Once you’ve got into the swing of things, playdates are great for both you and your kids.
However, if it’s your first time arranging one, it can be daunting. You’ve probably got a multitude of questions about playdate etiquette, so we’ve done the hard work for you and come up with a list of dos and don’ts!
First up, do have a careful think about how many kids to invite and don’t ask too many. One or two is plenty given the fact that you’ll be responsible for them as well as your own children. Don’t overextend yourself and remember big parties are for birthdays, not for playdates.
If you’re new to playing host, do keep it short; one to two hours is plenty. When they’re younger, shorter is better and once they get bigger and are more independent you can extend the length of time their friends can stay.
Keep It Simple
Don’t feel like you need to entertain their friend/friends for the duration of the playdate. No matter how many things you plan, no doubt the children will have their own ideas about what they’d like to do. If you’d like to feel prepared have one game or activity ready in case they get bored.
I’m Here For The Snacks…
Don’t schedule the playdate over mealtime, but do get in some snacks. Mix it up with healthy and less healthy options and always check with the parents if their child has any allergies. Your son or daughter will enjoy choosing and preparing nibbles for their friends.
Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
When you’re calculating whether the child’s parents will stay or go, do take the child’s age into account. If they’re toddlers or younger they’re likely to stay, if they’ve started school they may not. Do discuss it with the other parents beforehand to see what everyone’s comfortable with.
It sounds obvious, but do make sure you have the child’s parents’ number to hand in case of emergency or even if you have an urgent question. When your phone is filled with other mums and dad’s numbers and full to-the-brim WhatsApp groups, it can be easy to get confused about which parents belong to which child.
Do consider beforehand whether you’ll allow any screentime during the playdate and check with the other child’s parents if they agree. It might depend on how old the kids are, how long the playdate is and if they’ve already done plenty of physical activity. A movie might be a nice opportunity to wind down, but you don’t want everyone sitting on their own devices.
Now we’ve got the boring stuff out the way, you need to look at all the positives. Play dates are a great opportunity for you all to bond with another family and break your normal routine, not to mention the fact that when you’re not the one hosting you get a well-deserved break!