There is nothing better for any mum than finding some like-minded friends with children of a similar age. It helps to keep both you and the children occupied when you head out for afternoons or attend each other's homes. However, we can often feel a little pressure when it comes to hosting a playdate. While, of course, we know that no one is passing judgement on our home or parenting skills, we still want to ensure that we come across in the best light. I thought I would share with you some of the ways you can become the queen of playdates with very little effort.
Keep the playdate to one room in your home
There is nothing worse than giving young children free rein of your home, especially if you have tidied or cleaned for having guests round. They can create a mess in a matter of seconds. So try and keep the playdate to one room. Make sure there is somewhere for adults to sit and socialise as well as plenty of space, toys, and distractions for the children to enjoy. This takes away any worry of undoing any hard work you will have done and also helps to keep tidying up to a minimum when everyone has gone.
Think ahead and organise activities
Sometimes it’s good to have activities on hand to keep the children occupied and stimulated while you get some much-needed chat and engagement with adult company. So think ahead to what they might like to do. Perhaps print of some scenes from the children's favourite television programme, or even set up different activities like number games or words. You could even use printing services to ensure that you save on paper and ink and your home address. This can take any stress away. Get some crayons, pencils or paints on hand, and let the children play happily.
Don’t be too worried about refreshments
Often any of us would be happy with a nice hot drink and a slice of cake or a biscuit when attending a play date, so don’t panic too much about the refreshments. Get some snacks in ready for the children and think about what they will eat and drink. It’s always advisable to have a selection and healthy alternatives, just incase.
Enjoy it and do it as often as you can
As much as we love being mothers, it can be all-consuming at times. Especially if you are with your children everyday as a stay at home parent with no childcare options. It’s okay to want to have a grown up conversation for ten minutes or enjoy a nice hot drink, so embrace it and organise playdates as much as you can. Not only will you love it, but the children are stimulated and happy for some company from children of a similar age.
Finally, it isn’t always about the best-presented home or the mum that has all the activities on hand. These things are great, but at the end of the day, spending time with people you like and having fun with your children is the stuff that memories are made of. Relax and enjoy it.