8 Tips For Hosting A Playdate
Posted on May 18 2018
Like adults, kids enjoy hanging out with other kids. However, unlike adults, toddlers don’t have the ability to organize their own hangout sessions. Although it may be daunting to set aside time to get out of the house, playdates present an opportunity for your children to learn how to socialize, and they offer you a great time to connect and relax with other parents.
While playdates don’t require a great deal of planning — put down the label printer, close your Pinterest app - to make the most of your playdate, a little planning can make all the difference. In today’s blog, we here at The Stair Barrier would like to share with you some tips to help you host the perfect playdate. Learn more about us, our child safety gates, and check out our store for safe and attractive child safety gates!
Limit the Number of Kids
Playdates are not to be confused with parties. More kids don’t necessarily mean more fun. In fact, it could actually deter small-group play and make everyone feel overwhelmed. This is especially true if not all the parents are staying. As a general rule, the more adults you have, the easier it will be to supervise the kiddos. Strive for a number that makes your playdate cozy and controlled.
Children are typically at their best when they are rested. Use this to your advantage and schedule your playdate around your child’s nap schedule. This will make it easier for you and all other parents involved. On that note, be sure to do your best to accommodate the schedules of other parents, and when hosting a playdate, don’t forget to set a clear start time and end time.
Childproof Your House
Before your guests arrive, it is important to make sure your house is not only “proofed” for your child but also other children. Childproofing your house might include things like locking up drawers and cabinets, covering outlets, securing everything in the bathroom, anchoring down the TV, and adding child safety gates where necessary. Taking the time to childproof your home beforehand can help make for a more relaxing and stress-free playdate.
Plan a Craft
Let’s say your playdate isn’t going quite as well as expected. Maybe your child is refused to play with his or her little friends or vice versa. Either way, you can rescue a sinking playdate by having a go-to craft or activity. Whether it be making sock puppets or building a vinegar and baking soda volcano, pick an activity that is age appropriate, doesn’t require too much structure, and one that can be deployed on a moment’s notice.
Put Away Favorite Toys
If your child has a toy that he or she finds hard to share, put it away — unless of course you want to help them conquer their unwillingness to share. Just be prepared for them to put up a fight and for your playdate to potentially get derailed. If your child is old enough, discuss with them that anything they leave out, they will have to share equally and fairly. Over time, playdates can the perfect setting to help your kids learn that sharing their most prized toys won’t cause the world to stop spinning.
At some point during the playdate — whether it is because the party has gotten too rowdy or kids are starting to get hangry — you will want to serve up a nice, healthy snack. Keep the snacks simple — cheese, fruit, crackers, fruit pizza, yogurt, and popsicles are all great options. Be sure to check with all the moms regarding allergies, and if all the parents aren’t staying for the whole playdate, be sure to get all emergency contact information.
Set Ground Rules
Depending on the age of your child and friends, it might be helpful to begin the playdate by setting expectations and discussing all rules. This initial discussion might include sharing rules as well as any house rules and restrictions. Also, keep in mind that playdates are all about children learning to play, interact, and socialize with other children. Try not to micromanage, and allow children to settle arguments on their own. While you should remain nearby, try to opt for a more hands-off approach and let minor squabbles go.
Keep Kids Off The Stairs
Whether the attendees of your playdate are new walkers or energetic, talkative toddlers, you want to keep them off the stairs. The stairs can be dangerous and a minor fall can lead to a serious injury. If you have yet to find a childproof gate for your stairs, look no further than The Stair Barrier. We understand that not all child safety gates are the same and that poorly designed or installed child stair gates can almost increase the chance of injury. This is why we have built child safety gates that are remarkably durable, versatile, and structurally reinforced to keep children safe and off the stairs. On top of this, all of our child safety gates are made in the USA, easy to install, and can accommodate the bottom of nearly any staircase. Whether you need a banister-to-banister baby gate or a stare-to-banister baby gate, we’ve got you covered! Shop The Stair Barrier today and learn about The Stair Barrier Difference here!