Playdates are the perfect remedy for a kid with pent-up energy or one with a strong imagination.  Making the time for your child to spend with other peers fosters creativity, personal identity, and helps them grow into the fantastic person you know they are going to be. Plus, let’s be honest, perfect playdates are for you a little bit too.  Playdates are a great reason to do your hair, put on a cute shirt, and to have interaction with other adults.

Here are the 6 steps to planning the perfect playdate:

1.  Choose the right time

Unless you want to feed the whole neighborhood lunch or put everyone down for a nap, you have to pick the right time for the playdate.  Plus, Having well-rested and fed children will help everyone’s temperament, including yours. 

Oh, and make sure the playdate has a timeframe.  You don’t want anyone lingering if you need to move on with your day.

2.  Snacks

Just because it’s not a mealtime does not mean that kids won’t want (or need!) a little snack.  Have something healthy on hand that is user-friendly for you to grab and user-friendly for the kids to munch on.

Pro tip: ask the other parent if there are any allergies or food restrictions before you buy anything.

3.  Outdoor activities

On nice days, get out of the house.  This is a must!  Even if you think it’s a little chilly out, the kids won’t notice.  Taking kids to the park is a fun idea, but having a playset in your yard is ideal.   Make sure you have lots of ideas in case kids get bored or if a group wants to break off and play their own games.  Here are a few outdoor games that are more fun than tag.

4.  Indoor activities

Yes, getting outside is a must, but you also need indoor activities too.  Indoor games are for bad weather days (i.e. too hot, too cold, rainy, etc.), and gives you a reason to go inside for that little one who sometimes forgets to use the potty.  Indoor games can be great for the quieter kids who like quality time but don’t need to run around and scream.

5.  Great adult conversation

Ok, we’ve all been there.  You say you’re having a playdate for the kids, but really, you need some adult time too.  Having another person in the room over the age of 6 can be really great.  Have a few conversation topics in mind that don’t involve the kids so that you and the other parents can form authentic friendships.

6.  Schedule the next playdate

If the playdate is going well and everyone is getting along, suggest scheduling the next one before the current playdate is over. This makes sure that schedules alight and gives the kids (and you!) something to look forward to in the next couple of weeks.

Communicating with the other parents is a great way to make sure that you host a perfect playdate.  Let everyone know if you have pets, what areas of the house are off limits, and when the playdate ends.  When everyone knows what to expect, no one will step on any toes.

And, most of all, don’t forget that this is your playdate too.  HAVE FUN!

Psst…are you already thinking about Christmas?  Christmas is less than 8 weeks away!  What if I told you that your kids won’t get bored, it’ll last for years, and you’ll be the talk of the neighborhood?  I have the best Christmas present idea for you.