Playdates are fun for both kids and adults. If done right, kids spend some refreshing time with other kids and their parents can relax or hopefully bond with one another. It works even better if you have recently moved into a new neighborhood and want new friends for your children and yourself.
But you need more than just an honest intention if you want to host a successful playdate. Nevertheless, it’s a great place to start. But you will do well to plan things in advance since anything involving kids could be extremely difficult to manage. Imagine managing dispute between kids you barely know and trying to be authoritative toward other people’s kids.
Here are seven quick playdate tips to help you sail smoothly with your first playdate:
1. Avoid overstretching
The best way to get a playdate right at the first instance is to make it short. There are two or three major objectives you achieve with this. First off, you can only have so much fun when there is the boundary of time. This leaves the want of more such dates in kids. Then, you invariably get closer to lunch or dinner when you wait for longer. Who wants to serve a full meal on a ‘playdate’?
2. No guns. Strictly.
Ditto for the pool. Make no compromise on locking the pool area and securing guns in a place that’s beyond both sight and imagination. Always store guns and ammunition separately and lock both without fail. This is a vital step that must not be overlooked. Over 550 children died of gunshots in the US between 2012 and 2015, reveals a report by NBC. Many of these gun deaths were accidental.
Almost one in 5 people that die of downing, are children aged 14 or below. The consequences of gun and pool accidents can be painfully irreversible. If it’s your kid that’s going to another home for a playdate, politely ask the parents about gun and pool sealing at their place.
3. Keep it age appropriate
Unless you are lucky, it could be very difficult to find a dozen kids in the area who are of the same age group. If you have a situation where it is difficult for the younger kids to participate with the bigger ones, do not force the issue. Let them play two different games and have their own kinds of fun.
4. Never mind some boredom
Do not try to fill in an activity every five minutes. Leave some breathing space for kids. Do not mind if they get bored. This is the perfect time for them to interact with their creative capacity and find something interesting to do.
5. Set broad rules
Do not be very finicky about micromanaging the rules of every game they play and every bit of art they make. If the children pick up a fight, blame it on the house. Tell them you do not waste food in this house. It’s not just a good thing to do, but also the only valid way to respectful and enforcing for everyone around.
6. Be as diverse as possible
Teach young children the values of diversity by inviting everyone in the neighborhood. Don’t overstretch though. Just bring in people who can naturally reach your place. When kids meet other kids from different cultures and backgrounds, they learn to respect them. It is this value of co-living that they imbibe in themselves when they grow up.
7. Do not panic over injuries
It is extremely important to let other parents know irrespective of if how big or small the injury is. If it’s a minor one, do the first aid before anything else. Then, call their parents or maybe send a picture reassuring everything is fine. If it is something that looks even mildly serious, call and inform their parents before anything else. Follow their advice without panicking.
Onata® helps neighbors organize playdates in their neighborhoods. On a cool new app! Download the Onata app today and host a playdate for kids in your neighborhood.