Skip To Main Content

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!

In This Section:

Recent News


Our program is now using Sparkler to connect with parents and caregivers and support children’s healthy early growth and development. Sparkler is an evidence-based, mobile platform, available in English and Spanish, which is working with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood to help fuel healthy early childhood development.

Read More about Sparkler App for Families