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Fresh ideas, insights, and tips from

The Little Gym 

 

Amsterdam is an amazing city! Our internship

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Today we want to share our impressions from our recent internship in Amsterdam, where we went with all our team members.

Amsterdam is an amazing city. The atmosphere of the 17th century with the mentality of a modern metropolis. The Little Gym hardly recommends!)

But the purpose of this post is not to talk about Amsterdam, but tell you more about the experience that we gained there.

An internship in one of the running gyms is an obligatory stage, that every new The Little Gym passes before the opening. And it's not just an observation, it's real work.

For a week, we transformed into team members of one of the oldest gyms in Europe to learn more from "senior" colleagues’ experience.

Every single day, gym team members perform many tasks, including leading classes and bashes, communicating with clients, cleaning, etc. So, the internship became mutually beneficial cooperation for all of us: we worked and gained experience, and colleagues from Amsterdam rested a little :)

But in fairness it must be said that during the week our "senior" colleagues spent time with us, patiently responding to all our questions and teaching us all necessary techniques. And we have been leading classes for children of completely different cultures and nationalities, speaking all languages ​​we know :)

It was an excellent experience, that will be very useful in Moscow.

Today, we are operational ready to do everything possible to make your little ones feel like home, so that your children will be challenged and successful!

 
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Make a business out of making a difference

Make a business out of making a difference
Team up with The Little Gym Europe and become an owner of a franchise for children by bringing ‘Serious Fun’ to the children in your own community!

The Little Gym® prepares kids – and kids at heart – for life’s adventures. We promote growth in individuals, families and our communities by serving as a trusted partner on the journey of developing well-rounded, confident kids. You could be next!

We’re continuously looking for passionate and motivated entrepreneurs to join our family. Whether you’re looking to open a new location or are interested in an opportunity within an existing location, there are plenty of ways to become a The Little Gym® franchise owner.

Take the next step!  We make it easy to become a franchise owner to bring The Little Gym programmes to more children in more communities.  

LEARN MORE NOW!


As the builder, so the abode.

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In this blog we will share our current repair status of The Little Gym October Field.


As you know, "the fence is not built quickly, especially a beautiful city!"


Undoubtedly repair works is not the easiest thing ever. But with a responsible and competent approach of all parties, repair process is not as terrible as it looks.


For us construction and doing repairs feels like building our own house. It takes a lot of time and energy, but you want to cross the threshold of this house as soon as possible...


The home is the place where you want to run every day, where you want to spend time and create coziness. The Little Gym October Field should become such place.


For now we have already installed ventilation, electricity and have started the final stage of finishing works. Paint, tiles, plumbing are already selected and will soon decorate our new house. All building materials are certified and meet the standards. Soon we will start choosing furniture and all sorts of final details ????


And the small spoiler for you: the main idea of ​​space is to make it as comfortable as possible for kids and their parents. Therefore, for the lobby area, soft lighter tones are chosen, and for the gym - bright colors. Maximum free space and no deaf walls! Parents can sit back and with a cup of aromatic coffee or tea watch their little ones through the glass separating the lobby from the gym's space.


First of all we think about our guests’ comfort, therefore, when creating an atmosphere of warmth and comfort, we try to take into account every single detail. Very soon you will see everything by yourself ...

See you at The Little Gym!

 

Yours sincerely,

The Little Gym October Field team



"Ready, Set, Go!" Training in the USA

Ready, Set, Go! Training in the USA_Andrey
Dear friends!


Soon the first “The Little Gym” will be opened in Moscow. And we have something to share with you.


Most recently we returned from Scottsdale (a city in the western part of Maricopa County in Arizona, USA). The Head Office and the Training center of the company are located in Scottsdale.


Participation in the training is an obligatory stage, which every gym’s team successfully completes before opening a gym. The Little Gym is very serious, responsible and at the same time is very kind in the process of seeking and training new employees. The Little Gym makes you a part of a family, not a company.


During the week of training we thoroughly studied all the philosophies, standards, approaches and programs of The Little Gym. We did everything that our children have to do, including the "wheel", the "handstand" and other elements of the program. We didn’t even avoid homework, but: "hard in teaching - easy to fight"!

