Planning Playdates for Your Children | Salma Safira Sukma from BehaviorPALS Center| Kinderkloud

Planning Playdates for Your Children

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Having a playdate is not only fun for your kids, but also provides many positive impacts for their overall development. Playdates open the opportunity for your child to deepen the friendship they have with their peers or even make a new one. It also helps improve their social and communication skills as well as independence. Furthermore, playdates serve as a great way for your child to explore their world.

Whether you are hosting the playdate or being invited to one, it is important that you plan the activity carefully so everybody is happy and most importantly, safe. Here are some tips for parents to make sure playdates go well:

1. Get familiar with the place and how many kids will join

Being familiar with the place where the playdates are held is important for your kid’s safety. You can try to find out if the place is childproof, whether it’s the park, someone’s house, or even your own house. Make sure the playdate is going at the safest place with no steep stairs, has minimum glass objects, and any sharp edge is childproofed. The number of kids involved is also an important factor as more kids means a bigger place. Knowing how many kids will be joining the playdate will also direct what activity should be done.

2. Find out who will be supervising the kids

Gather information on who will be watching your kids at the playdate, such as their name and are they a parent or a babysitter. If you’ll only be dropping them off, give your contact to the guardian in charge in case of emergency. You should also give any important information about your child such as food allergies if there is any. If you’re the one supervising the kids, then you should be the one asking for contact and information about the other kids from their parents. 

3. Make ground rules

Establishing some ground rules can be a good idea to avoid any problem behavior and conflicts. You can discuss with other parents about what the rules should be and tell them to the kids before the playdate starts. This can include rules about taking turns, no hitting or biting, and respecting each other’s toys. Rules will help the kids understand what is expected from them and  keep them safe.

4. Know what the activities will be

Knowing what your kids will be doing will help you prepare them for it. For example, if your kids will be doing activities outdoors, then you can ask them to wear long sleeves and apply enough sunscreen to protect their skin. If they are going to ride a bike, make sure they wear a helmet and that the street is safe for children. Furthermore, if there will be movie time in the activity, find out what the movie is about and ensure that there is no disturbing or harmful content in it.

5. Understand when parents should stay or leave

It’s probably best for parents to stay when the children are under 4 years old as it will also be a great bonding experience between parents. On the other hand, older kids might feel comfortable to have their parents drop them off. However, some children might need more time to warm up, so make sure that they feel totally comfortable and safe before you leave them and try to stick around until they do.

6. Provide snacks and drinks

Before the playdate, ensure your child is well rested and fed. Nevertheless, it is important to always provide drinks and snacks for the kids during the playdate to keep them energized and hydrated. If you are hosting, encourage the kids to drink plenty of water with a glass that has their name on it. You can also give them their own juice box or have a fruit “pizza” and make sure to consider any allergy they may have. If you’re dropping off your kid, then you can bring them their own water bottle and some fruits.

7. Give cues before going home

It is important to set a transition time before the kids go home. If you’re hosting, you might want to give a 5 to 10-minute heads-up, so the kids will know and be ready that their parents are picking them up soon. You can make tidying up a part of the transition by having the kids race to put away as many toys as they can. If you’re picking up, give your kid a spare time to get their things and say goodbye to everyone.


 

References: 

10 parenting tips for setting up playdates. (n.d.). Early Childhood University. Retrieved June 8, 2023 from http://theearlychildhooduniversity.com/tips-for-setting-up-playdates/

Crouch, M. (2022, November 20). 17 fun playdate games and activities for kids. Parents https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/fun-playdate-games-and-activities/ 

Dilonardo, M. J. (2013, December 9). Your complete guide to playdates. Parents. https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/friendship/playdates/

Lee, K. (2022, January 5). Questions to ask before a play date. Verywell Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/questions-to-ask-before-a-play-date-620538

 

By: Salma Safira Sukma Ikhsani, S.Psi. from BehaviorPALS

planning, playdate, children, parents, tips

Children 4 Years - 6 Years / 4 Tahun - 6 Tahun / Social Development / Tumbuh Kembang Sosial / Education / Pendidikan / Planning Playdates for Your Children

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