Give credit where credit is due, the role of mother is all-encompassing. We juggle the needs of the entire family. Moms consider the execution of every task we do, to care for our family’s needs standard operating procedure.
The list of duties that fall on mom is extensive. After I started my position at Cow Candy it dawned on me the effort I placed on socializing my kids. Cow Candy is a Wisconsin cheese company that specializes in kid’s snacks, I realized I had a knack for planning and hosting kid center gatherings.
If you want to read more about cow candy, kid snacking and how to incorporate it into gatherings, check out my blog post on their website.
Why playdates are important
From playdates to birthday parties, I love bringing people together. With a little food prep, decorating and a couple structured activities, you can sit back relax and enjoy watching your kids interact with their peers. Listening to some of the conversations they have while playing and seeing the way your child interacts with their friends, can give you a new insight on who they are as people outside of your family.
According to this article from education.com playdates are a crucial part of growing up.
It’s important to have expectations based on the age and social development stage. Next, think about activities that the kids can do during the playdate and talk to your child about the plan prior to the arrival of your playdate friend. Consequently, guiding their interactions helps structure their time.
Having a playdate is a great way to introduce your child to the social rules. Additionally, you have the chance to observe their play and correct them if necessary.
For instance, this summer my kids were constantly looking for peer interaction. “Can we see if Ceci can play?”, “Could you call Morgan’s mom and ask for a playdate?”, “I told Lucy she is invited to my party”, “Please can Shealyn sleepover?”
The more I structured the playdate, the smoother the get together went. Ultimately, leaving mom with some free time to either get some housework done or enjoy a conversation with another parent. Are you looking for a couple ideas to make sure your next playdate is a hit?
Nevertheless, all things can’t be planned, so be prepared for a neighborhood pop up party. Kids will ring the bell and hop yards looking for something to do, therefore I wanted to include two types of playdate plans; one is impromptu and one is scheduled.
Impromptu backyard picnic playdate
On this particular Sunday at the end of summer, we had a busy weekend and we were winding it down. Doing our normal Sunday routine; laundry, meal planning, and cleaning up the house. The girls wanted to have friends over to play but I did not necessarily want kids in the house. At the same time, I did want the kids to stay occupied. I used items that we already had around the house and structured their time with a picnic playdate in the backyard.
They ran through the sprinkler while I made lunch. I brought out the picnic food and blanket, then they played dolls in the teepee tent while they dried off.
The items I used that we had were:
The picnic lunch from the pantry/items in the fridge
- Yummy chicken nuggets Dino buddies
- Knorr pasta side cheddar broccoli
- Baby carrots
- Cherry tomatoes
- Honest kids organic juice box
Rainbow Looms & Rainbow Krispie Treats
Social butterfly Giana cemented some great friendships over summer camp and we took the last week of summer to reset for the school year. She stayed home with me and we had several different activities set up. One was to have her summer camp friend over for a lunch and afternoon playdate.
Her companion had invited her over for a sleepover a week prior- kudos to that brave momma and I wanted to reciprocate with a fun day for these cuties. I chose two simple recipes for them which basically required assembly.
Teaching Giana what hosting is all about, by having them make their own lunch and dessert. Why should I do all the work?
Set it up. Get out everything you need and lay it out, remove the packaging and dish out the ingredients in small containers. Make it easy for them to grab the proportioned amounts out for proper serving size.
We made pizza twist with marinara dipping sauce and colorful bright fruity pebbles Rice Krispie bars.
Here are the recipes:
The timing of the activities worked out perfect, we started with the pizza twist. While those were baking we made the dessert. We put the dessert in the refrigerator to cool and did the craft activity.
For the craft activity, we decided on Rainbow Looms. These were popular a couple years back when my kids were a little too young for them. Be careful if you have infant/toddlers with having small rubber bands laying around.
A different summer camp friend brought rainbow looms to camp with her and showed Giana how to make a choker. She came home so excited she used ouchless hair bands to show us her new talent. Seeing that she already had the technique down, this was an easy choice for a fun craft that they could do because she could do the instructing.
Now give yourself a star on the chart supermom!
It takes skill to plan and execute a playdate. The effort is worthy of recognition, it takes just as much work as throwing an adult party without the aid of booze. You are strengthening your child’s friendships and bonds while molding their ability to interact appropriately in social settings.