Play dates can help children learn to socialize, share, and just have fun with other kids their age. Interacting with other children can help improve his/her overall development and stimulate his/her imagination. Play dates may help boost your child’s social skills and much more. They also provide an opportunity for moms to network with others. If you are searching for fun ideas for your child’s next indoor play date, here are 10 ideas to consider.
Musical Fun Play Date
This one is kind of silly, but the kids will really enjoy it. Gather up as many musical toys that you might have, then add in homemade instruments such as a pan with a spoon, sealed cup filled with rice, a bell, etc. If you want you can play background music, then have all children make their own music. It’s something different that they’ll enjoy. It probably won’t last long though, so be sure to have lots of toys for them to play with afterwards.
Play-Doh Play Date
This activity is perfect for children ages 2 and above. The downside is you might have a little mess to clean up, but it’s amusing and will be time well spent. You can purchase some play-doh of different colors and let their imaginations go wild. To add some fun, buy a play-doh kit where they can squeeze, shape, and build it. You might add in some cookie cutters and other objects to help enhance their creativity. Another idea is to make edible play dough, which would provide a fun twist. Some recipes to try are jello playdough, peanut butter playdough, frosting playdough, kool-aid playdough, and chocolate scented playdough.
Painting Play Date
This one might create a mess too, but it’s fun! Most children love to paint and express themselves. You can purchase some inexpensive watercolor paints and paper. Be sure the children are wearing old clothes, cover the table with newspaper, and let their creativity run. If you want it to be really different, you might try using scratch ‘n sniff watercolor paints. (It’s a great sensory activity!) You can also make homemade fingerpaint.
Meet at a Fast Food Restaurant
This may not be the healthiest choice, but it’s still alot fun. Meet at a fast food restaurant such as McDonald’s that has an indoor play area. You could just get drinks, or ice cream, or meet for lunch. The kids will enjoy climbing in the play place and the moms will appreciate the time to visit with each other.
Visit a Children’s Museum
Most cities and larger towns have a children’s museum. Some have an indoor play area which can be very entertaining for little ones. This activity is kind of expensive, but it’s provides great educational play time. To see if there is one near you, search online or click on this directory here.
Go to Library Story Time
Another excellent play date activity is to go to library story time together. The kids will like hearing a story (well hopefully they will), and it’s a very easy and simple play date. You could also meet at a playground or park afterwards, or combine it with another activity.
Have an ABC Scavenger Hunt
This play date game is more for older children who can read, although it can be done with younger children as well if they have their parents help. Give each child a piece of paper, and encourage them to find something in the house that starts with each letter of the alphabet. For, example “A” could be for “art”, “B” could be for “blanket”, “C” could be for computer, etc. They will simply write down what they saw, or have a parent write it for them. It’s a fun learning activity.
Do a Craft Together
Another entertaining play date idea is to make crafts together. If you need ideas, search online (read this article for suggestions) or check out a craft book at the library. You might also just browse an Arts ‘n Crafts store for ideas.
Build an Indoor Fort
This is great for younger children especially. You can build an indoor fort using blankets, chairs and other furniture. Children will love playing in the temporary playhouse. You might even read a story in there with a flashlight if you want to.
Go to an Inflatable Jumper Zone
This one might be pricey, but it’s terrific exercise and tons of fun. Nearly all cities and larger towns have an indoor inflatable jumper zone where kids can bounce around on inflatable jumpers. Most have open play time, and the kids will enjoy playing together in something new. If there’s one in your area, you might give it a try.
These are just a few of the many possibilities available for fun play dates. If you are searching for ways for your little one to make friends, you might read “Tips for Finding Friends for Your Toddler or Pre-Schooler.”
Also, a sensory gym is a room for active sensory play which the children will find very entertaining.
Happy socializing and playing! Enjoy!