How To Start A Club For Kids
If you’ve been longing for something to do with your kids that doesn’t require a lot of prep time, learning how to start a kiddy club might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Chenoah, from Fields of Daisies will walk you through the very simple process, then you can start relaxing, and your kids can start spending more time with like-minded friends. You might even get to start hanging out with some other like-minded moms and dads, depending on what type of club for kids you decide to create.
How To Start A Kiddy Club
Do your children have a passion for Legos, or baking, or building things, or painting? Are they interested in an area that you don’t have much experience in?
Are you new to the neighborhood and looking for a way to meet new friends for both your child and yourself?
Or maybe the 6,573,385 questions about Star Wars are just wearing a bit thin, and you’d just like your kiddo to have someone to talk to who is equally enthused with the subject… (THIS!!)
Starting a kiddy club may be just the answer!
Don’t let the thought of it overwhelm you. It only takes minutes to set up a club for kids.
You can invite three or four other kids, or ten or twenty! Meet once a week, or once a month. Gather at your house, or at a park, or in the library. You can lead it, your child can lead it, or someone else can! The options are endless and YOU get to pick whatever works for you!
Get Your FUN Kids Club Started (And Keep It Going Stress-Free!)
It really is quite easy to get a kid’s club started. You might be surprised at just how easy it is to start a kiddy club. Let’s go over the steps, starting with why you might want to start a club for kids.
Why Start A Kids Club?
Start by asking yourself WHY you want to start a club and what you hope to accomplish. The reasons why you might want to start a kids club are as unique as each family.
- Are you a stay (or work) at home parent with small kids? Starting a weekly meeting at the park is great way to get out of the house and make new friends! You can meet around a specific interest or simply enjoy the playground.
- Are you a homeschooling family? Try organizing a group meeting once a week around a school subject you’d like to spend more time on (science, history, foreign language)… or have the adults take turns sharing their areas of expertise with the children.
- Are you on a tight budget? Sometimes this can make those extras like art, dance, or music lessons out of the question. A little planning and a group of friends who have a similar passion can be a great way for your children to learn and grow in an area without much expense at all.
What Kind Of Kiddy Club?
Choose what kind of club you and your child would enjoy (and benefit from) the most.
This may seem redundant if your “why” is to help your child pursue a passion and find a group of friends with the same interest (ex. photography, reading, film making). However, if for example, you want to start a club because you are in a new city and want to meet other families in your neighborhood, this might take further thought.
If you need some inspiration, at the end of this post there’s a list of ideas to get you started!
How Do I Start a Club For Kids?
1. Decide to Keep it Simple!
When starting a club, think it through, but start by reminding yourself that this should be FUN (for your children AND for you!!).
As a mom of three, and now a grandma of three littles, the most successful groups I’ve started and been involved with, are the ones that made it a point to be uncomplicated.
There will be time to add people, activities, events, etc, to the plan. Don’t sweat it.
2. Decide Who Will Be Invited
The next step is to decide who you’d like to invite to your meetings.
Do you want a small group or a large group?
Do you include just neighbors? Only kids? Kids and their parents? What about siblings?
Make an initial list of the people you’d like to include. The list may have to be revised as you work through the planning steps.
3. Decide Who Will Lead the Kids Club Meetings
Again. Remember this is a fun thing!
If you hate leading stuff like this, don’t panic! Think outside the box a bit…
- Child led meetings
- Guest led meetings
- Parent led meetings
- Just an activity on a table meetings
Get the idea?
One group I was a part of for years assigned us dates to be responsible to lead the meeting. We could do it ourselves, we could find and bring a guest presenter, our kids could lead it, or any other way we wanted to pull it off.
This kids club was very successful, and years later when I moved out of the area, the group was still going strong. I really believe that the fact that everyone (including the kids) was a part of the process was the reason for that success. Sharing the responsibility really made it EASY.
4. Decide Where To Meet
There are a few considerations for this point…
Meetings can be held almost anywhere! We’ve met in local restaurants, neighborhood clubhouses, churches, my kitchen, parks, and even at a marina!
How much space will you need? And what kind of space?
Be sure if you are hosting both kids & their parents, you also think about the possibility of younger and/or older siblings attending. Be sure you have
adequate space and/or communicate clearly who is invited.
Do you need a place to be loud? To be messy? Lots of space to spread out?
All of these factors will come in to play when finding a suitable location for your kiddy club.
If you are meeting outdoors somewhere, you will either need a Plan B location that will hold the whole group, or be ok with cancelling from time to time.
If you are organizing an outdoor focussed club (nature kids club, explorer’s club for kids, rock club, etc), staying outside regardless of weather might also be an option – just remember to communicate that to all participants so they dress accordingly.
5. Decide What You Will Do at the Kiddy Club
What will you do during your meetings?
