Once your little one begins to get older, scheduling play dates with similar aged kids can be beneficial for them in all sorts of ways. Not only is it fun and helps to pass time, it also helps them to develop social skills such as sharing, communicating and other interaction abilities that they will need in society as they get older. They also give you some time to share the responsibility and have a good catch up with a friend!
Here's some fun play date ideas that we think you'll love.
This isn't for the faint hearted - be prepared for lots of mess! Make sure that you check that the other parent with this before you get started. If you can, lay down a large wipeable mat for your little one to get messy on, along with some large bits of paper and pots of child-friendly paint. Let them go wild and experiment with their fingers to create a beautiful (and very chaotic) painting. They will love the sensation of the paint in their fingers, and is sure to keep them entertained for a while.
Masking Tape Car Tracks
This one is only a good idea if you have wooden or laminate flooring. Get a roll of masking tape which will cost you £1-3 and use it to mark out car tracks, car parks and buildings on the floor. Masking tape is perfect for this as it doesn't leave any sticky marks behind, and as soon as your play date is over you can easily pull away the tape and throw it away - leaving your floor completely mark free and ready for a whole new track to be designed and laid out another day!
If you've ordered anything big recently, make sure you don't throw away that cardboard box it came in! Grab some pens, some scissors and some tape and you're sure to have hours of fun designing castles, dens, spaceships and all sorts of things with your little one, at literally no cost at all. No toys in the world can beat the fun kids have in cardboard boxes!
This is great for the summer, and can really encourage your little one to get outdoors and away from technology like iPads and the TV. If you have a garden with a little spot of soil, you can buy your little one and their friends some small gardening tools that are child friendly and let them have a dig around. You could even buy some small flowers or vegetables for them to plant, which they can be in charge of growing! If you want to make it even more fun, why not buy some small gemstones online and disperse them secretly in the soil before letting them dig - they will love discovering them! Let your little one's play date wash them and take some home too.
Slime is a new craze that is super messy but reasonably easy to make at home! All you need is a few household ingredients, and you and your kids will have hours of fun creating different coloured slimey concoctions. Here's a recipe!
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your little one and their friends and go and have some fun!