After your toddler starts to play on his/her own, keep a magazine nearby and sneak a peek at a page while she is stacking blocks. It’s okay to take a break! She’ll let you know when she needs some more attention, interaction, or direction.
Be the producer not the director of his play. A parent’s job is to provide some fun objects, materials, or toys to invite a child’s imagination to take off, not to lead the play.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stock your shelves with goodies like boxes of various shapes, dress up clothes, puppets and kitchen items, to encourage make-believe skills.
"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.
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.
Tags: playdate, safety
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.
Tags: play, activity
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.
Tags: activity, play
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.
Tags: playdate, sharing, toys, toddler
Sharing is not something that is innate in a child and they will only learn it through your constant observation and guidance.
Tags: temperament, sharing, playdates