A child’s development is very important, especially during their first 5 years. Unfortunately, many parents aren’t aware of all the smaller steps that can help with developmental milestones.
For example, playdates can be extremely beneficial, but arranging playdates can be very difficult because of scheduling. As a Navarre area preschool, we understand the value of social interaction in children.
Below, we have outlined how you can arrange playdates for your kids to get them interacting and having fun.
What is the Appropriate Age for a Playdate?
Before you arrange a playdate, consider age as a factor. Kids under the age of three do not engage in social play, but rather participate in parallel play. Meaning the children will play side by side but not necessarily interact together. By age three children begin to engage in associative play and will begin to look for other children. As you gear up for your child starting preschool or kindergarten it is important to introduce them to new friends who are on the same interactive level.
How to Arrange a Playdate
There are many ways to arrange playdates. For example, you could get in contact with a friend at your child’s child care center or you could also meet a nice family at the park in the Navarre area.
The most important step to having the perfect playdate is to ensure the other child is around the same age, they are not sick, and they have a similar playstyle as your child.
Different Play Styles
A playdate between children can be very beneficial, especially if you arrange a playdate with similar playing styles. However, if you don’t know what your child’s playstyle is, then consider whether they are willing to share toys and other physical items with other kids, and whether they are a leader when it comes to playtime.
These are only some factors when it comes to play styles, but it’s important that you take them into consideration when arranging a playdate. A child who doesn’t share their toys may not be a good fit with a child who does.
Other Factors to Consider When Planning Playdates
If you want to have perfect playdates, you should also consider snacks, location, and time. Children have a specific time during the day when they’re more willing to engage in play.
So, always ask the other parent what time works for them and see if it aligns with your child’s active time. Snacks and drinks should also be included to keep the children hydrated and energized during playtime.
With that said, make sure to check for any food allergies or diets if you’re sharing any snacks with other children. Lastly, the location of the playdate is very important.
Some kids only feel comfortable engaging in play in places they are familiar with. So, if possible, arrange a playdate at the park or your home in the Navarre area.
Things to Avoid When Planning Playdates
Now that you know the benefits of planning playdates, it’s also important that you know what not to do. For starters, don’t plan playdates during cold or allergy seasons. This may seem obvious, but many parents forget about this factor and their children get sick more often.
Lastly, avoid planning playdates that last longer than 3 hours. You should want the children to leave the playdate while they are still eager to spend time together rather than leaving bored, tired, or irritable. Playdates should be fun and encourage the child to want to spend time with their friends.
The Perfect Playdate in Navarre Starts with You
Playdates are extremely important for your child’s social and cognitive development. Follow these tips, and you can always have the perfect playdate for your child in Navarre.
If you think your child is ready for full-time playdates and child care, contact us today.