Ready, Set, Go! Training in the USA_Anastasyia

And as a team we went to karaoke, had breakfast in a big international society, walked together in the center of the city, and we felt as a part of a big family. And it was not boring at all, it was "Serious Fun"! By the way, you will see this motto more than once on the company's logo and in our materials. In The Little Gym we pursue serious goals, but children do not know about it.????


And now the formal part ...


At the end of the course we passed certification. It was exciting ... After all during this certification, each of the participants of the training had to conduct the class from beginning to end, using the standards, following the plan of the lesson and not forgetting about the special energy of The Little Gym. The exam was hosted by the Director of the Training center. By the way, you can congratulate us ... Soon we will receive our certificates ????


And in conclusion: this trip gave us the necessary knowledge and skills, without which we could not go further, we had the opportunity to learn from the experience of "senior" colleagues. But not less important in this story is that we managed to absorb this incredible energy, which is inherent in children, not burdened with cares. After all, children can not be deceived, they feel everything.


So, guys, do not be afraid to be children sometimes!

Yours sincerely,

The Little Gym October Field team

 


All roads lead to the «Marshal»... And there are no crossroads!

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The blog’s heading speaks for itself. The first in Moscow (and the first in Russia) The Little Gym will open its doors in the housing estate called "Marshal": Moscow, 2 Marshala Rybalko Street, building 9.


Choosing a place for the gym is another serious and important stage. And, as a rule, it is not easy to find ... Especially when you are looking for a place not just for the office, but for a children's sports establishment.


To children's institutions, in principle, there is a number of serious requirements, and if this place is also about physical development, then there are many additional criteria (ceiling height, free space, large windows and much more). And, in addition, easy accessibility - so that people can easily get there by their car, public transportation, by walking, and there is always free parking for you.


Not at once, of course, but we found such a place! Here, the Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station is in five minutes from our facility, and the Panfilovskaya station is opposite to the housing estate, Narodnogo Opolcheniya Street and the Leningradsky Avenue are close by.


This is a unique place, like The Little Gym is ????


Now on the territory of the complex there is a fitness club with a swimming pool and an outdoor sports ground being built - a nice bonus. In the neighborhood with us there is the Italian restaurant “Roni Makaroni”, and there are several cozy cafes more on the territory. Soon a large supermarket will be opened, but for now there is a charming organic store of our friends “Botteganova organic store”.


There is an “Infinito” beauty salon, a dry cleaning service, the “Luxury Voyage” travel agency ... And no matter how much time we do want you to spend with us, we understand that sometimes there is not enough time for yourself, so when everything is at the same place, it's cool!


There is a square for walking, and there is a fountain in the center. The complex has children's playgrounds with swings, slides, play complexes. With the complex itself you can get acquainted by the link: http://www.жк-маршал.рф/


And soon we will invite you to our first The Little Gym!


Yours sincerely,

The Little Gym October Field team

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Get Up and Get Moving!

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The times, they’re changing, and it’s becoming even more difficult to keep our kids engaged, happy, and well, out of our hair. I know I’m not alone when I say that I have used my friends: television, computer, and tablet as a distraction for my children when I need 30 minutes of peace.

 

As parents, we know it’s not always easy, but are kids being exposed to too much technology? According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children spend an average of 7 hours a day using media including television, computer, internet, video games, and cell phones. In an ever growing media driven world, it’s becoming even more important to make sure your child is getting active every day.

 

So, how can you encourage your child to get active? Show them that being active is fun! Exercise as a family by going for a nightly walk, jog, or having a family soccer game in the back yard. You can also get your children involved in activities outside of the home like The Little Gym to help them appreciate a healthy and active lifestyle for years to come. Whether you’re running, jumping, or tumbling, get moving with your child to build the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits!


Our Top 5 Family Dinners

Our-Top-5-Family-Dinners

You know how important it is that your kids eat a healthy dinner every night and we know how hard it is to get your kids to eat the food you want them to eat. If you’re tired of mac & cheese and frozen chicken nuggets, here’s a list of our top five healthy dinners that the whole family will enjoy.

