5 Ways to Make a Playdate Extra Fun #DisneySide

by jessicaturner on December 5, 2014

DisneySide playdate
This past Sunday, we decided to have our friends Al and Leila, along with their four kids over for a playdate and dinner. Yes, it was Thanksgiving weekend. Yes, it had been a busy weekend. Yes, it was a school night.

But prioritizing community is important to our family, particularly in these last weeks before the baby is born. And remember, I am all about the simple playdates these days! We kept it early (4-7) and had such a nice time.

We first met Leila when she lived above us in our old condo community. She married Al and they then got pregnant shortly before we got pregnant with Elias. They have four kids (ages 1-6) and we all always have a blast together.

Disney and MomSelect sent me a fun party in a box, which was the perfect way to make the night even more special. To make things better, the Packers (my favorite team) was playing the Patriots (the Larsons’ favorite team), so we had a little rivalry going on too. (The Pack won!)

DisneySide playdate
Elias and Adeline were SO excited about having our Disney Kids preschool playdate. It was a great reminder to me that you don’t have to get super elaborate to make things magical for kids. I think I got everything set-up within an hour and it all made for an extra special evening together with one of our favorite families!

Here are the things that I did to keep the playdate both fun and simple:

1. Have a theme: We did Mickey Mouse clubhouse theme thanks to the goodies sent by Disney Parks and Mom Select. The kids were tickled by the simple decor (paper products and a few streamers). You don’t need to go nuts to make things extra special for kids. It took very little effort to transform the dining room, but the reaction was priceless. Adeline kept saying, it’s beautiful!

DisneySide playdate

DisneySide playdateDisneySide playdate
2. Play simple games: We had a few simple games and activities, like bingo and coloring sheets, which were a fun way to bring the kids together. We played several rounds until everyone won, which leads me to my next point.

DisneySide playdateDisneySide playdate
3. Have small prizes for everyone: Included in my party box were several fun prizes from MegaBlocks. Since there were just 6 kids, I dipped into my Target clearance stash to ensure that we had something for everyone. Everything was super inexpensive, but delighted the kids.

DisneySide playdate

4. Keep the food simple: Everyone arrived at four, so we had simple, yummy Crunchmaster crackers (Cheezy Crisps and Grammy Crisps), which were a huge hit with the kids. Then for dinner, the adults had chili (perfect football food and made in the crock pot) and the kids did chicken nuggets and fruit. For dessert, some chocolate cupcakes with Mickey Mouse cupcake wrappers helped tie the theme in at the end of the meal.

DisneySide playdate
5. Take photos: Of course, take photos to remember your time together. You’ll never regret documenting your kids. They grow too fast. I love this shot I got of Elias and Joe in their rival jerseys.

I hope this encourages you to not be too busy for community. It is so important. And pick up a few little theme items if you plan to have kids over. It makes the get together extra fun. Check out Disney Side Celebrations for lots of easy, creative ideas.

Disclosure: I received free products, including a celebration kit, from Disney Parks and Mom Select in order to host the #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate. The opinions expressed here are my own.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo-Lynne Shane December 5, 2014 at 7:41 am

So fun! You’re right, entertaining doesn’t have to be a big deal. What a cute idea to have a theme!


Danielle Smith December 5, 2014 at 8:40 am

You know what I love about this? You took all of the things that normally make us panic (school night, holiday weekend, lots of people and kids) and made it both manageable and FUN. Well PLAYED. xoxo


Jen December 5, 2014 at 9:35 am

I agree 100%. I need to do this more.


Audrey McClelland December 5, 2014 at 10:56 am

Oh, Jessica – I love this!! I get so overwhelmed thinking about having kids over and you made it seem so much more manageable and fun! I love this post! And your kids are the cutest ever!!!


Kayla Aimee December 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm

SO cute! I also just find having a “theme” for a playdate makes things easy when the kids get a bit overtired from all the PLAY. Then I’m like “BRING ON THE THEMED ACTIVITIES!”


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