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Playdates - how many is 'normal'?

(11 Posts)
yellowsunflowers Fri 11-Oct-13 21:48:15

My daughter goes to a village primary school 7 miles away. She is 5 years old. I worry that she is missing out on the social side as play dates are few and far between eg about 1 play date and a couple of birthday parties per term. This is for lots of reasons eg if invite a school friend round to ours it means a 3rd 15 mile round trip (as i would take them back home); the village mums are very cliquey and i feel like an outsider; my daughter is still v young and can be tired after school; and i like the quality time with her after school.

So, I'm wondering how many after school and/or weekend play dates is 'normal'? Should i commit to one per week, month? Or is the current level fine? I'm especially interested for those who have school on their doorsteps - do u have loads of play dates??

Thanks v much!

HorryIsUpduffed Fri 11-Oct-13 22:12:17

We live within a mile of school. I think we average one a fortnight - sometimes it's one a week, sometimes one a month. Most children live within a mile of school, but DS also occasionally has playdates with a child who lives a couple of miles out of the village. Nobody in his year lives 7 miles away though (oversubscribed year)

Is DD in Reception or Y1? DS is in Y1 aged five and I'm guessing from your post that DD is too.

greenbananas Sat 12-Oct-13 00:26:20

Ds is 5 and has just started school. We live about 90 seconds walk away from the school. Our house is like Clapham Junction, people here all the time, every day, and we love it, even though it is v. messy and chaotic. Today we had 3 extra mums and 5 extra children. Not many friends are from school, they are mostly people ds has known since babyhood. I do worry a bit that he will get exhausted and that he doesn't get enough time to just chill out but, if we have a day on our own, he asks hopefully if any friends are coming to play.

I think we are a bit extreme, and I'm not suggesting you take our approach. My sister's girls have very few play dates (she is not sociable) and they are gorgeous, well-balanced girls.

However, I do think it is important for children to have a group of friends that they can invent games with, be silly with, hide from adults with. I recognise that it might be difficult to organise this in your situation, but once a term doesn't seem like enough to me.

greenbananas Sat 12-Oct-13 00:31:22

Don't know what to suggest about the other mums being cliquey - this would be my nightmare as I am rather shy. Maybe you will have to put a brave face on it and pretend to feel confident. ...

yellowsunflowers Sat 12-Oct-13 07:25:33

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm thinking maybe i should sign her up for the local rainbows group so she makes some local friends and then play dates could come from that too.

brettgirl2 Sat 12-Oct-13 07:31:02

That sounds like a really good idea. I think that it's healthy for them to have friends outside school as then when there are fallouts etc it isnt the absolute end of the world......

brettgirl2 Sat 12-Oct-13 07:34:02

And the other thing is if dd had a playdate 7 miles away I would still expect to pick her up. In a rural area it isnt that far is it? Maybe you are being too nice driving them back?

greenbananas Sat 12-Oct-13 09:30:14

Yes, joining rainbows is a great idea.

strruglingoldteach Sat 12-Oct-13 09:36:36

DD1 is 5, in year 1. Since starting reception, the only playdates she has had are with families that we have known since she was tiny. We probably spend one afternoon a week with those people. I'd quite like DD to widen her circle of friends a little, but she seems perfectly content playing with the same 2 boys all the time, so haven't really had an opportunity to invite other classmates back.

lljkk Sat 12-Oct-13 10:00:38

I have no idea what's "normal." Can only comment on own experience in y1. School is half mile away.

DS1: plenty of party invites, lots of hosting, about 50% invites back for playdates.

DD: Tonnes of hosting, lots of party invites, almost 0% invited back for playdates. Dropped to almost nothing for y2 (swapped classes). She's now my uber confident joins-every-club-going popular kid.

DS2 & DS3: 2-3 party invites/yr, plenty of hosting, rare invites back.

Clubs not a reliable way to stoke social life ime, sorry, but good in other ways.

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 12-Oct-13 14:53:50

I think one playdate and a couple of parties per term is FINE! I have about that and my DD's are aged 9 and 5....and also go to a village school but ours is 2 miles away.

None of the Mums organise a lot as most work! Some have more but those are the's what suits you. Ask more kids round if you want to.

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