 

  • Looking for a way to pump more vegetables into your kids’ diet? Let’s start with Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs. The spaghetti squash is packed full of nutrients. The recipe also includes a healthy amount of celery, carrots, and tomatoes all disguised in the sauce. If you want to make it even healthier, try trading the ground beef for ground turkey.
  • These Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls are stuffed full of healthy things like black beans, spinach, and corn. If you want to make them even heartier try adding some cooked chicken breast. These save so well you might even want to make a double batch so your kids can eat them the next night, too!
  • We love burgers! As a parent you’ll love these Ultimate Turkey & Black Bean Burgers even more because not only are they made with healthy ground turkey but there is also a serving of protein- and fiber-rich black beans in each one. Add some sliced avocado to really make it healthy to the max.
  • We love this recipe for Sesame Chicken Salad because it’s a little out of the ordinary and easy as can be. Your kids will love eating the carrots, snow peas, chicken and pasta, especially when they’re the ones who mix the peanut butter dressing.
  • Your family will beg you every week to make these Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers, a fun play on the traditional chicken pot pie. You’ll be surprised how easy it they are to make. This recipe calls for chicken breast, celery, and carrots, but don’t be scared to add other vegetables to the mix.


Happy eating!


Benefits of Chores

Benefits-of-Chores

Do children need chores? According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, young children who are given household chores “build a lasting sense or mastery, responsibility and self-reliance.” And what parent doesn’t want that for their child?

 

The article also found that those who began chores around ages 3 and 4 were more likely to have positive relationships with their families, higher academic success and were also found to be more empathetic and responsive to others needs. Need we say more? Check out these 5 ideas for encouraging your child to help out around the house:

 

  1. Turn on some music while your child sweeps the kitchen or picks up their toys. Adding music to the mix will make doing chores more enjoyable for both of you.
  2. Kids love a good game – set a timer and motivate your kids to do their chore as fast (and efficient) as possible.
  3. Consider the way you approach chores – make it fun and let your child know that they are “helping” you by completing a certain task.
  4. Keep a chore chart - once your child has filled their chart let them choose a “prize” of their choice like staying up “late” on a weekend, ice cream with mom & dad, or a trip to your local children’s museum or zoo.
  5. Have fun with it. Making chores fun is the best way to encourage your child to complete their chores now and for years to come.

 

To read the full article, click here.


Nice Kids Finish First

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The Little Gym helps kids develop social skills, which studies find may be the most important factor for long-term success.


Science has confirmed it: nice guys don’t finish last. At least not according to a new study which suggests that kindergarten students who display pro-social behavior may be more likely to graduate college and have steady jobs. The 20 year national study tracked more than 700 children from kindergarten through age 25. The researchers found that young children that scored highest in social competence skills, such as sharing, taking turns, and listening, were four times more likely to graduate from college than those who did not. The study also found that, in some cases, these types of social skills may be better predictors of future success than academic skills.

Positive social skills are something that can be learned and improved upon throughout childhood. Programs at The Little Gym help children grow and develop social skills in a fun environment that provides a different context for learning. Games are purposefully designed to enhance social development and the non-competitive environment encourages children to play with each other rather than against each other. Children learn to become more considerate of one another, more aware of the feelings of others, and more willing to work together for mutual benefit. These essential life skills help children learn how to interact in positive and socially acceptable ways which helps them become well-rounded little people so that, as research now confirms, they grow into well-rounded adults.


Oh where, oh where have our dear manners gone? Oh where, oh where could they be?

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Good manners are not something that children will naturally pick up. Children need to be taught, reminded, and reminded again of the importance of having good manners.  Good manners help children become well-rounded adults. The trick is to teach your child manners that are age-appropriate so they are able to understand why manners are SO important!  Here are 6 manners that are at the top of our good-manners list.

