25 Ultimate Guide to Things to Do at a Playdate

Things to Do at a Playdate

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Playdates are a wonderful way for children to socialize, learn new skills, and have fun. Whether you’re hosting a playdate for toddlers or pre-teens, there are endless activities to keep everyone entertained and engaged. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various things to do at a playdate, ensuring that your gathering is a memorable one for all ages.

21 Fun Playdate Ideas for Kids | Prodigy (prodigygame.com)

Fun Things to Do at a Playdate

Arts and Crafts

When planning a playdate, it’s important to have a variety of activities on hand. Here are some fun things to do at a playdate that will keep kids of all ages entertained:

1. Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts are always a hit. Set up a table with supplies like paper, markers, glue, glitter, and scissors. Kids can make their own masterpieces or follow a guided craft project. This is not only fun but also helps in developing fine motor skills and creativity.

2. Outdoor Games

If the weather is nice, take the playdate outside. Classic games like tag, hide and seek, or a simple game of catch can provide hours of entertainment. For a more structured activity, consider setting up an obstacle course or organizing a scavenger hunt.

3. Baking Together

Kids love to help in the kitchen. Choose a simple recipe, such as cookies or cupcakes, and let the children participate in measuring, mixing, and decorating. This is a great way to teach basic cooking skills and teamwork.

Fun Things to Do at a Playdate for 9-Year-Olds

Science Experiments

Nine-year-olds are full of energy and curiosity. Here are some tailored activities for this age group:

4. Science Experiments

Conduct simple science experiments that are both educational and exciting. Experiments like creating a baking soda and vinegar volcano or making slime can captivate their attention and inspire a love for science.

5. Board Games and Puzzles

At this age, kids can handle more complex board games and puzzles. Games like Monopoly, Clue, or Scrabble can be both fun and intellectually stimulating. Puzzles can also be a great way to develop problem-solving skills.

6. DIY Projects

Encourage their creativity with do-it-yourself projects. This could be building models, making friendship bracelets, or designing their own T-shirts with fabric markers.

Fun Things to Do on a Playdate at Home

Indoor Fort Building

Hosting a playdate at home can be just as exciting as going out. Here are some activities to consider:

7. Indoor Fort Building

Gather blankets, pillows, and chairs to create an indoor fort. This activity sparks imagination and provides a cozy space for the kids to play, read, or even watch a movie.

8. Movie Marathon

Choose a series of kid-friendly movies or TV shows, pop some popcorn, and have a movie marathon. This is a great way to wind down after more active play.

9. Talent Show

Organize a talent show where each child can showcase their unique skills. Whether it’s singing, dancing, magic tricks, or comedy, this activity builds confidence and provides endless entertainment.

Things to Do at a Playdate for 10-Year-Olds

Ten-year-olds are developing more complex interests and skills. Here are some activities that cater to their age group:

10. Sports and Physical Activities

Creative Writing

Organize a mini sports tournament with games like soccer, basketball, or relay races. This not only keeps them active but also promotes teamwork and healthy competition.

11. Coding and Robotics

Introduce them to the basics of coding with user-friendly platforms like Scratch. If you have access to a robotics kit, they can also try building and programming their own robots.

12. Creative Writing

Encourage storytelling with a creative writing session. Provide prompts and let their imaginations run wild. This can be done individually or as a collaborative story where each child adds a sentence or paragraph.

Things to Do at a Playdate for 11-Year-Olds

Eleven-year-olds are on the brink of adolescence and enjoy activities that challenge them intellectually and physically:

13. Escape Room Challenge

Create a DIY escape room with puzzles and clues scattered around your home. This activity encourages problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking.

14. Cooking Competition

Host a mini cooking competition where kids can create their own dishes. Provide a selection of ingredients and see who can come up with the most creative and delicious dish.

15. DIY Science Kits

Purchase or create science kits that involve more complex experiments. Kits for building circuits, growing crystals, or making bath bombs can be both educational and fun.

Things to Do at a Playdate for 12-Year-Olds

Twelve-year-olds often seek more independence and activities that reflect their growing maturity:

16. Photography Scavenger Hunt

Give each child a list of items to photograph around the house or neighborhood. This activity hones their observation skills and encourages creativity.

