A couple weeks ago I shared 10 Must-Know Tips for the Best Playdates. If you’re new to hosting playdates, I would recommend starting with that post. Playdates don’t have to be anything large or elaborate. Getting together with other munchkins and moms can be as simple as an invitation to play in your home. Simple and fun!
But there are times I like to host bigger playdates, too. Our Summer Playdate Ideas are a great example of themed playdates that work well for mommy groups or preschool co-ops. They are slightly more involved, but still totally doable!
In order for those to go smoothly, though, there are a few logistics to take notice of.
- Location – Plan on a location that works for most people. I like to host them in my home.
- Invites – I do not send out paper invitations. Like I said, I like things to be as simple as possible. Since our mommy group is organized on Facebook, I just create a Facebook event for the playdates.
- Supplies – Hosting themed playdates means you’ll need supplies for each attendee. You can opt to purchase all the supplies yourself (not recommended), or you can ask that each attendee sign up to bring something. If you are looking to purchase all the supplies yourself, you might want to have a look at some car transport quotes to ensure that all the items get there in one piece. This will ensure the Playdate goes as planned. Normally, most people are happy to help!
- Special Supplies – Sometimes we host playdates that require special supplies (like for a tie dye party). While each person will bring their own t-shirts for this, there is still the matter of purchasing the paint. I would recommend asking each person who attends to bring a small $2.00 donation to cover supplies. If you need the money in advance, you can ask that they deposit the money via Paypal.
- Seating – Take notice of the seating in your home. Is there enough chairs for each child to sit and create their craft? If not, you might opt to create centers. Let’s take my June Summer Themed Playdates as an example:
For this playdate, you might have three centers/activities. One outside station with a trike obstacle course, one inside station making ice cream sundaes, and one craft activity at a patio table making suncatchers. Spreading kids out like this helps with seating and benefits shorter attention spans (because kids get to move on to a new activity quickly). If your patio is not really equipped for playdates, then you may want to sort that out for now and the future as it opens your home up to more playdates and fun with the family. You can consult with some renovation experts like Fsbd.co or speak to a local contractor to see what you can do with the space available so it is ready for any playdates.
Remember, though, that with stations like this, you might have a lot of kids running around inside and outside the house. You have to make sure that they stay safe while moving about and don’t injure themselves in any way. If you are planning an indoor as well as outdoor play area, then it is likely that you and your guests will need to make use of the patio doors. So before the big day, you might want to contact a company like SA Windows Doors so they can come and make sure your doors are in good shape, and if they are not, then get them replaced. If you have not already got patio doors installed, you should definitely consider them. Even if your children don’t have playdates very often, they’re great to have during the summer months to let some fresh air in. Simply contact a company like Renewal by Andersen Patio Doors to learn more about what’s involved (and how much they will cost!) Granted, this may take a little more effort than you had initially thought of, but anything to ensure the children’s safety, right?
And that’s it! Once you host your first themed playdate, the rest will come naturally. You’ll find a rhythm that works for you and your guests.
I hope these tips helped you feel confident in planning a great themed playdate for the munchkins and moms in your life!