Play dates are fun way of making kids play together in an unstructured manner. This not only allows the kid to explore and socialize with other kids but also helps the moms to come together and spend some quality time with fellow moms.Play dates are generally arranged by parents one at a time at their homes inviting the friends of their kid to play and have some fun time with them. If the weather is good play dates can also be arranged outdoors at a common place like a park etc.
There are various points to remember while arranging play dates for kids especially preschoolers . Few of the tips for arranging a hassle free basic play dates are as follows:-
- The place where you are arranging the play date must be child proofed. Make sure there are no such items which may harm kids during the play.
- The timing should be fixed in such a way that it doesn’t coincide with their nap time or feeding time.
- Do Not prolong it for longer duration , keep it short and sweet. Two hours maximum.
- For Preschoolers, the lesser the number of kids the more better. Minimum 2 maximum 4 is ideal according to my experience.
- Start the play date one on one for the first time , later you can increase the number of kids.
- Make sure you fix certain days in a week for these play dates taking turns one after the other to host them at home. This will help them to follow a routine .
- Arrange for kid friendly snacks , make sure if they have any specific allergies.
- Make sure you have enough toys to entertain them.
- If two children want same toy try to explain them about sharing.
- Arrange for some interesting activities like coloring, play dough ,motor activities.
- Reading them few stories if possible.
- Make them sing the nursery rhymes kids love singing and dancing together with others.
- Don’t get carried away by all mommy chit chats…Keep an eye on the kid activities too but make sure you give them their space.
- As kids are unpredictable some times play dates are pleasant ones some times it turns disastrous , so be prepared.
- Follow the pattern of cleanup the toys by the kids. This will help them to be more responsible
Based on my personal experience, the first few play dates are difficult as kids are hesitant to go to one others house. Even if they join the play dates the first few dates they donot interact much with other kids and play solo . This is not a point of concern of disinterest , it is called as parallel play where kids plays all alone . This will soon fade away once they get familiar with each other.
Originally posted on Womensweb.in