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6 Great Play Date Ideas

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A key part of growth for toddlers is interacting with other kids their age. This helps them identify and follow social cues as they age. Since younger children aren't yet attending school, parents can instead create these interactive situations by having play dates. Not sure where to go or what to do with your toddlers? Try these six great ideas:

1. A children's museum

Kids' museums offer myriad fun things to do. Toddlers love them because there are tons of interactive toys to touch and play with, all built for little hands and clumsy feet. Call up a pal and meet them and their toddler at a children's museum to take advantage of the learning opportunities.

2. At home

A benefit to having a play date at home is that you can fully control the environment. This means providing toys and activities, promoting specific rules and choosing what other toddlers to invite. Remember: little ones often learn better in social situations where they are only with one or two others their age. This removes distractions and promotes friendship and focus.

tactile learning, social learning, social interaction, parenting, toddlers, playdates, play dateLittle kids love the tactile and social learning provided by parks.

3. The park

One of the easiest ways to have a play date is to head to a park near your home. Here you can meet new adult and toddler friends as well as hang out with long-time pals. Toddlers can enjoy being active while they learn from one another.

4. A music class

Toddlers often love music. They will dance to the beat and even sing along to the best of their abilities. So why not host a musical play date? Head to a local music school or yoga studio that provides child-centric classes. Your tot will shake the maraca alongside his or her new pals as you learn songs together and groove to the rhythm.

5. Play with clay

Sensory activities are crucial to toddler development. Smelling, tasting and touching things are a huge part of learning about the world around them. Feed this need to reach out by having a play date with clay. Use non-toxic kid-friendly options like colorful Play-Doh so you know your little ones will be safe! They will squish the substance and love using little cutouts to make shapes. The pasta maker is often a big hit as they squeeze a ball of Play-Doh into a bunch of curly noodles! This activity encourages sharing, cooperation and art!

6. At the beach

If the weather is nice, take your tots to the beach. Slather on some sunscreen and meet up under an umbrella. Playing in the sand with buckets and shovels is fun before cooling off in the lake or ocean. Parents can enjoy getting some vitamin D while their little ones watch shore birds and tickle their toes in the waves. Always keep a close eye on toddlers and kids around water. And bring ample water to stay hydrated and address any accidental sand-in-the-eye incidents. You could even bring the beach to your home with a small kiddie pool and sandbox if you don't want to make the trek!

 
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