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4 ways to make play dates fun

 
Play dates needn't be stressful! Next time you arrange a play date for your toddler or pre-schooler, remember to keep things fun and simple with these 4 quick tips.
Play dates needn't be stressful! 

Next time you arrange a play date for your toddler or pre-schooler, remember to keep things fun and simple with these 4 quick tips.
 

1. Timing

  • Specify the length of the play date, so that expectations are set in advance for children (and parents!) on both sides.
 
  • Play dates for small children don’t need to be more than an hour long. It gives them enough time to have fun, but not to get too exhausted and irritable by the time they leave.
 
  • Often morning play dates work better than afternoon play dates as everyone’s still fresh and not starting to fade as the day wears on.
 

2. Preparing

  • If your child has any special or particularly breakable toys, it’s a good idea to put these away somewhere out of reach so that they don’t accidently get damaged in the mayhem.
 
  • Have a few treats to hand for when things get broken, or someone takes a fall.
 

3. Eating

  • Before the play date find out if your guests have any food allergies.
 
  • Offer healthy snacks when your little visitor and their parent/caregiver arrive to help stop the blood sugars from running out of control during the play date.
 

4. Playing

  • Although pre-schoolers may know exactly what they want to play with when their friends come over, you will need to help organise a few activities for toddlers and younger children to keep them amused.
 
  • It’s likely your supervision will be needed throughout the play date, so be prepared!

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