Strategies for a Successful Playdate

March 16, 2017
Strategies for a Successful Playdate

Playing with peers is important to a child’s development, but play dates aren’t always easy on caregivers.

Tips to avoid play date drama and create a pleasant experience for everyone:

  1. Have a plan.
    • Picking an activity (craft, project, board game) in advance can help to set things off on the right foot.  Pick something that is well matched to the children’s age, ability and personality.
  2. Focus on turn-taking.
    • Sharing is a difficult concept for children (and many adults!).  Encouraging children to take turns can be an easier and more successful way to manage battles over toys.
  3. Remove “special toys” before the play date begins.
    • There are some things – like favorite blankets, dolls or stuffed animals – that do not belong on play dates.  These are items that are special to your child and that they have difficulty allowing someone else to hold or play with.  Put these in a safe spot (in a closet or in another room) before anyone comes over.
  4. Give clear instructions on what TO do.
    • Telling children what we expect of them can help their behavior.  It can also keep things positive and avoid a lot of “don’t or NO” on a play date.
For tips on age appropriate games and toys, click here.  And for more on social-emotional development, click here.
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