How To Host A Screen-Free Playdate

It is hard to know what stand to take when it comes to screen time and play dates.

Kids and screens is a huge topic of conversation in recent times. It is hard to know what stand to take when it comes to screen time and play dates.
On one hand, it's nice for some screen time as a treat for your child when they have a friend over but on the other hand, is it a complete waste of a friend being over if they’re on screens for the duration?
Playdates can also help kids polish their social skills– something that's hard to achieve when they're glued to a screen. I think it is a good idea to save the cartoon or the video game for the post-playdate wind-down, and plan activities the kids can do together instead.
Let your little ones friend’s parents know as well as your own child about this no-screen policy ahead of time, just in case there are any meltdowns! That way, the playmate also won't show up expecting a private viewing of a new show your child's been talking about.

Playdates can be stressful for a parent so thinking of ideas of things to do doesn’t have to be extravagant…

Here are some ideas to keep your little ones busy on a playdate that doesn’t involve screens-

It is so simple! Fill a room with some balloons and let the fun begin! You will be surprised how entertained the kids will be! The sky is your limit on this one-add a packet of markers and let them draw on them. You could also pick up a small cardboard basketball net and stick it to the back of a door.

Cardboard box
How many times have you thought long and hard about a thoughtful gift for a child, only for them to get more fun out of the box? How many of you can relate? Gather a bunch of old cardboard boxes a box of crayons, and let the kids create anything they can dream up!
Make your own slime
My little ones are obsessed with slime. It can be very easy to make. There are loads of ways online. Google it, get the ingredients in and let them have fun making their own slime. You will be the coolest parent around!
Make your own giant board game
Use a large piece of paper (or open out the cardboard boxes you may have used above) to create “spaces”. The kids will have so much fun creating a board game!

I spy
Use an online printable checklist to take the kids on an I Spy Neighbourhood Walk. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
There is nothing more than little ones love to do than to use chalk. I don’t know what it is about it but add a path into the mix and they can’t get enough. Buy some chalk and weather permitting let them go into the front garden and draw away. Easy.

Tea party
Invite your little one’s friends over for a garden tea party, with fruit, small sandwiches, juice and their favourite teddy or doll, of course.

Fondue party
Set up a child-friendly fondue bar with either chocolate or cheese and a whole lot of delicious finger foods to dip!
DIY Pancake party
Hands up who loves pancakes? Make some pancakes and put out lots of bowls and toppings for the little ones to decorate. Just make sure to make an extra for you, you deserve it!

Laura Doyle, Mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.


Laura Doyle

Mum of four, Gentle parent living on coffee and trying always to stay positive and motivate in the midst of the madness.

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