You can sign up your child for dance classes, soccer practice or even music lessons but sometimes a simple playdate may be just what your little one needs. While it may seem like there are endless opportunities for your child to participate in, putting them in too many activities can be overwhelming. Playdates give children the opportunity to develop close friendships with friends that can bloom when play is unstructured and unfettered. This type of play helps them practice their social skills, cultivate their imagination and creativity. If you are planning on hosting a playdate, no need to worry or feel overwhelmed. Follow these simple tips for a fun playdate that all kids will enjoy.
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to young children. If young kids are tired or hungry, they are most likely not going to enjoy their playtime. Make sure you plan before or after naptime and after meal time. For young toddlers, their best time is usually late morning or early afternoon. Children also work up an appetite from all that playing. It is important to have a few healthy snacks available. Talk to the parents to make sure you are aware of any food allergies so you can plan accordingly.
Remove special toys. If your daughter or son has a special toy that they love to play with or maybe it is their go to stuffed animal, be sure that you put away that item before the playdate. This is so that sharing isn’t an issue as it helps prevents fights.
Plan a couple of activities. Activities are a great way to break the ice. Having one or two activities are a great way to begin a playdate. You can start with a small craft that is age appropriate and easy to do and a fun game to play after. This can be as simple as putting out some playdough or a few coloring books and crayons out. If the children decided not to do the activities you have plan, don’t get discouraged. Enjoy the fact that your kids can play together without having assistance from the parents.
If the children are young, parents will want to stay with them during the playdate. This can be a great way to get some much needed adult time and conversation. Make sure that you have a yummy cup of coffee or tea ready for them as well as some nice pastries to munch on will help them feel welcomed and invited.