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The Guide to Great Play-dates for Kids


Social interaction is a huge part of childhood development. In the past, kids usually played with other kids in the neighborhood, riding bikes or simply going for walks. However, a lot of that has changed - most moms and dads now have to schedule playdates with other parents - and often these social events are held in the home.

Preschoolers are usually imaginative, have lots of energy and just want to play. So, there are a lot of great activities, crafts and games you can try out. Here are a few ideas and tips to get you started:

  1. Limit your playdate time
  2. One-on-one interactions are best for preschoolers. They will have the time to socialize without being overwhelmed (they will have plenty of group activities to engage in at preschool and in kindergarten anyway). And, don't let the playdates last more than a few hours, according to Babycenter. Kids at this age tire out easily, which means they might be crankier and less likely to share toys.

  3. Talk to parents ahead of time
  4. Reaching out to parents before the playdate is also a good call. That way, you can introduce yourself to the parent, discuss scheduling and talk about food restrictions or anything else needed to keep the little ones happy and safe for a few hours.

  5. Take it outside
  6. If you are pressed for time and don't want a big clean-up session afterward, you can always take the kids to the park or the pool. This way they can run around, get some exercise and interact with other children if they want to.

  7. Or, keep it indoors
  8. Crafting sessions, cookie making, board games and building blocks are just a few options if you want to have an indoor playdate. Free play is always great for preschoolers, but it's a good idea to have at least one activity planned - usually at the end of the playdate so that they can focus and take the energy levels down a notch.

  9. Give the kids a warning
  10. Preschoolers usually never want playtime to end, but it's better to give them a warning once the playdate session is coming to a close. That way, there is less of a fuss once it's time for your guests to leave.

    Above all, relax and enjoy your time as well. While the social activity for the kids is great, playdates also offer an opportunity for you to discuss parenting with other moms and dads, too.

Planning For Your Child's First Playdate 4

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