Participating in a playdate group is a great opportunity for parents and their kids to socialize with one another. But what happens when it’s your turn to host the playdate? Don’t worry. We’ve got 10 guaranteed fun activities to keep those kids entertained.
It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about financial literacy. And good money-saving practices are best learn at a young age. So for a fun afternoon, set up your playdate group with coffee cans, decorative (or construction) papers, tape or glue, markers, glitter, and stickers. Have them create their own Savings, Spending, and Giving banks. To extend the learning opportunity this project provides, print up the Sesame Street Tool Kit for parents to teach their little ones financial literacy.
2. Stuffed Animal Parade
If your child is anything like mine, there is a pile of stuffed animals a mile high in her bedroom. Take advantage of this and have your child line up her animals on the living room couch. As each child arrives for the playdate, have them pick their favorite animal. Or have each child bring their own stuffed toy from home. Once everyone has settled in with their “wild” friend, pick a leader and start the animal parade around the house…or outside of it.
3. Sensory Bin
For toddlers, a sensory bin can keep them entertained for a good 30 minutes or more. Try to pick a theme for your bin (i.e., people, animals, shapes, bugs, summer, etc.) and collect small items that fit the theme. Toss these into a plastic tub and fill it with beans, shredded paper, popcorn, etc. Your kids will be thrilled to explore and discover tiny “treasures.” Take a look at these examples.
4. Sock Puppets
Most families have an endless supply of lonely socks whose mates have gone missing. Why not give them a second life as a puppet? Easy to make, kids simply need some markers, yarn (for hair), and a pair of googly eyes to make their favorite characters come alive.
5. Make Maracas
I don’t know a single child who doesn’t like to make music. And making maracas is a simple craft that yields instant results! You can find an endless number of tutorials online for making maracas or egg shakers. But one of my favorites is this one by Made.
6. Color Mixing
Who knew you could make so many different colors from just three? My kids spent almost an hour creating their own colors using three cups of color-dyed water. We used this kit by Scientific Explorer. But of course, I think you could do the same thing using food dye, water, eye droppers and paint pallets.
7. ABC Scavenger Hunt
Write a list of household items in alphabetical order and make a copy for each of your playdate guests. Make sure the items are easy to locate and in accessible locations. Be sure to have small prizes ready for each child as they complete their hunt!
8. Spider Web Hunt
Take a ball of yarn/string and wrap one end around a small prize. Hide it somewhere in your house and then walk around the room (or house) slowly unwinding the remaining string to leave a trail. Make it tricky by going through different rooms or around furniture. Tape the other end of the string to the door. Repeat for each guest.
If you’ve never seen a bunch of little kids running around after a soccer ball, you don’t know what you’re missing! This is one of my favorite outdoor games because it gets those little legs running and all their energy is being used up outside. Here’s an inexpensive and easy DIY soccer goal made out of PVC and some netting—to help give your soccer players a little direction.
10. Life-Size Twin
You’ll need a giant roll of butcher paper for this one. Give each child a piece of paper that is just a little bit longer than they are. Ask them to lay down and then trace an outline around their bodies. When you’re done, ask them to draw their twin (or themselves) in their favorite outfit. Markers work best for this activity, but give them access to extra supplies like yarn, bottle tops, feathers, ribbons, buttons, and pom poms to use to decorate their life-size twin.