The Magic of Play Dates – Part 3
Magical Ideas for Super Fun Play Dates
Part 3: If you followed through on the invitation to host, what can you do to make your playdate a memorable one for your child and guests?
When I was a child we had a retired kindergarten teacher named Margie who hosted playdates and themed parties for the children in our neighborhood—it was my very first experience with a formal group play environment, and the memories of those wonderful activities have stayed with me to this day.
How do you make your playdates special and filled with fun stuff for kids? Let me tip my hat to Margie, my experience teaching pre-school, and a little internet research to give you the answer! Apply a theme that will be fun for both parent and child. This doesn’t have to cost a lot—in fact, I’m pretty sure that most families have the makings of a great playdate at home right now.
Super Heroes Ask guests to come in costume! It’s really all you need to have a day filled with creative plots for play and super hero fun! Have a few old bedsheets available if a guest needs a cape. Super hero accessories can also be found at any party or discount store for an added element of fun.
Big Paint and Sprinkler Run! Mix inexpensive tempera paint from the craft store with clear, diluted liquid soft soap. Divide the mixture into plastic cups, add a brush and let the kids loose to paint on one another. (Be careful to avoid eyes!) Guests can run through the sprinkler (or have a water balloon fight) to rinse off! This is super fun kid stuff on a hot day!
Princess Parade! A royally-themed event is a slam dunk. Kids love castles and dressing up! Be sure to invite a prince or two while you’re at it—every Disney storyline has one, right? Be sure to take photos and share with the other parents. Like a super hero theme, this event fun can be supplemented with party or dollar store items to add to the magic!
Fairies and Fun! Invite kids to arrive dressed as fairies. Paint some faces with glitter accents. You don’t have to be Picasso to paint a rainbow or a flower on a little face. Grab some dollar store glitter for playdate favors—label it as fairy dust and watch them smile!
Big Cookie Bake! Simply let the kids make and bake cookies. What a great take home treat for each child attending! Be mindful that some children may have food allergies, so it’s best to ask the parents of each guest for that info before selecting a recipe. If you want to make a special treat, soften some ice cream and let the kids make ice cream cookie sandwiches. Yum!
Tea Party! Throw some holiday lights outside or in the playroom. Drape some bright fabric on a table and let the kids take it from there. I suggest dress-up clothes be accessible and maybe some actual crackers or cookies to make it authentic.
Big Box City! Collect simple corrugated cardboard boxes to be building materials for this super thrifty, yet super fun playdate activity. It’s very cool to see what the kids come up with when they have a wide variety of sizes to choose from. When it’s over—let the kids help you break them down and visit the recycling bin.
Puppies and Playmates! Invite kids to bring their dogs for a group romp in the backyard. Notify guest parents about the canine theme and be sure to ask about allergies. To make it more memorable, let the kids whip up some no-bake dog treats for an activity. And, just like with humans, be sure you are asking well-mannered, compatible puppy personalities. Be sure to take photos of your dog-palooza!
Movie Fest! Invite the kids over to view a series of movies—this works for films like the Despicable Me, Toy Story or Harry Potter, if the kids are older. Have playdate guests come in costume. Be sure to play some movie trivia games and award inexpensive dollar store prizes.
Just bringing the kids together for fun is enough, but with a smidgen of creativity, and a little extra effort, the playdate will be one memories are made of! If the idea of a themed playdate is daunting, let Kids Quest host the fun. Every month the centers feature themed games, activities and crafts for kids to enjoy! Be sure to continue to review our News and Events page for more information or follow us on Facebook or Instagram for updates.