Does your daughter love to have playdates? Is she already planning the next friend playdate before the one she’s having is even over? Yes and Yes. This describes my 7 year old daughter – our pint-sized social butterfly who just cannot get enough of being with her friends.
I’m totally cool with my kids having their friends over. It helps me to get to know all these little personalities I hear so much chitter chatter about at the dinner table. Plus, it’s always interesting to see how my child interacts socially.
If I could be a stealth fly on the wall when they are at school so I could scope out the social happenings on the playground, I’d be all over it! But since I don’t want to be known as the Crazy Mom, I invite the insanity over to my home instead.
Here are some keep-busy ideas and home playdate activities when the phrase ‘Can I have a playdate?’ is uttered…
home playdate activities for girls
On one particular playdate, my daughter and her little friend literally spent about 98% of their time walking from room to room looking for things to do and uttering the dreaded phrase, ‘We’re bored’. Say what? You have a house full of toys, games, books, crafts, a grassy yard, two little brothers to pester and you have nothing to do?! When they finally settled on an activity, the little girl’s mother was at our door ready to take her home. Playdate was over with nothing much accomplished other than wearing a tread in my wood floors!
So here are some ideas and home playdate activities I have found to be successful for girls age 6-8:
Obviously, letting kids figure out how to play and what to play is best. All 1950s style here with no pre-scheduled, Parks and Recs type activities. Let the kids figure it out.
BUT, my daughter is a planner. (The apple didn’t fall far from that tree, did it?) On her most recent playdate, she literally made a To Do list that she and her friend eagerly checked off with each accomplished item. Pretty cute…the scary similarities to yours truly aside!
DIY Spa Products
I usually set aside a few gifts from the last birthday to pull out at a save-my-sanity moment. A playdate falls into that category, right? So I hauled out a make-your-own beauty products kit. Overlooking the glitter all over the counter (I mean, can you really have body gel without glitter?), the girls had a ball and created and concocted for the longest time. They each walked away with DIY lip balm, glittery body gel and funky-looking bath bombs. Girls + science + playdate = successful two hours of caring for someone else’s child.
Thank goodness our kids are growing up in a time when almost any given store has rows and rows of all sorts of crafty kits. From Perler Beads to AquaBeads to Shoelace Bracelet Bead Sets, most little girls like nothing more than making their own accessories. Perler Beads are classic but my favorite are the AquaBeads because, you know, I don’t have to pull out my iron!
Arts and Crafts
There’s nothing like plunking down a stack of paper, colored pencils, pom poms, googly eyes and some glue sticks in front of the kids and then walking away. Enough said.
Thank goodness these sets are made for little fingers. Because little hands need to made these miniature-sized jewelry charms. Looking through the idea book alone can eat up about 20 minutes of heads together, giggly chattering of what to create. Your only involvement is to slap these clay creations onto a piece of tin foil and return when the oven timer dings.
I’m trying to peak my daughter’s interest in sewing. She thinks she’s ready for my Smokin’ Singer but mama’s not ready to hand over the foot pedal quite yet! However, she can still get her sewing fix with a learn-to-sew kit. Isn’t it great when the kids get to an age where they can read basic instructions? Help them thread the plastic needle and let them get wrapped up in felt, stuffing and colorful embroidery threads.
So, don’t dread the home playdate. If free play is causing the playdate-overseeing mama to become frazzled, pull out a ready-made kit and let the girls dazzle!