Matthew has been out of town for nearly two weeks with World Vision (he comes home today!). I tried to plan a few activities for the kids amidst this long separation because I knew it was going to be hard on all of us.
One of the things I planned was a small playdate with three families from soccer/daycare this past Saturday. The older kids (all boys) had played soccer together and gone to the same day care before entering kindergarten, while the younger three kids (one boy and two girls) are still in day care with Adeline. The ages and number of kids (eight total) made it the perfect size group for our home.
Playdates are not something we do a lot, mostly because of working full-time. It just seems like there isn’t much margin by the weekend. But after hosting this one, I want to do them a bit more often.
We kept things very simple and had a great morning.
Here are a few things that I was reminded of when hosting a group playdate:
Have a few fun activities planned: Our family was grateful to receive a new LeapTV and two games to review, so of course the kids wanted to share that with their friends. It was a huge hit.
In case you haven’t heard of this new system yet, LeapTV from LeapFrog is sort of like a Wii for little kids (ages 3-8, so perfect for my house!). It gets them moving while teaching core skills across a variety of subjects including: reading, mathematics, science and problem solving.
The kids mostly played LeapTV Sports and LeapTV Dance and Learn. Check out this video of Elias “climbing the rope” in the sports game. (Every parent who came was like, I think we are going to get that for Christmas – ha! It really is cool. Definitely a great gift to consider this Christmas season).
I also had a coloring station set-up and some toys out.
Be flexible: I had planned on the kids staying inside, but then it was nice out and the leaves lured the kids outside. They burned off some energy outside too!
Keep the food simple: I decided on doing brunch so that I wouldn’t have to do much prep ahead of time. I borrowed a few waffle irons and we did Belgian waffles, fruit and chocolate milk. The kids – and parents – loved it!
Perfection is not the point: With Matthew being gone and me being 7 months pregnant, it was a great reminder to me that your home doesn’t have to be perfect to extend hospitality. I literally asked a dad who came to to carry up a basket of laundry for me because I couldn’t do it with my belly!
Sidenote: If you haven’t watched Shauna Niequist’s Allume keynote on hospitality, you MUST. Seriously. So many good words.
Everyone had such a fun time. One mom as she was leaving said to me, this was the perfect morning because my kids got to play and do something fun and I got to hang out with grown-ups too. I was so happy that I hosted and I am already planning another playdate.
Do you host playdates with your kids? What do you like to do?
I received free products in order to host the LeapFrog sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are my own.