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Please tell me about playdates ?

(11 Posts)
2bayumimum Fri 29-May-09 19:48:33

Now that the weather is starting to be nicer, I am planning on arranging a playdate for my DS, so that he can play with some of his friends from nursery. As this will be the first playdate that I have arranged, I dont really have a clue how they work. Obviously I invite some of his friends to our house, but can I ask a few questions...how many children would you normally invite, I plan to provide tea for the children, do I also provide it for the parents too ? What do I offer the parents in the way of refreshments, just tea and coffee, or should I also also offer wine/beer etc ? How long would a playdate normally last for and do you send invites with start and finish times ? Plus any tips you can give to help the whole thing go well would be very gratefully received. DS is only 3 and up until now his birthday parties have been just family affairs, so a bit stuck on how to make this a stunning success for everyone ??

Thanks a lot

blametheparents Fri 29-May-09 19:53:27

I would probably invite 3 other children and their parents, total of 4 children (plus any younger siblings of course)
I would just say, come round about 3pm and then stay for tea (or wahtever time suits you) For a playdate i would not give a finish time.
I would do tea at about 4.30 - 5pm and make it something simple like spag bol or fish fingers, oven chips and peas.
I would not do food for the adults, offer tea/coffee and maybe buy some yummy cakes.

A playdate does not have to incorporate tea time though. A groupd of friends and me used to be meet every Thursday at 2pm. Bisuits and juice for kids at about 3pm, cake for adults. Naturally wound up a about 4pm as people want to get home for tea time.

Remember to put away any toy that you lo will have a breakdown over if their friends touch it or play with it.
Remove all pens and play dough too!

Have fun!

HouseisJackBauersDoctor Fri 29-May-09 20:42:26

We used to meet up at each others houses all the time, normally at about 10ish in the morning and we would normally all leave to go home for lunch/naps. Coffee/tea and some nice biscuits for grown ups, water and plain bics for kids [evil].

Have toys out that your DS is happy to share, hide any special toys that might upset him if others play with them.

We just tended to throw the kids at the available toys and all congregate around sofa/garden chairs and natter.

2bayumimum Mon 01-Jun-09 10:51:21

Thanks for your replies and very useful information. Im bumping to see if I can get anyone else's ideas too, as need all the help I can get :-)

saintmaybe Mon 01-Jun-09 11:11:32

i'd invite one other child to start with. More than that and you won't really get to talk to the other mum, and dynamics can be tricky between the children. and the pressure to make it a 'stunning success' might be a bit less!

castlesintheair Mon 01-Jun-09 11:20:35

Keep it casual and only have one friend round at a time. Give them food if it coincides with a mealtime otherwise snack/drink. For a 3 year old it's a good idea to have a few things for them to do planned in case they don't know what to do with themselves, which is entirely normal btw. Don't worry, you become immune to the pain of it all eventually even when you have 3 friends for your 3 DCs all at the same time without any other parents wink.

bigstripeytiger Mon 01-Jun-09 11:35:50

I would invite 1 other child to start with. I wouldnt send an invite (and have never had a written invite for a playdate). Just keep it casual eg "Would Max like to come round to play on Wednesday, he could stay and have his tea?" For a nursery child I would expect that the parent would come too. If the parent was coming I probably wouldnt make dinner for the child, just some snacks, and a cup of tea and biscuits for the parent. I would expect it to last for about 2 hours.

ilovespinach Mon 01-Jun-09 12:42:09

DS1 had his first proper playdate at the weekend. We just invited one other child andthe mom left him by himself (which was ok as he knows me) and he was with us for about 3 hours which was OK. It's good to have lots of snacks available and I cooked an easy pasta meal. Next time, I will definately put some toys away as the kids didn't know what to play with first (and it will save you time with tidying up at the end).

2bayumimum Mon 01-Jun-09 15:40:11

Thanks everybody, you've given me plenty to think about and now Im a bit more clued up about what I should and shouldnt do. DS1 has his sports day on Friday, so ideal time to approach the mum's of his closest friends, and think I will keep it very small for his first play date. Thanks alot

stealthsquiggle Mon 01-Jun-09 15:45:12

Unless you are talking about a playdate-come-birthday party, I would stick with:

- 1 friend
- verbal invite only
- with parent, for the first time at least
- timed such that you don't have to produce main meal
- provide snacks for children and tea/coffee for parent
- cross your fingers and hope you find someone who has the same approach to parenting as you do (for example, I am a 'kick them out to play and supervise from a distance' parent, and find someone who wants/expects to hover over the DC at all times very wearing)

Good Luck - but don't worry if it doesn't work out first time - my DS didn't "do" playdates until he started school.

ohdearwhatamess Mon 01-Jun-09 15:58:54

I do:
verbal invite
usually 2 children and mothers at a time
no snacks or meals (always leads to arguments here), coffee for mothers
10-12 or 3-4.30ish (mornings work better here - children in better spirits)

remove all pens, nail varnish, laptops, valuables, breakables (just spent £150 to fix a laptop that one of ds1's little friends found).

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