 

  1. “Thank you” is a word that both parents and The Little Gym instructors cannot stress enough!  A simple thank you sends a powerful message of gratitude. When someone does something for you, gives you a compliment, gives you a gift, etc. it is important to always say thank you. When a child is old enough, a good practice is for children to write their own personal thank you notes when receiving a gift or spending time at a friend’s house. A written note goes a long way!
  2. “Please” or “the magic word”, is an important tool for children to get what they want. Please is a great manner to learn for even children who are not yet talking. If a child wants something it is important for them to use their manners by expressing ‘please’ and following it up with a ‘thank you’.
  3. “Excuse me” or “pardon me”, at a certain age children should learn not to interrupt adults when they are having a conversation. Rather, they should learn to wait their turn or say ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’ if they need to interrupt. These phrases also work when in public and your child needs to get around a person who may be in their way, or when your child bumps into someone by accident. By using ‘excuse me’ or ‘pardon me’ your child will not only be heard but will be doing this in a positive manner.
  4. “Hello” and “goodbye”; Greetings and goodbyes are basic functions of communication. Beginning at a young age children should learn the appropriate way to address people when they enter and leave a room. Greetings and goodbyes are a great way to teach children how to interact with one another.
  5. Table manners; starting at a very young age children can learn table manners. Starting when children begin eating solid foods they are often re-directed when throwing or spitting food. This helps children learn what is acceptable and what is not. When children get a bit older it is important for them to learn basic table manners; knowing how to use your utensils, asking for things to be passed when they are out of reach, and asking to be excused when they are finished with their meals. Basic table manners follow children throughout their lives and helps parents enjoy their mealtimes as well!
  6. Be kind to others; it is important for children to learn how to be kind and positive. Teaching children that mean words and teasing is hurtful helps a child understand the importance of kindness.

 

Practice makes perfect – keep practicing and reminding your child of the importance of having good manners. Be repetitive, if your child does not say please then simply make them ‘say the magic word’ and they will begin to catch on! Often times role-playing is a great way to have your child experience the appropriate way to act in certain situations. Great manners go a long way and it is best to begin good practices at a young age!


Cold and Flu Myths

Cold and Flu Myths

It starts with a sniffle – next thing you know, the whole household is sneezing, coughing, and passing tissues. If you’re feeling confused about how to treat colds and the flu, you’re not alone. Separate the facts from the fiction and check out the top 3 cold and flu related myths.

 

Myth #1: The flu vaccine causes the flu: Getting a flu shot may cause symptoms that feel like the flu, but the viruses contained in the flu shots have been killed, or “inactivated.” which means they can’t cause infection. While there may be some achy side effects that can sometimes follow the flu shot, it just means your immune system is responding and processing the vaccine.

Myth #2: You’re more likely to get sick if you’re cold: Despite mom’s warnings that you should bundle up, being cold does not cause a cold. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, infections prevail in winter months because they are spread when more people stay indoors for longer periods of time and are in closer contact with each other.

Myth #3: Hugging and kissing are great ways to spread cold and flu germs: Cold and flu viruses like to enter the body through the nose or eyes, so a hug or a peck on the cheek isn’t likely to be dangerous. Don’t be afraid to give your sick child plenty of affection, and don’t worry that a kiss or hug will spread your germs to him (or vice-versa).

 

Many parents recognize The Little Gym as a safe and clean place in which to bring their children. We work hard to ensure each and every visit lives up to your expectations. Daily and weekly cleaning and sanitation helps keep our environment sparkly and keeps the germs away.  And if your child is feeling a little under the weather, our generous make-up policy allows you to attend a make-up class by simply calling us prior to the absence.


6 Ways to Build Confidence in Kids

6 Ways to Build Confidence in Kids

Parents are a child’s greatest influence. As a parent, there are many things you can be doing to establish and strengthen your child’s confidence. Here are 6 tips for strengthening your child’s confidence.

