When I had young children (28+ years ago) there wasn't any such thing as a play date. Mom's just got together and brought their children along and let them play while they chatted away. Things have certainly changed!! This is a new era and you need to be prepared to consider many things.
Play dates are a great way for your children to practice their social skills. Early childhood friendships will add a new demension to your child's life.
These friendships help children develop their vocabulary, learn new skills such as sharing and cooperation.This will be carried forth into their school years and beyond.
Don't rush them along. Make such your child is old enough to socialize. Join a play group. Go to the playground so your child will be around other children.This is very healthy if your child is around adults most of the time.
After you get to know the moms better, invite them to go to a story telling at your local library or an event where other children might be such as festivals, Town Parties or religious gatherings.
Make sure that you can trust the person completely when you meet them. Begin meeting in public places. I still believe in safety and I do not want to offend anyone, but I hear and read far too much. So I am cautious.
Find a Mommy 'n Me Class. Some ideas are kindermusik (www.kindermusik.com), Music Together (www.musictogether.com), Gymboree (www.gymboreeclasses.com/b2c/customer/home.jsp) and The Little Gym (www.thelittlegym.com).
You might also see if community centers or the YMCA in your area offers classes.
Now a neat way to organize all of your dates...I happened to be watching The View and Tori Spelling was on.
This is part from her Play Date Planner.
"As the mother to a one-year-old son, Liam, and a newborn daughter,
Stella, I know how important playtime is to their social development,
especially as Liam gets older. Creating opportunities for kids to get
together with friends allows them to do what they do best…play! In
a world jam-packed with lessons and appointments, play dates can
be one of the simplest, most enjoyable pleasures in life for young
children. And, organizing a play date is a great way for parents to
connect and make friends!
Hosting a play date for your children and their friends can be fun…
and easy! That’s why I’m partnering with the folks at Mott’s to share
my own personal tips for hosting fun, safe and enjoyable play dates
for your little ones. So from my home to yours, I hope you find these
On behalf of myself and Mott’s for Tots, happy play date planning!"
You can download her planner on: http://www.motts.com/