Throwing a great play date should not be a cause for stress in your life. They are simple, fun and exhausting but worth every minute of it when your child has a great time. Plus, inviting other kids over means that there will be other adults and we all need a good amount of adult conversation to make us feel like more than a parent. So here are a few of my tips:
Feel Free to set some ground rules. I’ve been very fortunate about kids playing at my house. I do however make sure that one rule is followed and that is No Food On the Carpet. It is your house and your rules should be followed by all of the children and other parents.
Set up a start time and an end time that meets the requirements of your child. My kids still take naps, and altering their nap schedule always results in a nightmare of an evening. So feel confident in telling people it’s time to go home.
Offer snacks and let other parents bring some too. Kids are supposed to eat about every 3 hours so more than likely they will need a snack while they are inside your house. I like to have a variety of healthy snacks: applesauce, carrots, and other types of fruit and vegetables. I don’t ever ask for others to bring snacks but if they offer I tell them to bring whatever they want. There isn’t anything wrong with asking everyone to bring something, by doing that you’ll ensure there is plenty to go around.
Be flexible and prepared for anything. In my house we joke that if something didn’t break then it wasn’t a successful play date. Put away things that are important to you or your children because if it is out and in the reach of another child it will be played with. Not all parents parent the same way. Be prepared for children to behave inappropriately and use the opportunity to tell your children that just because your friend did this behavior does not mean that you do.
Have a plan. Most play dates will be just fine as kids love playing with
other children’s toys. But if you’re planning an all-day event, be prepared to shake it up a little bit. You might want to consider having supplies for a craft that is age appropriate for your little guests or have a list of game ideas on hand and if the weather is nice move to the back yard for some outdoor play.
What are your Play Date Tips?
By guest blogger, Louise Bishop, MomStart