PLAY DATES? YES OR NO?

playHello every one! This is another fun read.  We remember how growing up as children we played with the other neighbors children on the block? I bet a lot of us still have friends from our childhood . What fun and adventure we had back then! These days because of the demands of work/ business we barely have time for our children; we should create fun things for them to do aside the DSTV.

There is a growing trend now called Play Dates. This has been in the western culture for a long time. We had it at our days they were not just called play dates. Now let’s look at this.

Wikipedia says a play date is an arranged appointment for children to get together for a few hours to play. The intention of a play date is to give children time to interact freely in a less structured environment than other planned activities might provide. Play dates are different from organized activities or scheduled sports, because they are not usually structured.

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The advantages of Play Dates include:

·         Play dates are a great way for your children to practice their social skills, interacting with other children is a great way to practice.

·         Play Dates help your child gain confidence in their relational abilities.

·         An added bonus is that regular play dates can also give you a break!

·         It can be great networking time especially for parents who haven’t had time to meet parents of the children their children seem to talk about a lot at home after school.

Play dates have their down sides as well, it can be more painful than dating, because all the imagined slights or rejections are magnified when your precious child is involved — and therefore, taken all the more personally.

It is important that our children enjoy their childhood, play dates doesn’t have to take place at your house, and it could happen at a place that has a great space play area for children. There will be hitches at times but also remember nothing is perfect.

Making a “Date” Here are some tips to get a play date

1.       Let your child take the lead. Ask him who he’d like to invite over. If he doesn’t have a preference, take your cues from which he seems to drawn to at daycare, preschool, or your local playground.

Remember, too, that playmates don’t have to be the same age. In fact, pairing kids of different ages has some advantages: The older child will help direct play for his young friend, and he’ll also relish being the “big kid.”

2.       Keep it small. Three really is a crowd sometimes when it comes to preschool play dates. Instead, limit play dates to one friend at a time. Otherwise it’s too easy for one child to feel left out, and sharing toys becomes that much more difficult.

 

3.       Keep it short. An hour is fine for a first visit, and two hours is plenty for a get-together between seasoned preschool pals. Any longer than that and you’re likely to have two bored, tired, and cranky kids on your hands.

 

4.       Get the facts on food. Because playdates often involve snacks, be sure to ask your guest’s parents about food allergies or sensitivities — or just what their probably picky preschooler likes to eat. Knowing a child’s preferences ahead of time can help head off a snack-time showdown. Also if it’s your child that is invited please give the parents heads-up on what you will appreciate your child be fed.

 

5.       It is important that as you plan for your child or children you also Consider inviting parents, too. This works for you because you don’t have to deal with the children all by yourself and for very young children who aren’t used to being away from Mom or Dad, and even for older kids making their first visit to your home, consider making the playdate a family affair. Invite the other parent (or caregiver) to join you and a chat while the kids play, or let her know that it’s fine to hang out for a while until her child settles in. Many kids need to work up to the “drop-off” playdate, and many parents are wary about leaving their children in the home of someone they know or don’t know very well.

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Before play dates:

1.       Feed Your Child a Meal before a Playdate

If your child is going to someone’s house to play feed him or her. Similarly, if the play date is scheduled for your house, feed your child before the play date guest arrives. Hungry children often become cranky children.

2.       Keep Irritable and Sick Children at Home

If your child is irritable or may be coming down with an illness, postpone the play date. Children on both ends are sure to be disappointed but postponement is preferable to the frustrating day

3.       Be Flexible

Be flexible about changing play date arrangements at the last moment. Sometimes, a parent’s needs will change and other times a child may announce that he prefers to stay at his own house instead of coming to yours as planned. When you can, be flexible in accommodating these changes in plan.

4.       When Your Child Is the Play Date Guest:

When your child is to be a guest in another’s home for a play date, a few simple guidelines will help make the play date successful give tips to the other parent(s)

5.       Offer to Drop Off and Pick Up Your Child

6.       Remind Your Child How to Behave

7.       Teach Your Child to Distinguish Different Ways of Doing Things from Dangers

Make it clear to your child what rules from home go with him when he is playing in another child’s house. Your child should know the difference between important rules that he must never break.

8.       Offer food or snacks for the play date even if it is your child is visiting.

9.       Lastly I advise that you cannot be too careful, get to know the people your child will be spending time with before you find it convenient to drop your precious ones off. Meet the parents first, spend time outside the scheduled dated with the child and parents. No one is a mind reader but there are signs to know if this is a good idea for you and your child.

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