03 June 2012
How much do I love hosting a great play date? I love it.
While my children enjoy going to other people's homes, they've always been kids who enjoy being at home and welcoming people to their space. Whether it's a dinner party or a play date, they really enjoy getting ready for the event and then participating to the fullest. My daughter enjoys greeting guests, while my son loves to debrief how much fun he had (once the whole thing is complete). We've thrown many a dinner party with a tutu clad daughter running through the mix. And, my very soon to be six year old has sweetly welcomed friends weekly to play with his Jedi supplies.
As a parent, I've found that the best play dates combine independent play, a planned activity (that can be used or not) and lots of snacks. My strategy is to let the kids 'just be' and to enjoy each other. But, inevitably, there's a point when they all kind of wonder what to do together next or the energy gets hyper out of control. That's when I have an activity stashed. Something simple and something that can be participated in for a few minutes when it comes time to get through that awkward "I don't know what to play next" stage. The time seems to help them all to take a deep breath and move into a new activity.
On a recent play date, both kids had friends over to visit. The kids played and when it came time for an activity, they each made their own pizzas (I had risen the dough earlier in the day and had it ready to play with and prep into pizzas). Then, they created tiny Lego people and served them marshmallow desserts (marshmallows that I halfway dipped in chocolate and sprinkles). After dinner, a tea party with the marshmallows and customizing their Lego people, the kids all took their energy outdoors and swung late into the evening, happily.
Categorized: little bohemians.