Planning a Playdate
Stepping Stones Fall Coffee “Tips for a Successful Play date” October 24, 2012
Facilitators: Jennifer Nolan, school psychologist Gwen Goldman, school social worker
Making the date:
- Which child do you make the play date with?
- Do you invite the other parent?
- Do you ask to attend the play date yourself?
- Speak with your child about the play date
- Who is the peer your child will be playing with?
- Where is it (your house or peer’s house)?
- What they might play with?
- May want to put aside favorite toys!
- Will separation from parent be a potential issue?
- How long should the play date be?
- What will the play date look like?
- Have set structured play options
- Outdoor or indoor activities?
- If it will involve food, find out about allergies, child’s food preferences, etc.
The actual date!:
- Be flexible!
- If separation issues do arise, what to do?
- It’s ok to review house rules (e.g. take shoes off at the door)
- Supervising their play – do you facilitate?
- Be a cheerleader!
- Point out the things they did well in the moment, and be specific – want to build on those successes!
- What to do if there is conflict?
- Have fun!
Ending the play date:
- Prepare/pre-alert children for the play date coming to an end
- Giving closure:
- Wrap up by cleaning-up
- Arts and craft activity to take home
- Review what the children did on the play date
- Giving their friend a hug, say “Bye! See you in school!”
~ Play dates are a time for preschoolers to laugh and play; to practice sharing and taking turn; to start learning that different homes may have different rules; to develop friendships and so much more. But most important, play dates should be fun and safe, not just for the kids, but for the adults too. Enjoy!