Tag Archive | "play dates"

Fun Toddler Activities For Your Child’s Play Dates


Play dates are an essential part of a toddler’s life. It serves as an entertaining and educational activity at the same time. Try some of these toddler activities to make your toddler’s play dates a blast.

Outdoor Outing

If the weather permits, let your toddler and his playmates walk around the block or meet at a park. Give each toddler a plastic pail and ask them to collect things such as pine cones, leaves, sticks or anything that interests them. Once they are done, have a show and tell. Or, why not play a game of “I Spy”. Describe interesting things or spots as you go like a shiny red car, a bird’s nest, falling leaves and so on and then ask them to find the object or spot you are talking about.

Playdough Date

If you do not mind cleaning up a little mess, this activity will be perfect for your toddler’s play date. You can either buy some playdough in different colors or make edible playdough in yummy flavors such as chocolate or peanut butter. Add some cookie cutters and other objects to help them squeeze, mold and build them.

Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts are one of the best ways to enhance a toddler’s creative skills. Set out some craft materials such as paper, paper plates, magazine cut-outs, glue, crayons, yarn, markers, paint and the likes. The children can make their own masterpieces and enjoy every minute of this activity. Let them take home their artworks or give them a simple award as a memento of their fun play date.

Construct and Pretend

Place a blanket over a clothesline or table to create a play tent. Have some large cardboard boxes for the children to crawl in and out of.  Give each toddler grocery boxes to sit in and pretend to drive a car, sail a boat or fly an airplane or spaceship.

Meet At A Restaurant

Take the play date outside the house and hold it at a restaurant with an indoor play area such as McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr. or Burger King. They can have lunch, snacks or some ice cream. The toddlers will definitely enjoy sliding and climbing in the play area while you can catch up and have some bonding time with the moms.

Storytelling

Reading is a perfect activity to end a fun play date. Ask the children to form a circle and give them pillows and blankets to make the activity more intimate and comfortable. Pick one or two good books such as “The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear” by Don and Audrey Wood or “Big Red Barn” by Margaret Wise Brown. When you are done, your toddler and his playmates can share their favorite characters, their own endings and the lessons they have learned.

Play dates are beneficial in a toddler’s overall development. These play date ideas will keep toddlers busy and happy while giving parents an opportunity to mingle.

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Secrets To Successful Play Dates For Your Toddler


Play dates is a vital part of toddler development. For in this activity, children can thrive, learn how to interact with others and unleash hidden talents. Below are some simple tips on how to achieve fun and fuss-free play dates.

Schedule Play Dates Appropriately

Never schedule a play date when your toddler feels cranky, worn out, at nap time or just before meals. He will only be irritable and most likely not enjoy the activity. Timing is really important. Your little one should be rested and well-fed before he heads out to play with other children. Lunch play dates work really well for most toddlers. Invite his playmates a few hours before lunch, give them a light snack, let them play for at least 30 minutes and then the kids can head home just in time for their nap time.

Moreover, do not arrange too many play dates as these can erase the feeling of anticipation, so instead of enjoying, he will see it as work. Schedule play dates twice a week to give your little one something to look forward to. Remember, play dates should give toddlers a great time and not go home weepy and emotional. Also, play dates must be kept short. Long play sessions drain out his energy. Set a time limit of 30 minutes to an hour and a half.

Let Your Toddler Take The Lead

Ask your little one who he would like to invite over. If he is particularly fond of the kids at preschool, your local playground or your next door neighbour, invite them to come over. Your toddler’s playmates need not be the same age. Inviting a toddler that is a year ahead of him has some advantages. The older child can help direct play for the youngsters and teach them the importance of sharing and cooperation.

Get Creative

Play dates should not only consist of activities like coloring, drawing or running around the backyard. Be creative with your ideas. A do-it-yourself activity like make-your-own snacks is a sure-fire hit with toddlers. It keeps them busy, gives them the freedom to choose and is undoubtedly fun. Treasure hunts and arts and crafts projects are also an all-time favorite.

Hold destination dates or play dates outside the house. It gives toddlers a chance to explore and quench their inquisitive minds. A pool party, trip to the zoo, a visit to the nearest park or organizing a picnic day ensures everybody a grand time.

Supervise

Children are full of life and it is common for them to have disagreements. Make sure you supervise them but do not interfere in times of confrontation. Let them resolve their own problems. Small disagreements do not last long and if you hang back you will find that the kids have worked out their own resolution. But once it gets physical, it is time to step in. Keep your calm, show your disapproval and make firm statements like “Hitting is not good. I cannot let you do that to each other.”.

Invite Moms

Have the kids’ moms come over as well. They can help you supervise the children especially during times when a kid starts wailing and you do not have any idea how to pacify him. In this way, children can have a blast and you get to have that much needed girl bonding as well.

Send A Memento

End a wonderful play date by sending each toddler off with a souvenir they helped create (e.g. a cookie, drawing or an instant photo of the children together). They will be excited to share these keepsakes with others and it will remind them what a great time they had.

Play dates give parents and toddlers a chance to build and strengthen bonds. Plus, children learn important social skills that can benefit their development while having fun.

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