older.

So - how does one go about finding nearby children for potential playmates? I've looked into online meetup groups, and there's nothing for us in my area.

I've considered drafting a variation on "we're new to the area and looking for younger kids for play dates" letter and stuffing it into all the mailboxes within a quarter mile radius. Genius idea? Creepy? Ineffective?

I grew up in a small city, so there was no shortage of children around to play with... This is a situation I'm completely unfamiliar with.
 
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Billy McBoatface
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Lexington
Massachusetts
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Is there a park with a playground in your town? Just going there works.

Also, my kids' school publishes a list of parent's phone numbers for the class. Even though her classmates aren't nearby, having a classmate over for a weekend afternoon is a good way to help her make friends, and for you to meet more parents; ask her who in her class she'd like to have over, then call their parents.
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Chestermere
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We lived in a neighborhood where the only children seemed to be 15+, so my daughter went and did everything with us. She had some friends at school, but that was a school near the caregiver's house, so no one near home.
We eventually signed her up for dance classes, and she made a lot of friends there.
Instead of the playground, maybe find out what's going on at the community center-- assuming you've got one, of course.
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J Boyes
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You live in the sticks now. you are going to have to get used to driving 30 minutes to take your kids places. Let her play with her friends from class.
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baker mouse
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brownsburg
Indiana
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I would also go with the sign her up for something idea.

Baseball, soccer , dance, girlscouts, library group....dosnt really matter as long as she is interested in it. These types of activites tend to also lend well to parents making friends and an easier time of arranging playdates.

I would start with the library and see if they have more info for kids programs in your area.
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Luke Morris
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Faversham
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I grew up in the countryside. We had friends 100m down the road but apart from that my parents did a lot of driving. Friends, clubs, school teams. I have serious happy memories because of them doing that, even when they didn't feel like it probably.
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Jerrod Warr
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Arvada
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Where's the closest hobby store? I used to drive pretty far for MTG tournaments and it was worth it; just make a day trip out of it.
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Jerbear
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Sign her up for interesting classes. My son has made two best friends at Tae Kwon Do.
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Mike Jones
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We just relied on classmates, neighbor kids and fellow scouts.
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