Prague Playgroups

Expats.cz goes out and about with the youngsters

Nicole Malone

Written by Nicole Malone Published on 14.04.2009 11:52 (updated on 14.04.2009) Reading time: 5 minutes

Becoming a parent is both rewarding and life changing. It can also be a lot of hard work, especially if you are living in a foreign country. What would normally take five minutes to find in your native country, perhaps by simply asking a neighbor, can take hours when dealing with an unfamiliar system and language barrier. This extra hassle may make you feel like it is easier to muddle through this new experience all by yourself. And at first, it is probably enough to stay at home and look after your baby. But if you start to feel a bit isolated and housebound, joining a playgroup is a good solution. Playgroups get you and your kid(s) out of the house, and are a nice way to meet other people with at least one other common interest. Plus, your kid(s) will have fun tiring themselves out with children their age while you can start (and actually finish) a hot cup of tea or coffee.

There are many different playgroups all across Prague. Several of them are in English, so if you are not confident with speaking or understanding Czech, don´t worry. For all of the playgroups listed below children need to be accompanied by a parent/adult, and it is necessary to call/email ahead to ensure the group isn´t full.

Modré nebe school (Elišky Krásnohorské 6 Prague 1, www.modrenebe.cz) has a play group for children aged 0-3 years old, every Tuesday from 4-5:30pm. The playgroup has an international program involving Czech, English and French. Payment is voluntary as the playgroup is supported by City of Prague 1.

Family Center Paleček (Laubova 6 Prague 3, www.rcpalecek.cz) has several classes throughout the week, including playtime and exercise classes for toddlers accompanied by a parent/adult. There is also a Mommy-Baby Club specifically designed for moms to get back into shape after giving birth, accompanied by their babies who aren´t crawling yet. The Family Center was designed to assist both English-speaking and Czech-speaking families. All of the volunteers and lecturers who work here speak English. Though the classes are normally held in Czech, if an English-speaking child is registered the class will be held in both languages. The classes at the Family Center fill up quickly, so it is important to reserve a place early if you wish to join.

The English International School (Brunelova 960/12 Prague 4, www.eisp.cz) has a playgroup every Monday from 1:30pm – 3pm for children aged 0-3 years old. It is led by staff from the school´s Early Years department. The International Women´s Association (www.iwa-prague.com) has a playgroup in the Prague 6/Nebušice area for children aged 0-4. Every Monday morning they meet at 10am in different homes.

In Řepy there is Family clubŘepík (Bendova 1121/5 Prague 6, www.repik.unas.cz) where many of the volunteers who run classes for children aged 1 ½ to 2 ½ speak English. However, not all do, so this could be a chance to practice some Czech while your child is busy playing. There are classes throughout the week, priced from 30-40CZK per family. Each class is 1 ½ hours long, and involve activities like singing, theatre, crafts and playing. There is also a little babies club on Thursday from 9:30-11am for mothers with babies to meet other moms, have a chat and relax.

At Korunovační Elementary School there is the Parent Child Music Group run by Kids in Prague (www.kidsinprague.com) every Thursday from 10:15-11:30am. Children learn English nursery rhymes and songs, play instruments, dance, as well as participate in art and craft activities. The age group is around 1-4 years old, and the average number in the playgroup is ten. Each session costs 200CZK though this is discounted if you buy a session pass, available for either five or ten sessions. Vanda Krutsky, one of the group´s organizers, believes one of the main benefits of joining a playgroup is the social opportunity for both parents and children. “It is a great meeting point for English speaking parents and their children if they are new to Prague, new to parenthood or would just like to get out of the stereotypical way of spending time at home.” 

If none of these groups are near where you live, there are other playgroups available set up by the parents themselves. These are often held at a different family´s home each week, or in a child-friendly cafe. If you would prefer to get a bit more fresh air then there are groups which organize their meeting point at different playgrounds around Prague, or even meet up for a stroll and chat through some of the public parks in Prague, such as Stromovka. A good way to find these privately organized playgroups is either through the public family section or the private family group area of Expats.cz. Registration with the private family group area here is free (www.expats.cz/content/family). There are over 200 members in this group, so playgroups and family-related activities and postings are constantly being added or updated. Want to start your own playgroup? Get some suggestions from our article here
 
For something a little bit different, Mulberry language school (Štitneho 105/6 Prague 3, www.mulberrylanguage.com) is offering ‘Mommy & Me´ Czech beginner classes. Specifically for moms and kids aged 0-5, it is aimed at helping both moms and kids learn Czech. It also gives them a chance to meet other families in similar situations. During the last 30 minutes of the class a children´s film in Czech is put on for the kids to watch, giving the moms a chance to practice their Czech with fewer distractions. Each class is 75 minutes long and has a maximum of five moms with their children.

So if you are looking for a change of scene, some friendly chitchat with people who completely understand the challenges of parenting… put your child in the stroller and get out of the house. Wherever you live in Prague there is bound to be a playgroup that is relatively easy to get to with children in tow!

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