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playdate coming up - how much to plan?

(8 Posts)
workatemylife Thu 07-Jul-11 10:20:53

I've done a few mummy and toddler get togethers, usually in a group of four or five, where the LOs have busied themselves with the toys belonging to the hapless child whose mother has invited her friends round for a natter! But DD has asked if one of her friends from pre-school can come to play, just the two of them. I don't know the parents very well other than from a quick 'excuse me' in the doorway of the pre-school, but they weren't surprised to be asked about a playdate, so so far so good. I'm assuming that a pot of coffee and a biscuit will keep mum happy, but what about the little ones? Should I leave them to get on with it - jigsaws, games, playdough, run around the garden etc, or do people usually plan an activity? Some kind of craft thing, painting, making fairy cakes?!! I would feel bad about making no effort at all, but it feels odd to plan the day to the minute. Any more experienced mums and dads out there who can advise a novice?
Thank you!

AMumInScotland Thu 07-Jul-11 10:31:40

No effort at all! Your only involvement should be to intervene if they seem to be fighting, or go so quiet you can guess they must have found something expensive to damage. Other than that, assume they will play together and get on with it themselves.

workatemylife Thu 07-Jul-11 15:40:03

Great. Just what I wanted to hear (all in favour of winging it!) grin

DownyEmerald Thu 07-Jul-11 18:13:38

TBH I found that my dd didn't really know what to do on her first one-to-one playdate so I did have to introduce things, join in a little bit. After a while it gets much easier. But I do always try to have something up my sleeve in case it is needed - playdoh is usually enough.

I have had dd come home with biscuits she has iced tho. But I try not to rise to these challenges!

CristinaTheAstonishing Thu 07-Jul-11 18:19:13

At that age I think I'd help them play together. OTOH if they're happy to parallel play, then why not.

CristinaTheAstonishing Thu 07-Jul-11 18:20:58

Downy - to my embarrassment I think back to how I used to plan activities and things to do together with DS and his friends, crafts, baking etc. Now I'm happy to let them be on the PlayStation.

create Thu 07-Jul-11 18:41:41

Are you sure the mum intends to stay? IME if it's your DC's friend, rather than a child of "your" friend, then mum will expect to drop and run!

I'd leave them to it unless it becomes obvious one of them is unhappy. If they're playing alongside, rather than together, then that's fine provided they're happy.

workatemylife Mon 11-Jul-11 10:17:11

Well we survived! The weather was okay, so they spent some time messing around in the garden. I'd left out some pencils, paper etc for some general 'making' time, but for the most part, they amused themselves with toys and silliness. Mum stayed, and we had a nice chat too - only one 'snatching' controversy with the kids that we needed to deal with. I'm almost tempted to do it again shock
Thank you for the replies.

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