Epworth Playgroups are non-religious meet-ups that take place in a colorful recreation room housed by the Epworth United Methodist Church in North Berkeley.
Toddler playgroups and baby playgroups are organized by multi-week sessions, but parents are welcome to drop in or start at any time.
“At our playgroups, adults have an opportunity to compare notes on parenting and make new friends. In my view, this is by far the heart of the Epworth Playgroups: helping those around us find community,” says playgroup leader Susan Jardin.
“It is a resource for those new to parenting, new to the Bay Area, or even new to America. We serve a diverse group of families, those who have adopted, those who have recently arrived in California – and may be learning English, those who are solo-parenting.”
Epworth Playgroups for Toddlers
Each toddler play session is two hours long for little ones from 12 months to 2.9 years with an accompanying caregiver. You can expect activities like play-doh, painting, puzzles, blocks, trains, ride on toys, books, music, and more fun than you can create at home by yourself. Bubbles, circle-time, and songs are included.
A new session begins January 3 and runs for 12 weeks. Choose your day: Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. All sessions begin at 9:30 am. The cost is $156 for the session or $13 per drop-in. Discounts for twins or younger siblings are available.
Epworth Playgroups for Babies
The baby playgroups run from 11:30 to 1 pm, beginning Thursday, January 5. This new parent support group will be an 8-week session.
Susan explained the genesis of the baby groups, “We’ve found that a lot of insecurity accompanies becoming a new parent, especially these days when social media facilitates the comparing/second guessing of parenting style choices, worries about combining work and being a parent, looking for the best preschool, providing the best nutrition, being the fittest, etc. Also, many of us are Bay Area transplants and don’t have extended family around us to support us during the transition of becoming a parent. Participating in a baby group allows mamas and papas to articulate their feelings, hopes, and experiences in a safe, non-judgemental, nurturing setting.”
All groups are located at 1953 Hopkins St, Berkeley CA 94707
Contact Susan Jardin, Playgroups Coordinator, to receive a current registration form for the toddler or baby/new parent support groups: firstname.lastname@example.org.
all photos courtesy Epworth Playgroups