Thursday, December 2, 2010

How To Host A Playdate

Now that my oldest is in elementary school, he is always asking for his friends to come over.  I love the idea of my kids having their friends over.  However, I was so nervous my first time having a playdate at my house.  I didn't know what to ask the parents, how long the friend should stay over, and if I should plan some kind of activity.  Luckily the first friend my son had over has a wonderful mother.  She was kind enough to answer all of my questions. (Thank you Danielle!)  After hosting a few playdates I've learned a few things:

  1. Communicate with the other parents:
    • Ask the parents if their child has any food allergies.
    • Find out if there are any cartoons their child is not allowed to watch.
    • Let them know if you have any pets and what kind.
    • Tell them who will be at the house while their child is there.
    • If you have any hazards in your home (ex: pool, guns, etc) let the parents know.  Tell them what measures you take to keep the children safe (ex: fence around the pool, gun safe, etc.)
    • Ask for a phone number where they can be reached.
  2. Schedule the playdate for 1-2 hours.  After the first hour or so they may get board with each other.
  3. There is no need to plan activities.  Remember, your child's toys are new to their friend and that will be entertaining enough.
  4. If your child's friend rides the bus home with your child, call the parents to let them know that their child made it to your home safely.  This will also give you the opportunity to confirm pick-up time.
  5. Remind your child and tell their friend of your house rules (ex: no running inside, rooms that are off limits, etc.) upon the friend's arrival.
  6. Stay close by and check on the children frequently, especially if it's the friend's first visit.
  7. Make sure you have snacks and drinks on hand.
Remember, playdates are a great way for your child to make long term friends and a wonderful way for you to get to know your child's friends and their family.

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