The answer will depend on what kind of kiddy club you decide to create, and what age children are included. I think the following points would be fun to include as part of any gathering:
- Time to chat and visit
- An activity
- This could be a group or individual project, a guest speaker or person sharing related skills, a video or movie and discussion, outdoor physical fitness challenges, community service projects, etc.
- Time to share
- Brainstorming for future meetings and activities, sharing completed projects, favorite _____, problem solving, etc.
- A snack
- You could totally skip this step, but why?! Be creative! Snacks could be themed around your meetings (Pinterest has TONS of ideas for any themed snacks you can imagine). Let the kids prepare the snack as part of the activity. Let each family take turns bringing a snack.
- End Time
- So this sounds pretty straight forward, right? Trust me. Pick a time, and communicate it clearly from the beginning. Sometimes people need a gentle reminder that there is an end time. Especially if you are hosting in your home.
6. Decide When To Meet
When and how long will you need to meet?
Once a week? Once a month? Week days? Week ends? 30 minutes? An hour? Two hours? What time?
7. Start The Club!
You’re almost done! See, I told you it wasn’t that hard!
Make your final invitation list and send out invitations.
You can get your kids to make and deliver them, or you can send an Evite. Posting an announcement on your neighborhood bulletin board or on a local relevant FaceBook group can target the people you’re looking for. Or you can invite people on the Nextdoor app.
**Ideas For Super Fun Kids Clubs**
American Girl Doll Club
You could read through the American Girl historical books and then make crafts and foods from the different periods of history. Watch the corresponding movies. You may like to check out these American Girl Unit Studies for tons of related activities, recipes, science projects, and lots more.
Kids Art Club
You could study a different artist each meeting and do a related project in that medium or style. Discovering Great Artists would be a great book to work through as a group.
This could be as simple as a big pile of legos dumped in the middle of a big table, and a printed instruction sheet to build something each time! Click HERE for a great post with TONS of printable directions and other fun Lego projects!
Crafty Kids Club
Similar to the art club, but rather than painting, drawing, and sculpting, the littles will be creating craft projects instead.
Depending on ages and interests, they might like to make a wand and reading pointer, or dinosaur fossils. Or make a bunch of slime (Slime Club, maybe?!) A great place to find new craft ideas for kids is on Craft Gossip.
Community Love/Acts of Kindness Club
Meet at local parks for clean up days. Gather items and make care bags for the homeless, elderly, or local Fire and Police Departments. Put together a skit or make some pieces of artwork and visit your local nursing ward. Print out this 100 Acts of Kindness and choose some activities as a group.
The children involved will probably have some great ideas, too!
If you have the space available (or pool resources to rent a community garden), children can get together to plan their garden, plant, water, weed, and learn about how our food grows.
There are several books that are pefect for a Gardening Kiddy Club, but here are two of my favourites. The Best-Ever Step-by-Step Kid’s First Gardening book includes not only step by step directions, it also includes outdoor craft ideas and is perfect for a younger crowd. Gardening Lab for Kids would be amazing if you want a year round weekly kids club for slightly older children. It provides weekly lessons (that can stand alone) and plant based activities and crafts, that take kids from reading maps and finding their heat zone, to planting, harvesting, and more.
This could also tie in with the Acts of Kindness Club idea… Why not plant a garden and share the harvest?
Foodie Fun Club
Get together and work through a favorite kids cookbook (Mommy’s Little Helper Cookbook for 3-7 year olds is a great choice). Play Chopped with a basket of ingredients. Work together to write your own cookbook. Some cities have grocery stores with free community kitchens, which would be ideal for a Foodie Fun Kids Club.
Board Game Buddies Club
Each week several people can be in charge of bringing a favorite board game to play.
I did this with a group of teens and it was a blast! We met at a local restaurant. As long as we bought anything (someone always did) they were super happy to have us there!
Wouldn’t it be super fun to grab some junk from a yard sale, thrift store, or FreeCycle (e.g. a blender, a toaster, an old coffee pot), and disassemble it and see what the kids can create from the pieces?
I love this idea! I want to be in this club!
After School Snack Club
Literally the easiest and most laid back idea.
A mom in my neighborhood did this and the kids (and moms) loved it. If you live in the kind of neighborhood where kids still ride bikes and walk to school this would be perfect!
Pick a day of the week. Set up some camp chairs in your driveway. Invite the parents to join early so you can visit. Have a snack. Let the kids play. Voila! Amazing club for kids AND social time for you, too!
The possible themes and topics for a kiddy club are as unlimited as your imagination.
Writing, Photography, Movies, Foreign Languages, Running, Trains, Models, Book Club, and the list of fun ideas could just go on and on and on!
I hope you will feel inspired to gather together some friends and neighbors, build some wonderful relationships, and HAVE FUN!!
Have you participated in a club for kids before? Tell me about the experience in the comments below.