Playdates are great for kids, and they can be great for parents, too. Ideally, your child will get some exercise, burn off some energy with a friend, and even develop social and cognitive skills like sharing, teamwork, imagination, and problem-solving. Parents can use that time to enjoy having a conversation with another adult, or get some work done if the kids are old enough that they don’t require constant supervision. However, in practice, play dates can range from boring to stressful, and some parents even wonder if setting up playdates is worth it at all. If you’ve been burned by boring, stressful, messy, or just downright annoying playdates in the past, don’t give up! Check out these creative playdate ideas to level up your kid’s next get-together.
Creative Playdate Ideas
Head to the skating rink.
Are we biased? Well, sure. But that doesn’t mean that a roller skating playdate isn’t the cat’s pajamas. A playdate at the skating rink illustrates the first rule of a good (for everyone) playdate: Take it out of the house. You don’t have to worry about Other Kid’s Parent (OKP) judging your housekeeping skills, or about cleaning up after whatever mess your two kids create. (Why is it that two kids together can create a mess exponentially larger than they could generate individually?)
Planning a playdate at the skating rink means no cleanup, no awkward wishing the other parent would leave so you can do the dishes, and an overall much more fun experience for everyone. It’s extremely affordable, it’s fun, and you can roller skate rain or shine!
Roller skating is awesome exercise, and can help kids improve leg and core strength, balance, and cardiovascular fitness. In fact, you should rent some skates and join in the fun! Why not knock out a playdate and a workout all in one? Plus, if you find OKP annoying, you can focus on skating instead of making excruciating small talk from the sidelines.
Do something outside.
If you’re hosting a playdate at your house, keep the action outside to minimize the mess, if the weather allows. Teach your kids and their friends some of these games, and they’ll never be bored!
- Freeze tag
- Simon Says
- Mother, May I?
- Follow the Leader
- HORSE (for basketball or soccer)
- Bocce ball or horseshoes
Take a class.
Last, but not least, why not sign up for a class you can do with your kid? Picking a class allows you to choose something you’ll enjoy and share it with your child, but will also help both of you meet people with similar interests. For instance, find a parent/child yoga class, swim class, etc. We even have skating lessons at Chester Skateland that are open to all ages and skill levels!