So thinking about hosting a play-date with some friends…
You better have some sort of plan on how to entertain and feed all these kids and adults. Recently, I put together a play date for my kid’s friends and their moms. Everyone was well entertained and had more than enough to eat and drink throughout the time spent at our home. And this is how I did it.
- Needless to say you need to send a text out to the moms and/or dads/caregivers (don’t want anyone one to feel left out on the fun), to see what time and date works best. I always look in advance for days that the kids are off from school – not snow days, off course, no one is going out! – Once I choose a date, I usually stick with a time that the kids have already eaten, and not coming to your house starving, otherwise all your food and snacks will be gone the minute they walk in the door. I find that 11am is a good time. This way mostly everyone has had their breakfast and is not necessarily hungry, but could grab a snack.
- Once you’ve chosen your date and time and everyone is RSVP’d, you’ll need to consider your menu items. I suggest you give yourself at least one week to prepare your menu and gather your menu items. This is also enough time to clean and organize your home before the chaos ensues!
- When preparing your home for guests that cannot and will not understand the simple rule of “clean up after yourself”, its best to put away any toys that have multiple parts that will cause you to pull your hair out and have a mental breakdown trying to put back together or tidy up after the animals, I mean kids, leave. This is something that I have to remind myself of when its too late and the playroom is a complete mess. SO KEEP IT SIMPLE! And put out the larger items for all to play with.
Here are some suggestions on games and activities to keep the kiddies occupied are:
- Balloons! Yes! Young or old, there’s something about balloons that gets kids all giddy.
- Puzzles, simple with not too many parts.
- Coloring stations (each child gets pages to color and shares the crayons/markers/color pencils with the group),
- iPad time, proceed with caution, as I have seen that the kids tend to want these the most. Put them on a timer, your oven timer will even work!
- Slime time, either make their own, or have them share and play with an already prepared batch. *Beware! If you decide to make slime pack lots of patience and wipes. Make sure you prepare your work surfaces and have a place to put the finished slime.
- Painting time, which can be an independent activity (make sure to prepare all work surfaces) or lead by a volunteer mom.
- Free Dance Game, adult needed to be the judge.
- Hot Potato, adult needed to be the judge.
- Musical Chairs, this can be fun if you have a big enough space, a small group of kids and have lots of spare chairs (who doesn’t have ten extra chairs buried in their closet somewhere?).
- Free Play! Let them decide who and what they play. *Reminder, depending on the age of the kids, be sure to check up on them, as they can get messy and run amuck in your home!
You know your crowd and age group, so you can gage which toys or activities works best for them.
Now that you have your activities figured out, let’s discuss what are some delicious and simple snacks for everyone. Be sure to check for any allergies with all parents before planning your menu. I’ve been to several play dates in my parenthood thus far and there are certainly lots of great options for you to choose from. I tend to stick to a theme, but variety is key! Think of what food items are in season and if you really want to impress you could even “Martha Stewart” it up and add some fun seasonal decor. Personally, I don’t care for too much fluff, but that depends on your personality and what you prefer. Also remember that everyone may like what YOU like, so ask around to see if anyone would like to bring anything to add to the smorgasbord.
Here are some menu ideas to make everyone, kids and adults happy:
- Frozen french toast sticks with pancake syrup for dipping.
- Munchkins for the donut shop in a variety of flavors.
- Pastries that you can grab from the local supermarket a day before and warm up before everyone arrives.
- Homemade egg, bacon and cheese breakfast sliders. This is not the time to worry about how many calories will be consumed! (see the recipe below)
- Chips and dip. (Think salsa and tortilla chips or a chili dip. (see the recipe below)
- Fruit platter
- Cheese and crackers platter
- Juice boxes (apple juice seems to be the hit around here or the pouch juices in a fruit punch will work)
- Lots and lots of coffee. I can’t stress this enough!
Super Simple Breakfast Sliders Recipe
- 10 eggs
- 1 pack of bacon
- 1 pack of sliced cheddar cheese
- 1 (12 pack) of sweet rolls
- 4 tbsp of butter (melted)
- Cook bacon crispy (let cool and crumble into bits), scramble eggs, add bacon into egg mixture, slice rolls and place tops aside, place finished bacon and eggs onto roll bottoms and top with cheddar slices, cover with roll tops and butter tops.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and serve!
Three Layer Chili Dip Recipe
- 8 oz. Canned Chili (with or without beans)
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 stick of cream cheese (softened)
- Warm chili in a skillet, add cream cheese in an even layer, then top with cheddar cheese and melt (*Add diced jalapeños for a spicy option)
- Serve with tortilla chips