Playdates can be stressful. They are a great way to get your kids interacting with other kids. They give you a chance to connect with other adults. However, they can be stressful. Since it’s Galentine’s day, we wanted to give you our tips and tricks for taking the stress out of playdates. Organize a playdate with your favorite gal pal and their child, and use these tips this weekend!
These tips aren’t just for the ladies — they are good for anyone who has kids and doesn’t require the prep time or materials you would typically need for a Pinterest-style playdate.
Host a Playdate Book Swap (and Give a Galentine’s Day Gift!)
This activity can be for both the kids and the grown ups. Ask the other child and their parent or caregiver to bring a few of their favorite books with them. Before the playdate, you and your child can choose a couple of books to leave out. Ask the kids questions about the books they chose, like what they love about the book or what’s their favorite part. If you’re up to it, you can even lead a group story time where you pick one or two of the books to read together.
As an extra bonus for Galentine’s Day, make our heart-shaped bookmarks with the kids. The books you exchange in the book swap are just for sharing, but the bookmarks are for keeping! All it takes is some paper and some folding. If you’re kids are old enough, they can make multiple bookmarks for all their friends and family.
Find Neutral Ground For Your Playdate
Go somewhere public like a playground, a library class, or a children’s museum. By doing so, you’ll avoid the tension that arises when kids start to feel territorial over their toys and space, and you won’t have to stress about getting your home ready! Plus, the kids can explore together. If you don’t know the other grown up too well, you can both explore with the kids and get to know each other that. If you’re with an old friend, you can hang back and enjoy each other’s company, keeping an eye on the kids as they explore.
Focus on Shared Interests
You don’t have to think of new activities every time you have a playdate. If you know what the kids share as common interests, you can set those up and let them get on with playing. For example, if you know both kids are into blocks, have the blocks out when they come over. If you are inviting over a friend from soccer, maybe gather up some balls outside and practice some of the games your kids play together at soccer. If it’s a friend from school, maybe kick off a dance party with familiar songs from class.
Play With Your Food
Don’t fuss about pre-preparing foods for the kids. Create an open-ended decorating station for cookies or pita pizzas, and let the kids at it! Or have a yogurt bar with a “buffet” of healthy and not-so healthy toppings. You can make it a game by adding fun cutlery like chopsticks.
Sensory Play Made Easy
You don’t need beautiful IG-worthy containers for sensory play. You can give the kids a chance to explore with their hands by simply getting water, sand, play-dough, dried beans, buttons, or flour and pairing these ingredients with a large storage container. Add a few kitchen supplies and you’ve got tools for scooping and pouring!
If this is your first playdate and you’re not quite sure what to expect, check out our tips for giving your little one the best start possible when it comes to playdates.
We hope you had an amazing Galentine’s Day! Let us know if you tried out our playdate tips in the comments below!