A Dozen Creative Playdate Ideas
Written by Mindy White
Photography by Photo by Koji Iyama
Playdates between toddlers and kids can be a substantial learning experience, not to mention a whole lot of fun! Playing promotes imagination, friendships, and physical exercise, while also helping to form much-needed social skills. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to make “mom friends,” while your little one makes some friends of his or her own. Below, we’ve gathered a list of creative activities for your next playdate that we’re certain any kid will enjoy!
Superhero Playdate. Let your kids unveil their inner superhero with this action-packed playdate. You can collect a bunch of superhero gear (leftover from Halloween) from other moms, or make your own with this Martha Stewart tutorial. Serve super-strength-boosting snacks like energy sticks (string-cheese) and squeezable yogurt. Plan some adventurous games around the yard that allow the kiddies to save the world from injustice.
Painting Party. What kid doesn’t like to color and play with paint? Grab a bunch of old t-shirts to use as smocks, oversized canvases, brushes, and washable paints and set up a painting station outside. Best of all, the artists get to keep their creations to display at home!
Carwash. Water activities are a great idea for a warm, sunny day. Why not let the kids throw a fun car wash? Grab a bunch of your kid’s toy cars and trucks, kid-safe soap, sponges, buckets, and towels for drying. Dress the kids in their favorite swimsuit with sunscreen and tennis shoes and turn on the hose!
Cookie Decorating. Kids love cookies. Let them be the pastry chefs and get artistic on this sweet playdate. Start with basic sugar cookies (homemade or store bought) and let each child decorate their own batch by using colored icing, sprinkles, and small candies like M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces. Kick the fun up a notch by giving your little bakers a mini apron and chef hat to wear!
Pizza Playdate. Another fun idea that the kids will love is a make-your-own-pizza party! Roll out pint-sized pizza dough (store-bought or homemade) and set out a bunch of kid-friendly toppings like red sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and sliced veggies. Don’t forget dessert! Let the kids make a sweet pizza with toppings like cinnamon-sugar, marshmallows, chocolate, peanut butter, and jelly.
Build A City. If you’ve just moved, or happen to have a bunch of leftover boxes lying around, it’s the perfect time to put those babies to use! Have the kids build their own box city. Supply them with lots of tools—colored tape, construction paper, safe scissors, glue, stickers, crayons, and markers—to make boxes into buildings, roads, and houses of different shapes and sizes. Make a small city for dolls and toy cars if you have small boxes or if you have large boxes, create a child-sized neighborhood to play house and store.
Sidewalk Chalk. Get artsy with an outdoor sidewalk chalk party! Give the kids a rainbow of colors and a designated spot! They can take turns drawing masterpieces or playing hopscotch.
Kiddo Olympics. Set up an ultra-fun, super-safe obstacle course for the little friends. Have the kids put uniforms—think sweatbands and t-shirts with hand-drawn numbers on them. Make sure to have a faux gold metal made out of cardboard and ribbon, for each competitor, so that everyone can be a winner! For the course, use common household items like hoola hoops, rope, buckets, pool noodles, a ladder on the ground, and balancing plank.
Toddler Picnic. Get out the basket, blanket, and paper plates, and head out on the perfect picnic playdate! Pack a bunch of kid-friendly foods like yummy sandwiches cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters, crackers, cheeses, fruit, dips, and juice boxes. Bring along a few games and activities like flying kites, frisbee, football, and hoola hooping for after the feast!
Play-Doh Date. For a fun, inexpensive, easy-to-clean up activity, opt for a Play-Doh date! Save money and refrain from exposing the kids to chemicals by making your own homemade dough with this beautiful, all-natural recipe. Kids will have an absolute blast combining colors to make anything their minds can imagine! Afterwards, let each kid take their creation home to display or for continuous play.
Scavenger Hunt. Get out your pen and paper and create the perfect map for a kid-friendly scavenger hunt! Hide easy-to-find treasures like gold chocolate coins, play jewelry, toys, crowns, and stuffed animals around your house and backyard and set your guests off on the hunt!
Outdoor/Indoor Drive-In Movie. Invite your kiddo’s best buddies for a movie night (or day) they’ll never forget! Grab a bunch of boxes and have the kids make them into their own mini cars to relax in at the “drive-in.” Use paper plates for steering wheels and aluminum foil covered plates for wheels. Offer concessions like popcorn, gummy bears, Twizzlers, and sodas or juice. Show two movies or cartoons, with a brief intermission in between for potty breaks!
Edible Necklaces. Make it a craft-filled afternoon with this sweet and edible playdate. Give the kids a jewelry-making station for creating their very own necklace, bracelet, and ring. Hand out different sizes of yarn and supply your mini-designers with bowls of healthy cereal like Cascading Farm’s Fruitful O’s, Love Grown Foods Chocolate Power O’s, and Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oats. The kids will be excited to wear (and eat) their new jewels!
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