We all get tired from time to time, Mom. What better way for you and the kids to get out of the house, get some fresh air, and enjoy socializing with other parents and their kids than with a playdate? Planning a playdate is a fun time for you and your child, but it can be overwhelming to try to figure out how to ensure everyone has a fun time with suitable activities. Not to mention, coordinating schedules is a whole other task in and of itself. From tips on how to lay down ground rules with other parents and their kids to how to style women’s tops and blouses to wear on the playdate, here are some tips on how to plan a successful playdate for your kids.
- Decide on a Time and Date — First things first, you’ll want to figure out what time and date the playdate will happen. Besides considering your own schedule and your child’s schedule, you’ll want to figure out the other children’s and parents’ schedules. Figure out the venue and decide if you’re going to be meeting at someone’s house or on neutral territory like the playground. Keep in mind the weather if you’re meeting outdoors. Sometimes dressing up for outdoor playdates can be tricky. It can be chilly and overcast in the morning before the sun comes out, and it’s shining down on you and the kids all afternoon. Be sure to pack some light outerwear for you and your little ones in case the weather is unpredictable.
- How to Dress Up as a Mom with Your Little Ones — You don’t necessarily need to dress to impress when you’re going on a playdate with your kids and other parents. You can totally rock cute clothes for women that are still comfy and practical. Athleisure is always a safe bet, especially if you and the other parents are going to be running around after your kids. If you prefer something a bit dressier but still casual, wear a nice blouse with jeans and flats. As for your kids, opt for clothes that are comfortable so they can run around in them. Think of t-shirts and hoodies or light pullovers and pants. Sneakers are a safe bet, especially if it’s an outdoor playdate.
- Figure Out Where to Meet — You may want to change up your look depending on where the playdate takes place. If you’re going to be indoors and want a more polished look, opt for trendy pants and a patterned top. To choose the right venue for your playdate, keep in mind the age range of the children. If the children are older, they may be bored with a playground that they’ve grown out of, whereas younger children, like toddlers, need to be in an environment where they have age-appropriate toys to play with.
- Communicate with Other Parents — Communicating with other parents, especially ones that you’ve never met before or aren’t close to, can be uncomfortable for everyone. However, it’s important to remember it’s for the kids and to make sure everyone is on the same page. Open communication leads to honest and happy communication, so keep the lines of communication open. That includes talking about the details of the playdate along with any special considerations to keep in mind, such as dietary restrictions or preferences and medical needs. Ask the other parent if they have any questions or concerns before the playdate, and don’t be afraid to bring up your own thoughts.
- Lay Down Ground Rules — Next, you’ll want to lay down ground rules. It may seem obvious to you that your child should share toys with their friend, but maybe the other child isn’t as comfortable sharing. Tell the other parent the rules and expectations you set for your child when they’re playing and vice versa. Keep in mind safety rules such as not running around a pool and making sure to stay within the line of sight of the adults watching them.
- Post-Playdate Follow-Up — Is another parent hosting the playdate at their home? According to Jacksonville Mom, be sure to offer to help clean up even if the host says they don’t need any help. If your child has left a mess, this is a great teaching opportunity to ensure your child cleans up after themselves. As a courtesy, you should follow up with the other parents and ask for any feedback about your playdate. Be open to constructive feedback and thank them for any genuine compliments. You can discuss scheduling future playdates, which can help strengthen the bond of not only your child and their new friend, but also you and the other parents.
Every mom needs a break now and then, so planning playdates for your child and their friend or with a group of their little friends can feel not only fun and rewarding but can give you a much-needed break. You’ll be able to socialize with other parents while your child develops their social and communication skills. The key is to communicate with other parents, agree on when and where to meet, have some rules in place, and for you and your little one to dress comfortably. This is your time to enjoy wearing cute comfy clothes for moms while chatting with other comfy mamas, and your kid gets to run around the park for a while.