Once you become a mom, you automatically enter the playdate stage. So what’s a playdate? One mom picks a location – her house, the library, the park, or other kid-friendly place – and she invites other moms with children. The moms try to have adult conversation while also paying attention to their child, who will inevitably need them 10 times in 2 minutes.
Okay, okay, it’s not that bad.
For me, I went to my first playdate when my son was 9 months old. We loved it. He got to play with other children his age and older, and I got to chat with other moms going through the same things I was going through. I felt so welcome, and it was fun to get out of the house and have an adult conversation. After my first playdate, I knew I wanted to host one. I’ve now hosted more playdates at my house than I can count.
Here are 5 things you need to do to have a fun, seamless playdate:
1. Put things up.
Your child may know not to touch certain things in your home but others do not. If you don’t want it touched, put it up and out of sight. Also, block off any areas children cannot go, and make sure to let parents know where their child should play. Things go a lot easier if they know to stay in the playroom, or that the bedrooms are off-limits.
2. Invite other moms over.
Someone you just met at the library, friends with kids, or your neighbors with toddlers. Tell them a date and time, and be specific. This is important because if your child naps at a certain time or you have errands to run, you want to make sure your playdate is over. Two hours usually a good amount of time for a playdate.
3. Make the environment comfortable.
When new mom friends walk in, be sure to greet them. It can be intimidating to go to someone else’s house with your child. Tell them where the bathroom is or the changing table. Show them where the kids should play and the activities they’ll be doing.
4. Set up activities.
For this, you can choose a theme or age-specific activity for the children to do. For myself, I love to choose a theme and set up 2-3 activities related to it. Pinterest has some great activity ideas. Some of my favorite playdates I’ve done are, pancakes & pajamas, rainbow-themed, and bring-your-own sensory bin. Another great idea is to have a “free play” playdate. Moms sit around and chat while the kids play in the playroom. It’s simple, but the kids will love playing with other kid’s toys.
5. Put some snacks out.
This could be as easy as apple sauce pouches and water, but it can also be fun and interactive. You can do a theme-related snack, have a potluck, or make it an activity, like decorating cookies or assembling trail mix. I always have drinks and a small snack available. The kids will get hungry and it just makes it easier on the other moms if there’s something readily available.
Now you’re on your way to hosting your own playdate. Have fun with it! You’ll find what works for you and your house after hosting a few times.
Don’t want to host but still interested in attending?
Check out neighborhood Dallas Moms Playgroups here!