During the holiday break, kids get to stay home from school and get some quality time with their parents. While this might seem like so much fun at first, your kids are accustomed to a lot more social interaction at school. Kids can get a little stir crazy over the holidays and it becomes the parent’s job to entertain them every day for sometimes several weeks. The best thing to do keep your sanity and your kids busy is to have a holiday playdate. Here are my 10 awesome holiday playdate ideas.
If you are familiar with the kids and parents you are inviting to your playdate, feel free to invite them to your home. You want to make it low key and stress-free for both parents and kids. If you are not familiar with the kids and/or parents, a good place to host a playdate is a nearby park that you have been to before. I like to know the lay of the land before I invite a playdate to a park. Where I live, we have some amazing parks, but some require 1000% attention from parents. I prefer parks where I can relax and not have to be hyper-vigilant. It is more relaxing for me and the children this way.
Talk to parents about the time you want to plan a playdate. You want to consider nap times and the children’s schedule before choosing the wrong time.
Put Away Some Toys
Put away your kid’s favorite toys that you know that they would not like other kids to play with. This will help keep the peace and foster sharing.
Size & People Matter
Playdates are not parties. They should be low key affairs that foster friendships. Having too many kids over for a holiday playdate can be extremely stressful for the hostess, not enough kids and you might find yourself entertaining children more than relaxing and talking with an adult. Having a playdate is a great way to get to know a new mom and for your kids to get to know each other. It is something that we do frequently with those friends and moms that start to feel like family.
Be Ready for Snack Time
You need to be ready for snack time during playdates. You do not want hungry (aka hangry) children bring down the playdate fun. I like to be ready with enough snack for everyone. I usually have about 5 choices on hand for picky eater. Also, I have enough for everyone so that the kids can all have one of each snack.
Here are some of my favorite snack for Playdates:
- Small Oranges
- Apple Sauce
- Low Sugar Bars (love these Happy Kid Fruit & Oat bars).
For drinks, I usually have milk and water. We don’t really drink juice that much in my house. If I know a kid loves juice, I will buy some for my guests.
#GolightlyKids Tip: Always ask about allergies and any specific food preferences when planning a playdate.
Things to Do At A Playdate
Here are some of my favorite Playdate Activities:
We love hosting movie playdates where we watch a movie and then talk about it afterward. With a projector and screen, you can really make it feel like a movie playdate rather than just watching TV. It is so much fun hosting movie playdates for new to DVD movies like we did for the Secret Life of Pets.
Kids love legos and it is always fun to get out the legos and start pretending.
- Holiday Crafting – my favorite thing to do during the holidays is crafting. I love helping craft ornaments and decor that kids and parents can take home. This week we made glitter pinecones. Make sure to have bags ready so that your guests can take home the craft.
- Painting – here is a really fun DIY craft that any kid can do. All you need is a sponge, paint, paper, and some painter’s tape.
- Princess Dress Up – This is my most commonly hosted playdate. My daughter loves to dress up and has a ton of costumes for both boys and girls.
Play House or Store
You can have the kids play house with a kitchen and household items. We have a little grocery cart and cash register so that kids can play store too. Learn how to build dream dress-up closet to build your daughter’s self-esteem.
You can use the little kitchen with fake food to host a little tea party for the kids and dolls.
You can host a book club themed playdate. Do your kids have a favorite book? You can theme a craft around the book that your kids all love. While hosting, you can read the book and then do the craft. One of my daughter’s favorite books is Goodnight Moon. I am dying to host a goodnight moon playdate with these cool letters that I made.
You can hold a dance party playdate with a little music and instruments. Most kids love to dance and this will tire them out fast. Here is a dance party that I hosted for a few moms and toddlers.
You can enlist kids to help you cook. I always have my daughter help with the measuring and mixing when I am cooking. You will need some extra aprons.
Do you have any other playdate ideas to share? Please comment below.