So you’ve finally set up a play date for your preschooler. Sure, kids will find their own shenanigans to get into, but it’s your job to guide them into a super fun, educational and bonding experience that will teach your child social skills, compassion, empathy and more. Here are a few great activities to keep those little ones entertained and exploring.
Unleash the toddlers! Take the new best friends for a day of outdoor activities in the park or even in your own backyard. Their young minds are curious how the world works, so sit back and let them discover it themselves! Rather than teaching them what a ladybug is, let them talk (or babble) it out to their new friend. Asking questions to each other is a great way to learn and it’s also the foundation of science. Forming their own questions and hypotheses about grass, trees, bugs and animals is a great way to make sure their inquisitive minds are moving in the right direction. Once they’ve fleshed out their own ideas, give them the correct answer.
Even people who say they don’t like to dance love to dance. They just don’t like to be seen dancing! Toddlers, on the other hand, aren’t afraid to look silly. Throw on some of your child’s favorite songs and let her and her play date break it down. Record it on video if the other parent isn’t in the room for a fun keepsake of their first interaction together. Plus, you can break out a few of your own moves without fear of judgment!
It’s time to play host on your very own game of Preschool Pictionary! Give the kids some scrap paper, Crayons, pencils and more, then announce the object you’d like them to draw. In this “game,” everyone wins, especially since kids get to harness their art, fine motor skills, abstract thinking ability and more. You get a new picture awesome enough to hang on the refrigerator. You can give “awards” to the best drawing in each round, but be sure to award the prizes equally. That way, the children learn to be gracious winners and losers.
Toddler taste test
During your play date, the kids will likely need to eat, so you might as well make eating fun! Line up a series of healthy snacks for a “toddler taste test,” rather than planning a full meal. Granola, grapes and cheese cubes all make healthy snacks for growing bodies, but once the kids taste one of the foods, ask them what they think. That way, you get a gauge on which healthy foods your kids are likely to eat again to help keep their bodies fueled and energy-packed.