Creative Child

10 Tips For Hosting a Successful Playdate

by Deborah Song

Playdate Tips Continued...

5. Ask for dietary restrictions.

If you’re planning to feed your guests, make sure to ask for any food allergies. It also helps to ask what guests like to eat.

Check out these Healthy and Gluten Free Snacks here! 

6. Feed your child before.

Hosting a play date can be stressful for even the child host. Having a bunch of kids come over and touch your things may be unusual territory for your child. The last thing you want your child to feel is hungry. Even if you are planning to serve lunch during the playdate, feed your child just enough before so he isn’t famished by the time lunch is ready.

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7. Set Rules.

Lay out rules and expectations for your child the day before. Hosting is a great way for kids to learn how to share. But you may be shocked at how possessive your child may get, which is a natural reaction. Prep them on having to share toys and why it’s nice for them to let the other kids go first. Then on the day of the playdate, explain what the kids can and cannot do but keep the list short, like no jumping on beds or stealing someone’s toy.

8. Don’t micromanage.

One of the main benefits of a playdate is the opportunity for children to learn to get along and work out arguments on their own. Remain nearby, but don’t direct the play or interfere with minor squabbles if no one is getting hurt.

9. Plan a craft or activity.

Okay, so the playdate is turning out to be a disaster. Your child is refusing to play with the other kids, a toy was broken, and your guests haven’t touched the food you made. Rescue a flagging playdate with a craft or activity like making a volcano with baking soda and vinegar or making a puppet out of socks.

An activity will provide just the right amount of structure for kids to at least play alongside one another. Think of the craft or activity as an emergency rescue plan, ready to be deployed at a moments notice.

10. Evaluate what worked and what didn’t

After a playdate, review what went well and what didn't so you can employ those tactics next time.

Ready for more play ideas? Check out  31 Days of Play in March!

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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