 

  1. Consider the compliments you give your child. Words of praise mean more when they refer to a child’s specific efforts or new abilities. Try using Specific Positive Feedback to focus on specific feedback rather than simply saying “Good Job”.
  2. Nurture your child’s special interests. Every child is unique, as parents and caregivers it is your job to help your children feel confident about those interests.
  3. Provide endless encouragement for your child. Your child will never forget the way you make them feel – that’s why it is important to be supportive of your child. Encourage them to reach for the stars!
  4. Do not label your child as anything – this may limit them and the way they feel about themselves as they grow.
  5. Extend trust in your child and let them make decisions.
  6. Focus on the glass half full – teach your child optimism. Teaching your child how to have an optimistic mindset will allow their confidence to shine!

 

Building self-confidence begins very early in life, it is important to set your child up for success. Use these simple tips to help your child become more confident. 


The Importance of Reading Aloud

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It’s no secret that reading to your child is a good thing – but do you know the positive effects reading has on your child’s development now and in the future? According to a recent study in Time Magazine, reading at home with your child early and often activates the part of the brain that allows them to understand the meaning of language. The study also added that reading has been proven to expand a child’s vocabulary and helps to strengthen the bond between parent and child! Need we say more? Check out these four tips to help make reading together a daily habit:

 

  1. Read to your child in the morning when they wake up and each night before they go to bed. Setting aside special time to read together will help make this a daily routine you and your child will cherish forever.
  2. Keep books in every room throughout the house; in the bedroom, bathroom, living-room, and even in the kitchen! Exposure to books throughout the day will encourage your child to read more frequently.
  3. Introduce new books. Check out your local library and let your child explore all of the books they have to offer; your child will enjoy the ability to pick and choose new books each week.
  4. Most importantly, make reading fun! Create silly voices for different characters or actions; this will help keep your child’s attention and will even encourage a giggle or two!

Physical Activity can Boost a Child’s Attention, Memory, Self-control & Goal-setting

Physical-Activity-can-Boost-a-Child

Everyone knows that physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, but did you know that it can also go a long way toward children’s brain development? The results of several studies involving grade school children suggest that daily vigorous physical activity can greatly improve children’s development in areas such as a child’s attention, memory, self-control, strategies and goal-setting.

 

In general, these skills develop rapidly through the elementary school years and then develop at a slower pace during adolescence.[1] The more vigorous exercise a child gets, the more the development of these skills increases and is reinforced. Think of kids on the playground who learn that by pushing themselves to run faster, they can catch who’s “it.” Or consider children shooting hoops who learn that, though it may be frustrating when they miss, the more they practice, the more consistently they’ll make it.

 

One researcher suggests that:

 

…in a period when greater emphasis is being placed on preparing children to take standardized tests, these studies should give school administrators reasons to consider investing in quality physical education and vigorous activity programs, even at the expense of time spent in the classroom. Time devoted to physical activity at school does not harm academic performance and may actually improve it. [2]

 

So what can you do to help boost your child’s brain through exercise?

 

  • Train as a family for a charity run or walk
  • Celebrate special occasions—like birthday or anniversaries—with something active such as a hike, a basketball or soccer game or a bike ride.
  • Play tag, jump rope, dance, or even play a dancing video game.
  • Get Moving at your local The Little Gym

 




[1]Davis PhD, Catherine L, and Norman K Pollock Phd. "Does Physical Activity Enhance Cognition and Academic Achievement in Children? A Review." Medscape. http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/764365 (accessed February 6, 2014)

[2] Tomporowski, P.D., Lambourne, K., & Okumura, M.S. (2011). Physical activity interventions and children’s mental function: An introduction and overview. Preventive Medicine, 52(Suppl.1):S3- S9.

Pediatricians Call for Parent to Read to their Children Everyday

Pediatricians-Call-for-Parent-to-Read-to-their-Children-Everyday

Do you read aloud to your child every day? After numerous studies have been conducted to measure the importance of reading aloud to children, The American Academy of Pediatrics announced a new policy in telling parents to read aloud to their children daily.

 

Reading, singing, and talking to your child starting at birth has a significant impact on your child’s literacy development. During the first three years of a child’s life their brain is like a sponge, soaking up information and growing at a faster rate than any other time in their lives. That is why it is important to begin conversing with your child to enhance that brain development, and to ultimately set your child up for a lifetime of success.

