How to have the perfect playdate…

Oct 8 • Featured, Uncategorized • 717 Views • 4 Comments on How to have the perfect playdate…

Having other children over after school/nursery for lunch/tea is one of the best ways to help your child make friends and build their confidence. Unfortunately it doesn't always go according to plan. I can still remember my son telling me (and his little guest) in a very loud voice that he didn't like them and 'I want them to go home.' We also had occasional spats and some food fights, too, which were funny for about 30 seconds but not so amusing when there were squashed sandwiches all over the floor. So here's my guide to holding the perfect playdate – I'd love to hear your suggestions. All together now, no fighting, no biting, no scratching…

1. Try to invite a child your child likes. It sounds obvious, but many's the time I've made the mistake of thinking that because I get on with the mother, the kids will 'play nicely' too. Trust me, it'll only end in tears.

2. Give them a little space, but keep an eye on them. Five minutes alone is usually fine, but any longer and you may find World War 3 has broken out, especially if your guest is particularly confident and has older siblings.

3. Put your handbag, make-up, toiletries and marker pens well out of reach. Kids tend to egg each other on. I'm speaking from experience.

4. Don't make too much of a fuss about tea. Chances are they'll be so excited they won't eat much anyway. Find out if there are any likes/dislikes/special dietary requirements. And ALWAYS check if there are any allergies. You don't want the playdate to end in a trip to A&E.

5. Relax! And if all else fails, stick a DVD on. (Yes I know it's cheating, but at least it guarantees instant calm.)

written by Liz Jarvis

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4 Responses to How to have the perfect playdate…

  1. Sam says:

    My son had two friends round the other day and it all started so well. Big mistake was not having anyone for my two-year-old daughter as she inevitably ended up in tears on numerous occasions. Then there was the five-minute ‘blip’ that outshines all the good behaviour and enjoyment. First, one of them managed to get hold of an energy-saving lightbulb (from the cabin at the bottom of the garden) and smash it across the whole of the decking, then, after giving them all a yogurt squashem whilst sweeping up the mess, I came inside to find they had squirted their yogurts the length and height of my staircase – MARVELLOUS!!

  2. Potty Mummy says:

    Get them outside if at all possible (obviously an enclosed space like a garden is preferable as you don’t want to lose them during an particularly enthusiastic game of hide and seek), and wear them out with as much racing around as you can. Then, by the time they need tea or a snack they will a) be starving so will actually eat what you cook and b) be too tired to complain…

  3. The Real Mamma Diaries says:

    I’m beginning to panic as I’ve got seven six-year-olds coming to my house for my little boy’s seventh birthday. I’ve had to invite everyone in his ‘gang’, consult him on his menu, choice of entertainment (Wii and swimming!), present list and exactly who is sleeping over and where their place is in the bed. Planning my wedding and his little sister’s christening was less stressful. I think I need a birthday planner – or a valium at least. And the party’s not even for another two days. Help!

  4. Bev says:

    Oh, very brave (real mamma diaries) – i,m afraid it’s a play centre for me every time!! Happy to have friends over after school – although much easier if they both have a friend to play, but hate it when they come out of school and ask, with friend and parent present, if a friend can come that night. It’s not always convenient then you have to tell them no. No matter how much I tell them to ask at least the day before they always forget! Better get organising a few in advanced to avoid this I think x

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