Great play dates don’t just occur. Ok, maybe they don’t need detailed planning, as probably your child and the other involved are not CEOs running the world. Still, there are some things you need to consider once you decide to host a play date. We have prepared a list of 10 tips and tricks that will guarantee fun. Here we go!
- Clear up the space. Are you keeping the kids in the living room? Remove ALL hazards or… everything you need to save from disaster! You might love your golden scented candles that smell like roses, but the kids may find funny to draw something with a black marker on them. Like smiley faces, something you won’t manage to have if you’ll see your decorations destroyed by the little gang.
- Prepare ALL toys needed before the play mates arrive. Otherwise, your kiddo will probably invite them to go and “hunt” for the toys and they will basically bring down the house. It’s better and wiser to prepare from the start everything they need.
- Prepare fresh and colored beverages, yet avoid sugary drinks. Children loved to drink juices, so make some on your own before everyone arrives at your house. If you have cans of Coke or Dr. Pepper around, hide them before it’s too late!
- Prepare healthy snacks. Make sure they’re appealing too, so no fresh cut carrots with a yogurt dip because no one will be happy about them. You could try some of Worthy Mouse’s recipes and bond with your kid while spending time in the kitchen.
- Set some rules from the start to make sure everyone knows the boundaries. It’s important to explain the limits to all – including your own child, because every parent that hosts a play date has different plans and expectations regarding such a get together.
- Don’t overdo it. Kids may play for 10 hours in a row, but after running around for a couple of hours they will be tired and become irked and fussy. Better keep it all fun and sweet rather than deal with drained children, which are not even yours and whom you have no idea how to manage.
- Put away toys that are hard to share. So if you have a bouncing pony, for example, remove it from the sight of the children (including yours) as long as they’re on your territory. Otherwise you may face some baby wars and witness some tears.
- Don’t stay in the room the whole time. It’s clear you need to keep an eye on the children during their play time, but try to be as subtle as possible because they don’t like being watched. Do you, when you are at work?
- Have some spare clothes at hand. They might pour juice on them or get wet or sweaty, so make sure you have some extra t-shirts, at least, prepared.
- Plan, plan, plan! Play date over? If the kids had a lot of fun, make sure you talk with the other mamas and plan the next one already. Even if it takes a lot of energy to keep under supervision a small group of children, their happy faces and sincere smiles will convince you to do it again and again.
Hosting a successful and fun play date does not cost much, but the reward you’ll feel seeing your child genuinely happy is absolutely priceless. So, go ahead and plan on!