The Play Date Dance Card
September 6, 2010 · Posted in Discipline, K-5 Kids, Play, Preschoolers · Permalink

moravia3With the start of the school year iphones, filofaxes and blackberries are in high gear on the play date scheduling front. Here are some things to think about to make play dates smoother and more enjoyable.

1. Preschool and Kindergarten: a 45 minute play date is optimal.

2. School age: Kids can manage about 2 hours.

3. An even number of children work better than odd numbers.

4. Require all kids, yours and guests, clean up near the end of the play date.

5. Do not worry if the kids seem to be playing on their own -parallel play is a great way to be together and have some space at the same time.

6. Expect drama! There is usually a tiff over sharing, bossiness, ignoring, etc on a play date. That is par for the course and how kids learn important lessons.

7. The end of play dates are often hard. Stop the kids midway and go over the rules for saying goodbye:  no running and hiding, no tantrums, and a big goodbye from each child. This may or may not actually happen but it is a good goal and needs to be reinforced every time.

8. Pay attention to you child’s needs. Moms often do not want to part company if they too are on a play date–your child may need to leave much earlier than you–end it on their time, not yours.

9. Be sensitive to your host. If they start saying things about “getting dinner going”, or “needing to do homework” with an older child–they are politely asking you to leave. Pick up on cues and wrap things up.

10. If the kids are off on their own for a long time, check in. Kids need some supervision even if they are good at playing independently.

Remember, not all children want play dates and that is fine! School itself is a lot of socializing so don’t fret that your child will be a social misfit if she is not a social butterfly.

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Comments

  1. January 15th, 2011 | 3:53 pm

    Great advice on playdates.

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