Play Dates and Socializing
Play dates can be a great social activity for you and your toddler to interact with other families. On the other hand, they can be a complete disaster -- kids screaming and fighting, flustered parents, something gets broken, and you vow never to host a play date again!
It can be a great experience for your children to interact with others. Moms get to make new friends, exchange some parenting tips and recipes. And the kids get a few lessons in sharing, treating each other kindly, and taking turns. Overall, play dates can be great experiences -- just don't overschedule them. You want the outing to be something you look forward to, not dread going to!
1. Activities. If you are hosting a play date at your house, it's a good idea to come up with one or two fun kid activities to keep things organized; otherwise, you may be in for a free-for-all. Coloring activities, story time, and simple age-appropriate games are always crowd pleasers.
2. House rules. Be certain to observe your host's house rules, as it is not always easy to have a large group of toddlers running around your home. Do your part to help keep order. You would want the group to do the same for you at your home.
3. Keep it simple. It is easy to over-invite for play dates -- you don't want to exclude anyone -- but save the full-blown chaos for birthday parties! You don't want a three-ring-circus at your home. Try alternating guests so that the children actually get to interact with smaller groups and get to know each other better.