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to use the five R’s of Early Childhood Education to help boost your child’s development. The five R’s are;

 

  • Read together. Again – read aloud to your child EVERY DAY starting at birth. This will help with your child’s literacy development.
  • Rhyming, playing, talking and singing together.
  • Routines and regular times for meals, play, and sleep which allows children to know what they can expect and what is expected of them.
  • Rewards for everyday successes – praise is a great reward!
  • Relationships that are reciprocal, nurturing and enduring.

 

Reading aloud to your child daily has so many benefits that will help your child enhance their vocabulary and communication skills at a very young age. Use the 5 R’s of Early Childhood Education from The American Academy of Pediatrics to help give you ideas on how to boost your child’s development starting at birth.


Let your Child’s Imagination Run WILD!

Let-your-Childs-Imagination-Run-Wild

Imaginative play is more than just fun and games. In fact, young children learn by expressing their imagination. Picture a child caring for a doll or stuffed animal, or a child pretending to be a fireman and saving the day. These children are creating life-like scenarios and acting them out. With pretend play, children are able to take on different roles, giving them the unique opportunity to learn social skills, problem solving skills, communication, and empathy.  

How can you encourage your child to use their imagination? Join the fun! Observe your child’s interest and get on their level, sit face to face with your child and imitate his actions. Keep it simple and take turns. Your child will likely mimic your actions as well.  Let your child’s imagination run wild and get playing today!


Is Your Child Getting Too Much Screen Time?

Is-Your-Child-Getting-Too-Much-Screen-Time

In this day and age, it is impossible for children not to be exposed to screen time. From tablets, phones, computers, and television, technology is everywhere.  But how much screen time, if any is appropriate for young children?

According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, “Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”

As easy as it may be to place your child in front of a screen, there is no evidence showing that electronic media has developmental benefit. Instead, put the electronics away and offer your child non-electronic formats of fun such as books, board games, and active play. Taking a “electronic diet” doesn’t need to be grueling, rather see the developmental benefits in limiting screen time now and in the long run.

Read the entire article from The American Academy of Pediatrics here: http://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/pages/media-and-children.aspx


5 Ways to Make New Mom Friends

Five-Ways-to-Make-New-Mom-Friends

Making friends as a new mom is not always an easy feat. It’s like standing in the cafeteria on the first day of school surrounded by strangers wondering where you fit in – but this time you’re at the playground, you have a baby on your hip, you just finished singing “The Wheels on the Bus” for the 1000th time, and you just want to have an adult conversation. Is that too much to ask?!

 

Whether you’re at the grocery store, the playground, or at The Little Gym, as a new mom you’re constantly scoping out potential mom friends, eager to strike up a conversation about ANYTHING. No matter where you are, making new mom friends does not have to increase panic or stress. Here are 5 tips for making mom friends with ease.

 

  1. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. No seriously. How are you going to meet an awesome new mom friend if you’re cooped up in the house all day? Put yourself out there by getting involved in a mom’s group or mommy meetup. Enroll yourself and your little one in a Parent/Child class at your local The Little Gym. Or head on over to the playground and scope out a mom that looks like you may have something in common with. It could be the start to a beautiful friendship!
  2. Find a friend? Get her contact information! Don’t be shy! Finding a new mom friend is like dating… if you find a mom you like get her number so you can see her again. If you guys don’t connect the second time around you can’t say you didn't try!
  3. Plan a play-date. Find a mom you like? And she has a little one the same age as yours? SCORE! Plan a play-date! This is the best way to get moms talking – to each other.
  4. Plan a “Mommy” play-date. Find a sitter or get your significant other to take the baby reigns, it’s time for a mom’s night out. Grab some drinks or dinner and enjoy a kid free night with your new friend. Moms deserve off nights too!
  5. Be yourself. This is the best way to find genuine friends that will last a lifetime.

 

Finding new mom friends may not always be simple, but having one or two really awesome mom friends can make a world of a difference. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, playground, or even your local The Little Gym, don’t be shy – strike up conversation and see where it takes you! There are plenty of fish in the sea and soon enough you will have a group of great mom friends that will last a lifetime.