17. Advanced Board Games

Introduce them to more strategic board games like Settlers of Catan or Risk. These games require critical thinking and strategy, making them perfect for this age group.

18. DIY Spa Day

Let them pamper themselves with a DIY spa day. Provide face masks, nail polish, and lotions for a fun and relaxing experience.

What to Do for a Playdate

Planning a successful playdate involves a few key considerations:

19. Theme-Based Playdates

Choose a theme that excites the kids, such as a pirate adventure, space exploration, or a superhero day. Decorate accordingly and plan activities that fit the theme.

20. Collaborative Projects

Encourage teamwork with collaborative projects like building a giant Lego structure or creating a large mural. This fosters cooperation and shared creativity.

21. Educational Games

Incorporate educational games that are also fun. Trivia quizzes, math games, or language puzzles can make learning enjoyable and interactive.

Playdates for Toddlers

For the youngest children, simplicity and safety are key:

22. Sensory Play

Set up a sensory play area with items like playdough, rice bins, or water tables. These activities stimulate their senses and aid in development.

23. Story Time

Read aloud from picture books and involve the toddlers in the story with interactive questions and activities. This promotes language skills and a love for reading.

24. Music and Movement

Play music and encourage dancing, singing, and playing with musical instruments. This helps develop coordination and rhythm.

25. Outdoor Exploration

If possible, take the playdate outdoors to a safe area where toddlers can explore nature. Collect leaves, watch birds, or simply enjoy the fresh air.

FAQ: Things to Do at a Playdate

How to Host a Fun Playdate

Hosting a fun playdate is all about planning and flexibility. Here are some tips to make sure everyone has a great time:

  1. Know Your Audience: Understand the ages and interests of the kids attending. This helps in planning activities that will keep them engaged.
  2. Plan Activities: Mix structured activities with free play. Have options like arts and crafts, outdoor games, and indoor play.
  3. Create a Schedule: A loose schedule helps keep things organized. Include time for arrival, activities, snacks, and pick-up.
  4. Prepare Snacks: Offer healthy, easy-to-eat snacks like fruit, cheese sticks, and crackers. Be mindful of any allergies.
  5. Set Up Play Areas: Designate spaces for different activities. This keeps the playdate flowing smoothly.
  6. Safety First: Ensure the play area is safe for all ages. Remove hazards and have a first-aid kit handy.
  7. Be Involved: While giving kids space to play, stay involved to manage conflicts and ensure fun.
  8. Encourage Sharing: Teach kids to share and take turns, especially with toys and games.

How to Make a Good Playdate

A good playdate means fun for the kids and comfort for the parents. Here’s how to make it happen:

  1. Choose the Right Time: Mid-morning or mid-afternoon is best. Avoid nap or meal times.
  2. Invite the Right Mix: Make sure the kids get along or have similar interests to reduce conflicts.
  3. Communicate with Parents: Discuss any special needs, dietary restrictions, or allergies with the other parents.
  4. Keep It Simple: Simple activities like playing with toys, reading books, or playing outside are often the most enjoyable.
  5. Be Flexible: Be ready to change plans if something isn’t working. Sometimes the best moments are spontaneous.
  6. Have a Backup Plan: If you plan outdoor activities, have an indoor backup in case of bad weather.
  7. End on a High Note: Plan a fun activity towards the end, like a special game or treat, to leave kids with a positive memory.

How Long Is a Good Playdate?

The ideal length of a playdate depends on the age of the children:

  • Toddlers (1-3 years): 1 to 1.5 hours. They have shorter attention spans and get tired quickly.
  • Preschoolers (3-5 years): 1.5 to 2 hours. They can handle more structured play but still need breaks.
  • School-age children (6-12 years): 2 to 3 hours. Older kids can enjoy longer playdates with more complex activities. Make sure to include breaks and keep them hydrated and fed.

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Conclusion: Things to Do at a Playdate

Hosting a playdate, whether it’s for toddlers or 12-year-olds, requires a bit of planning and creativity. By incorporating a variety of activities tailored to the age group and interests of the children, you can ensure a fun and memorable experience. Remember, the key to a successful playdate is flexibility and understanding that sometimes the best moments come from spontaneous play. Keep this guide handy for your next playdate and watch as the kids enjoy countless hours of fun and learning.

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