Are you planning to host send a playdate for your toddler? Are you clueless about toddler playdate ideas and how to prepare for one? If your answers to the above are in the affirmative, reading this post is a good idea!
Understanding a few basic toddler playdate etiquettes and requirements can help you plan the playdate well in advance. Want to know ten playdate ideas for toddlers at home to make it a grand success? Read On!
Playdates For Toddlers:
Here are ten magical tips you should try and follow as you plan to host a playdate for toddlers:
1. Parallel Play:
The play methods of your toddler will vary a lot depending on his age.
- Until your toddler turns three, he may only take part in parallel play. It means that even though he may enjoy the company of other toddlers, he will not play with them. He will rather want to play alone.
- You may feel all your efforts hace gone down the drain. But don’t lose heart, your toddler will learn a lot from being around other kids, even if he is not directly interacting with them.
2. Time The Playdate As Per Your Toddler’s Schedule:
To ensure that your toddler has maximum fun, and he makes minimal fuss time the play date perfectly.
- Look for a time window during which your toddler does not take a nap.
- It would be best if you plan a playdate after your toddler wakes up from a nap. He will be cheerful and energetic and will enjoy his playdate.
- Since you cannot predict your toddler’s schedule, try to keep your plan a little flexible.
3. Sibling Or No:
Be clear whether the playdate is only for the toddler or other siblings too.
- Sometimes, it is a good idea to let your toddler play with his peers. It will help your toddler observe and learn age-appropriate methods.
- If a sibling will also be a part of the playdate, make sure he too has some company.
[ Read: Educational Toys For Toddlers ]
4. With Mom Or Without:
Playdates can be with or without parents.
- Understand whether the particular playdate will involve parents too.
- Your toddler may be comfortable being with other toddlers and their parents.
- On the other hand, your toddler may be wary of new faces and could suffer from stranger anxiety.
- Take cues from your toddler’s behavior and reaction before extending an invitation.
The type of food available at a playdate is critical to its success.
- Your toddler may be allergic or fussy toward certain foods.
- Similarly, your toddler’s little friends may have a few taste preferences too. Find out about them.
- It will help you serve some yummy finger foods that will make the toddlers drool.
[ Read: Group Activities For Your Toddler ]
6. Lesser In Number:
Initial playdates with lesser number of children is always a safe bet.
- If your toddler has never been to a playdate, it is advisable to start with one at home inviting few children.
- Make your toddler feel comfortable by arranging a playdate where he knows most of the children.
- Being in a large crowd can scare your toddler, and he may be reluctant to attend playdates in the future.
7. Guide, Don’t Hover:
Be around your toddler but make sure you give him space.
- Stay around and be there to guide your toddler, but make sure you do not interfere. Help your toddler to learn on his own.
- You can watch over the toddlers and see them develop their social skills.
8. Keep It Easy:
Your toddler may or may not enjoy a playdate, do not force him.
- Not all babies and toddlers are the same, so it is important you understand what your toddler wants.
- Forcing your toddler to enjoy a playdate can make him socially averse as he grows up.
- See if he is enjoying himself or not. If you feel your toddler is not comfortable, end the playdate.
- You can wait for some time before you host the next playdate.
9. Limit The Space:
Here’s how you can prevent the mess the toddlers make and reduce your post playdate workload.
- It is a good idea to restrict the playdate to a particular room instead of the entire house. Childproof the room before the playdate by removing all potentially dangerous things and insulating any plug points that may be within the toddlers’ reach.
- You can also store your toddler’s toys, books, music system and colors there on the eve of the playdate so that the toddlers do not get bored.
[ Read: Creative Shape Activities For Toddlers ]
10. Be Watchful:
Arranging a playdate means taking additional responsibility of ensuring the safety of all the toddlers you invite.
- The parents of all the toddlers you have invited will be anxious about the safety of their little ones.
- You may need to run around getting the finger foods or more refreshments for your toddler’s friends. Hence, it is a good idea to ask a friend or relative in advance to help on the day of the playdate.
- It will ensure that a responsible adult is always supervising the toddlers to avert any unfortunate accident.
Now you know how to a host a perfect playdate for your toddler and his friends. Why wait? Go ahead and send out the invites right away!
Have your experiences of hosting your toddler playdates? How was the experience? Please share your advice and tips on planning playdates for toddlers with other moms.
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