Entertainment: 5 Tips to Creating the Perfect Playdate
When my boys were in pre-school, we'd get cabin fever in the winter. The perfect playdate was a trip to the closest fast-food restaurant with an indoor playland. This helped us get out of the house, in from the cold, and gave my kids a way to get out their energy while getting a little exercise. We'd often meet friends there, which would help me get my social on. It was a win-win for everyone!
Now that my kids are well above the height limits on the playlands, we've had to get more creative about our playdates.
5 Tips to Creating the Perfect Playdate
Here's some tips to creating the perfect playdates that both you and your kids will enjoy:
- Choose a place that you all like to visit. For us, that includes Thanksgiving Point, our local flower gardens; Gardner Historic Village, an eclectic shopping area with antique shops and fun family activities; Discovery Gateway, an interactive children's museum fun for kids and adults; and Lifetime Fitness, our gym, which boasts an indoor and outdoor pool with slides, a rock wall, and lots of other fun activities for the whole family.
- Find a location that allows you to take some "me time." While your kids are playing, take time to read, write in your journal, do a crossword puzzle, write thank-you cards, or ponder. You don't have to be alone to get in some me time. Just make sure to keep an eye on your kids while you're doing it!
- Bring along a friend! Playdates offer the perfect opportunity to get together with your friends and their kids. Agree on a place all of you would like to visit, meet there, and enjoy an afternoon together.
- Mix up your playdate locations and types to add variety. Diversity is the key to keeping playdates fun and fresh. One suggestion is to create a list that you and your kids contribute to of places you all want to visit. Some ideas include: Going to story time at your local library, checking out the animals at the zoo or aquarium, going on a scavenger hunt at a local park, going on a nature/photo walk, visiting a local museum, going to a sporting event, playing at an indoor or outdoor playground, singing at an assisted living facility or nursing home (or volunteering in the community in some other way), etc.
- Stay home. I know! It's not unique, clever, or creative. But, kids often do not need more than simple things—like a suitcase, for example—to create an afternoon full of play. Staying home allows you to accomplish your tasks while your kids play. And, if you're in the mood, invite over a friend for your kids to play with.
How do you create the perfect playdate? Where are your favorite places to go? What are your favorite things to do?