A friend with her husband and 2,5 years old daughter has spent a night over at our house for the weekend. The idea was not only to catch up but also to have a playdate for our children. My two sons, aged almost three in two months and 1,5 years old, do not have any friends in the neighborhood because we were just moved in and they have not attended any pre-schools as yet. Therefore this idea should be great because it can give them the opportunity to interact and play with other children their age.
As a hostess, I have inquired several informations from my friend in order to help me arranging a convenient and comfortable stay for them. The informations include:
– What their favourit foods are
– Whether any allergy on specific food items or any other things like feather, dust, etc
– What the daughter’s favourite food and eating habits are
I have also informed her about my place’s situation and everything that can help her decide on what to bring with them.
We discussed on things that could be done and enjoyed in the neighborhood and activities that could be arranged for the children.
The great gesture of her, she brought three remote controlled car toys for everybody so that they can play together without fighting over toys. But even so, there were still a lot of fightings happened. Therefore, after assessing what has gone wrong and what could have been done, here are the ideas on how to make a playdate success and work out well.
What is a Playdate?
Playdate has grown into a popular habit nowadays in the exchange of taking the kids to the park or to the playground. It is an arranged get together for children for couple of hours so that they can play. It is normally unstructured and can be arranged at a park, a playground or at someone’s house with one of the parents as the hostess.
The Benefit from a Playdate
Generally playdate is arranged to enhance the kid’s social interaction and to give the other mothers a couple of hours of free time to do whatever they want to do.
Playdate benefit the preschoolers for it’s social, emotional and physical development such as:
– Learn how to interact and communicate with other preschoolers
– Develop the ability to share, to tolerate and to accept other preschoolers skill and personality
– Develop the ability to adjust themselves in a new environment and new situation
– It gives exercises as playdate always involves physical activities like jumping, rolling, skipping, dancing and moving.
A playdate arranged with all the mothers get to stay on the site not only benefits the childrens but also the mothers, such as:
– Get the opportunity to develop new friendship
– Sharing experiences in dealing with children
– Learn from eachothers on how to handle children’s bad behaviour or any children’s problem
Problems that occur during a playdate
Precautions can be done in the future if we can recognize what problems that can happen during a playdate. Some of the problems are:
– Fighting over toys
– Refuse meal time because too busy to play
– Too tired and exhausted
But the real problem that happen most of the time is the first one, fighting over toys.
How to make the playdate work well?
– Start on the right time. Morning time is always the best because the children has just being well-rested, they are still fresh and ready to play. Afternoon normally is napping time for some children and they are likely to be exhausted already from the morning activities.
– Set up rules that applied for everybody.
– Do not force the children to play together immediately, especially if this is the first time they have ever met. Let them adjust themselves in the new environment and feel comfortable before encouraging them to play together by setting up a game play that can be played together by everybody.
– Keep your children’s favourit toys away from the playing area.
– Encourage the guest children to bring along toys that can be shared with other during the playdate
– Provide game play or toys that do not encourage fighting over it like play dough, drawings, paintings, lego, etc.
– Have a snack break.
– Set a positive indisciplinary action for any misbehaviour with five minutes prior warning.
– Give a creative solution if fighting over toys occured.
– Encourage the after play clean up for all children.
Now, I think I am ready for the next playdate. It is fun, don’t you think?