Children’s Playdates: Tips, Ideas and Activities
Our bloggers all agree that the science of a great playdate is not always easy to get just right. There’s often a balance between how structured vs. unstructured this play time should be – depending on the children’s ages. With different components to think about – activities, snacks, etc. – there can be more to planning a playdate than initially meets the eye.
Today, some of the Family Room bloggers are sharing their go-to advice for hosting successful playdates for kids, with some great tips about how to keep children busy and happy.
Playdate Tips, Ideas and Activities
Aili: Being a young toddler my son doesn’t have playdates without me. I don’t mind because it gives me the chance to talk to parents in the same stage of life as I, it’s kind of therapeutic actually. Recently, a small group of mom friends and I have been taking turns having brunch in our homes with our kids and spouses. It gives everyone a chance to do something low-key on the weekends, connect with other adults, and offers the kids a playdate… a total win all around.
Mary: I actually try not to have a pre-planned activity when hosting playdates because I find that if you let them, kids get really creative all on their own. The last time my daughter had a playdate and the kids started to get bored, I downloaded some of the songs from Frozen. That kept them busy for HOURS! Singing, dancing, performing.
Emily: We don’t have a big house, but we do live near a park. Bring bubbles, chalk, a ball and snacks and you can spend an entire afternoon watching your kids enjoy the outdoors. The playdate will likely also extend to other kids playing in the park.
Melissa: I’ve never been much of a preparer when it comes to play dates – except when it comes to food! Kids seem to get extremely hungry and thirsty when they are in other people’s homes. Maybe because it’s “different” food than what they typically have in their own home? And as the kid’s friends get older, they’ll grab their own food from our pantry or our fridge, which is perfectly fine with me because I like that they feel comfortable around our family…. I’m not a fan of the evil eye if I don’t have cool enough snacks though!
Amy: I’m not the greatest when it comes to organized activities during playdates. When my daughter was younger, we’d often just open up the play area for free play. Now that she’s older, I let her and her friends do their own thing. Sometimes we’ll do simple cooking activities such as making mud cups or some other fun snack. A dance party is also usually on the agenda at our house.
Have a playdate idea we haven’t included here? Share it below!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2014 and has since been updated.