1. Parenting

Video:How to Plan Great Play Dates

with Kathy Moore

Play dates offer a great opportunity for children to learn about sharing and bond with someone else their own age. Find out how to plan a great play date.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Plan Great Play Dates

Hi, I am Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Play dates are a great invention. Kids love to play with other children and it is great for moms to interact with other moms. This program will offer ideas on how to have great play dates.

Time Your Play Date Right

The first thing I consider when scheduling a play date is the timing. I always work the playtime around our naps and mealtimes. Hungry and tired kids are no fun for you, let alone another family. I find mid morning activities to be the best for my kids, as long as we are home in time for lunch.

Who to Involve in a Play Date

Next, I determine who should be involved. I have found that smaller groups work better than larger groups. Since I have two kids of different ages, it is also nice if I can plan a date that allows each child to have someone close to their own age to play with. This helps avoid the usual sibling squabbles.

Where Should the Play Date Be?

The play date location is my next consideration. I always want to make sure that there is plenty of space for the kids to play, be it in our own play room or a park outside. This is especially true if more than two children will be playing at once.

Plan for Arguments

Lastly, I want to be prepared to separate the biters and the hitters. Disagreements are bound to happen with toddlers and preschoolers. Though most of the time they participate in parallel play, that is, they play aside of each other not really with each other, if they both want the same toy there is going to be trouble. Being in a position to monitor the little conflicts helps avoid the big ones.

I encourage my son to learn the appropriate way to get what he wants by asking, may I have the next turn please, instead of just grabbing a toy from his friend. It seems formal at first, but once the kids start saying and doing this, it is amazing how quickly the concept steamrolls into success.

Play Dates Are Important for Development

Play dates offer a great opportunity for children to learn about sharing and bond with someone else their own age. Plus, being around other kids may also help boost your child's verbal skills and the activity gives you a much needed break. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com Parenting.
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