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16 creative ideas for play dates
Moving to San Diego and not knowing many people was fine when it was just my husband and I, but once I had kids I felt like my social circle needed to be a bit more broad! I wanted to find mommy friends that I could share my good days and bad days with. I wanted to find a group of kids my son would get along with where he would just go and play as soon as we got there! I have been so blessed to have formed a group of mommy friends that not I only love but my kids love too! It’s hard to find that package deal and I am very grateful for that!
Ever since my son was small we have planned play dates and over the years we have really learned to get creative with them. Park play dates are fun and easy but it’s nice to change it up a bit without having to spend a lot of money. If you are not sure where to meet other moms, try looking at meetup.com because they have a group for everything on there. Check out some ideas below:
- Favorite book play date: If you meet on a weekly basis or just need an idea for a 1 time play date, ask each parent to bring their kids favorite book to the play date. Each parent or child (if they are old enough to read) can then sit and read their favorite book to the group. If it’s a group of little ones, just pick two books because their tension span is way lower. After you read the books let the kids draw what they learned from the books.
- Beach play date: Every year my mommy group plans an annual beach play date and the kids have a blast. We all bring tents and 1 food item and spend the whole day there. We coordinate the food together and we all bring fun sand toys and just relax. Invite the dad’s too, it will be a great family get together.
- Birthday play date: This year I did a birthday play date. I didn’t want to throw a party because Ayven wanted to go to Disney for his big day so he was allowed to invite 2 school friends over and we had a get together. It was nice and intimate where the kids got to play, the parents relaxed with some wine and Ayven’s felt very special. It takes away from all the stressful party planning but not from your kid feeling special!
- Outdoor games play date: Set up hop scotch, a bean bag toss, a bowling area, I spy and a water table. Let the kids tune their fine motor skills while having fun! It’s easy set up, cleanup and low cost because I am sure between all the moms they have these items.
- Holiday event play date: For big holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Easter or anything else try and use a clubhouse at a mom’s neighborhood and throw a simple party with food, drinks and some games. Again do potluck to stay on a budget but for these big events invite the dads too! That way all the families know each other.
- Pizza play date: Ask each parent to bring a topping for a pizza and make some mini pizza crusts at home so they are healthy. Let the kids create their own pizza and dinner is served!
- Fire station visit play date: Work with your local fire station to bring the kids in for a tour of all the cool things in the fire house and the fire truck! Chances are one of the moms have some type of connection to a fireman or fire woman so it may be easier than you think. It’s a great interactive way to teach them about safety.
- Crafts play date: Pick an easy keepsake craft for your kids to make together. One idea we have done that is very useful is holiday decor. The kids made Halloween decor so every year the parents can put it out in front of their house. Other ideas include Valentines Cards and Snow Globes.
- Girly play date: Ask each mom to bring their daughter’s favorite nail polish and create your own nail polish set with all the other girls. Then let the girls pick out what color they want to use while the moms paint it or the girls can pain each other’s nails.
- Dress up play date: Ask each mom to bring old Halloween costumes or even dress up clothes you have and let the kid’s imaginations go crazy! They will have a blast dressing up and playing with each other.
- Build a box play date: Ask moms to bring any cardboard boxes they have and let the kids work together to build some type of structure, a castle, a house or whatever they want. They can paint it, color it or even write their names on it. As long as they work together to build something they are learning so much.
- Pajamas and Pancakes play date: Invite them over for some morning pancakes in their pajamas. Ask other moms to bring fruit, drinks etc. and you take care of the pancakes! Kids will love hanging out in their PJ’s.
- Toys swap play date: We all have toys that our kids don’t play with anymore and we all know when our kid sees someone else’s toy its the best thing in the world. Ask each mom to bring 4 toys they no longer use and set them up so the kids can all choose a few new toys to take home. It’s like Christmas for them and free toys for you 🙂
- Nature Walk: Take the kids on a mini hike, we like to go around a duck pond. Let them gather items in a ziploc bag then let them share what they found with their friends. It will give you a chance to teach them about nature too!
- Tray tasking play date: You can easily makes tray tasking tables with things in your home. It’s super easy and will keep the kids entertained for a while! You can also do a sensory play activity or a mud pie station.
- Loom making play date: If your kids are into making loom jewelry, invite their friends over and have them make jewelry for each other. A feel Chai Mommas helped her daughter make some to sell to raise money for her school.