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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Play date behavior

Children aren’t the only ones who must behave properly during play dates. Parents need to respect each other as well.

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.

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.

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

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.

Playgroups

When planning a play group it’s a good idea to have fewer children to keep keep things calmer.

From: ToddlersToday.com

When to share

When teaching your kids to share, set realistic expectations.

Keep in mind that children really don’t understand the concept of sharing until 2 1/2 or 3 years of age.

From: CBS News.com

Playdate exit strategy

One-on-one playdates might be OK for a while, but in case conflict develops, be ready to provide distraction with an adult directed activity, like a book.

From: All Good Articles.com

Age appropriate playgroup activities

Playgroup activities should be something that will involve all the children and should be kept age-appropriate.
From: ToddlersToday.com

Avoid play group meltdowns

Avoid play group meltdowns by keeping the visits short; no more than two hours at once.From: ToddlersToday.com

Limiting play sessions

Most toddlers, particularly those under two, can’t manage lengthy play sessions. While your toddler’s still getting the hang of it, set a time limit of an hour or an hour and a half.

Keep playdates small

Keep it small. Three really is a crowd when it comes to preschool playdates source

Who to playdate with

Let tot take lead for playdates. Ask who to invite over. If no preference, go with who he seems to drawn to at daycare/preschool source