One of the greatest hardships for children moving to a new city is the feeling that they have left everything behind. Fortunately, Chinese people love children and generally go out of their way to be welcoming. Kids will come to love the beautiful outdoor play areas littered across the city and, with very little digging, can find sports and activities centers just like the ones they had back home. Look to websites such as Shanghai Family and Active Kidz Shanghai for listings of art, sports and dance classes and swimming lessons.
Check out the Community Centre Shanghai nearest your district to sign up for free Mandarin language lessons and parenting classes and to find out more information about programs for third culture kids.
Mommy and Me (Daddy Too) at The Nest Creative Children’s House
Located in the former French Concession near Wulumuqi Lu, The Nest hosts a fun Mommy and Me program every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Activities include art, music and games. While the group is primarily to engage children in fun, safe, social and sensory activities, there’s time each week for parents and caregivers to share experiences with other adults.
No. 6, Lane 270 Wuyuan Lu, by Wulumuqi Lu
For hundreds of thousands of families around the world, Music Together has proven to be a fantastic way for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their parents to share songs, movement and musical growth. In Shanghai, the Music Together community consists mostly of expat families who get together weekly for a 45-minute session of music-making and fun.
Royal Pavilion Club House Gym, 688 Huashan Lu
Shanghai Mamas Community
If you’re looking for an event calendar of family events and suggestions for mother-run local businesses, look no further than Shanghai Mamas Community, an online resource with more than 3000 users that brings mothers together so that they can pool their resources and be active with their children and families throughout Shanghai. Find everything from where to purchase homemade knit goods to finding a doula and everything inbetween.
Guy Tai Shanghai
Guy Tai is a group of expat stay-at-home dads who meet to build friendships, support each other and have fun! While Guy Tai Shanghai is an online forum, the group regularly makes excursions into the community and is the leading resource in Shanghai for stay-at-home dads (and dads in general). Many of the men on this site are dedicated to creating technology workshops for children of both genders. (BTW, Guy Tai is a play on taitai, which is wife in Chinese.)