Toys in groups and alone

Plastic bats are great for solo play but a disaster in a group. Select age and temperament-appropriate toys.

An impulsive thrower needs soft toys, not metal cars that he can use as projectiles. If a toy habitually excites squabbles among playing children, shelve it.

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Socializing your toddler

Around the time he turns 2, your toddler will start to actively reach out to other children. But as with any other skill, he learns how to socialize with others by trial and error.

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Fast-food play dates

A play date at a fast food restaurant may not be the healthiest choice, but it’s still a lot fun.

Meet at a fast food restaurant such as McDonald’s that has an indoor play area. You could just get drinks, or ice cream, or meet for lunch.

The kids will enjoy climbing in the play place and the moms will appreciate the time to visit with each other.

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Time limit for playdates

Two hours is the magic number when it comes to playdates.

That’s just enough time to play, have a snack, take a break, and play again, before wrapping things up.

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Play-doh playdate fun

A Play-Doh playdate activity is perfect for children ages 2 and above.

You can purchase play-doh of different colors and let their imaginations go wild. To add some fun, add a play-doh kit where they can squeeze, shape, and build it.

You might also add in some cookie cutters and other objects to help enhance their creativity.

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Looking for playdates

Many parents are lucky enough to have built-in playmates for their children through neighbors, friends, or family members.

Others have to search them out. Local parenting support groups, churches, childcares, and other social organizations are good places to look.

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Play dates and tot’s ages

For toddlers, the age of the other children at the playdate doesn’t really matter.

Most kids will find some value in spending time with another child even if their ages don’t match up perfectly.

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Play date behavior

Children aren’t the only ones who must behave properly during play dates. Parents and caregivers need to respect each other as well, especially if they’re not already good friends.

It might seem obvious, but children shouldn’t attend a play date if they’re not completely healthy.

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Encouraging make-believe

Stock your shelves with goodies like boxes of various shapes, dress up clothes, puppets and kitchen items, to encourage make-believe skills.

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Playdates for infants

"It’s never too early for a playdate for a child, even an infant," says Jenn Berman, PhD, author of The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids. "Babies are fascinated by other babies, and any new stimulation is really good for brain development.

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Preparing for playdates

Having a clean and child proofed home is important, especially when hosting a first ever play date. For first play dates, parents often want to attend or at least view your home. You want them to get a good impression and know that their child will be safe in your care.

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Play and social situations

Group games offer a chance for kids to be social, though toddlers will more often play alongside their friends rather than with them.

They enjoy being around other kids, but will focus more on the leader or parent.

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It’s okay to be silly

Start laughing and be silly. It’s okay to be silly with your child. Just because you are the adult doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun too! After you start the sillies, you won’t have to think of what to do next, the fun will follow.

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Avoiding sharing issues with todders

If you know that it is going to be an issue to share a special toy then try to leave it at home. Don’t expect other kids not to want to play with it and don’t expect your child to want to share it.

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Sharing is learned

Sharing is not something that is innate in a child and they will only learn it through your constant observation and guidance.

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Playdate toy tip

Before friends come over, toddlers should have a chance to put away their most special toys if they don’t want anyone else to play with them.

From parentingbookmark.com.

Toddlers and play date

A play date once or twice a week means your toddler will have something to look forward to, but if you arrange play dates too often, then they may become too much like hard work. It’s hard for toddlers to learn to share and play harmoniously with their peers, and requiring them to be on their best behaviour every day isn’t really very fair.

From: All Good Articles.com