A good play date has three F’s; good friends, good food, and good wholesome fun.
Play dates give me something to look forward to throughout the work week. They give my son something to look forward to as well. Play dates break up the monotony of the week.
Let’s be honest, mom is pretty awesome but playing with mom everyday can get pretty monotonous in and of itself. I try to keep it fresh by switching out the toys we play with and alternating which park we go to, but I just cannot compete with the newness of playing with other children. Nothing is as fun as playing swords with another kid. Nothing is as entertaining as chasing another child around the house.
A good play date for me is a time where I can rest and relax with another mother whose company I enjoy. A good play date allows my child to socialize and play nicely with other children. There is no bullying, no bad language, and no rude behavior I have to worry about my child picking up and repeating. In essence, the people I set up play dates with are people who have the same core family values as I have.
Children run around and burn off an incredible amount of energy. I am usually ready for a nap of my own after watching my toddler run around the park for an hour. In order to avoid a complete meltdown I usually pack a snack. If I know we will be meeting up with friends outside the home I usually pack enough snack for everyone. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food and drink for toddlers. More food ends up being just enough for everyone, and just enough food is never enough.
In order for a play date to have been a success my child needs to be utterly exhausted upon our return trip home. Brownie points are awarded if my kid passes out in the car seat on the way home. Truly exceptional play dates are ones in which my child lets me know that he is tired, falls asleep on the car ride home, and sleeps an hour or more after we get home.
I love a good play date.