How to host a playdate for other toddlers and their mums

When gathering your friends and their little ones for a playdate, it pays to keep in mind that your get-together is as much about the grown ups as it is about the kids.

Here’s your foolproof guide to hosting a playdate that leaves everyone with a smile on their dial.

1

Give plenty of notice when setting a date

Kids, work, husbands, hobbies, daycare, errands, housework, school… the diary of a modern mum is often cluttered weeks in advance. So, give your girlfriends a few weeks notice of your playdate intentions to ensure they can slot it into their schedule.

2

Think about nap times

Toddlers are usually still topping up their sleep requirements with one nap per day, so it’s probably not ideal to schedule your catch-up for midday when the little ones are more likely to be fussy and tired. Opt for a morning or afternoon tea timeslot instead.

3

Stock up on appropriate toys

You want at least a little bit of kid-free time to be able to chat with your friends without being continually interrupted! Consider which toys would be best to keep them occupied: Crayons and colouring books are a good idea as there are plenty to go around and the kids won’t clash over sharing (or the lack thereof!).

Entertain your little ones with homemade playdough >>

4

Consider older kids

Little Ava might be your first child, but it’s likely that some of your friends will have older kids, too. Think about what toys and activities you might be able to offer to entertain them, whether it’s colouring books, video games or a DVD.

5

Provide some snacks

If you’re having a mid-morning or mid-afternoon get together, make sure you offer some snacks that are appropriate for adults and kids alike. Serve tea and coffee and keep food options simple. Fruit is always a great idea, such as sliced watermelon, grapes and strawberries, alongside treats like biscuits, cookies and mini muffins. There’s no need to bake goodies from scratch, although your guests will surely appreciate a batch of warm, homemade cookies.

Impress your playdate guests with fresh baked Anzac cookies >>

6

Keep it short and sweet

Kids tire easily, and let’s face it, so do their mums. Be sure to top up everyone’s beverages throughout the playdate, but when you’re ready to wrap things up — around 90 minutes is a good length of time — give the subtle hint by clearing away plates and cups and stacking the dishwasher. When your little ones are having fun, they may not want to leave, so give the kids a 10-minute warning to prepare in advance.

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