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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?

Preparing:

  • 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!

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