If you have a toddler then you have probably learned by now how great play dates can be. They allow your child to learn how to socialize and interact with other children, and they give you some time to actually have conversations with other adults. However, the typical play date of letting the kids play with toys on the living room floor while the parents sit around and talk can get stale fast. Here are some great ideas for play dates that will keep you and your toddler happy.
Go to the Park
Chances are good that you have some kind of public park or playground in your community. Take advantage of it. The kids can run around and play and burn plenty of energy. When they need a break you just happen to be in the perfect location for a picnic. The park is also a great location for nature lessons. Encourage your child to examine nature and explore things like pine cones and rocks. Take all of the children that came for the play date on a nature walk around the park. Toddlers have inquisitive minds and this activity will be fun and educational. For creative ideas, you can also check some website about the best parks in your community.
Visit the Zoo or Aquarium
If you live near a zoo or aquarium then you know that this makes a wonderful day of fun and learning for toddlers. Chances are good that your zoo or aquarium is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Reciprocity Program. If you buy a membership to one of the member zoos or aquariums then you can visit thousands more of zoos and aquariums across the country for free or reduced admission. The membership cost is usually less then you would pay for your entire family to visit the zoo twice. When you join you will probably be given some guest passes so you can treat your play date friends to a day at the zoo for free.
Explore an Indoor Play Place
Try out places like Chuck-E-Cheese, Monkey Joe’s, My Gym, Gymboree, etc. These places aren’t somewhere you’d want to go for every play date, but they can be a lot of fun every so often. They allow the kids a change of pace and to have fun playing with things they normally wouldn’t be able to play with at home. The places like My Gym, Gymboree, and Little Gym are also good for a child’s physical, social, and cognitive development. Save these options for rainy days when you don’t have many exciting alternatives.
Make Crafts at Someone’s Home
Find easy, not-too messy, toddler crafts from here, and organize a play date. Get all of the materials together and have the children work together to create a finished product. Crafts will give children a chance to interact with each other, and parents to interact closer with their children. They will also help boost children’s creativity and fine motor skills.
Next time you’re at a loss for fun play date ideas try some of these options. Soon you and your child will both be eager for the next play date!