Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Playdate Tips


Aloha Sprinklerinos,

Having a little one around is a hoot and a half, but seeing your little one playing with other tiny people is even better.

Playdates are a great opportunity for social development, fun times and one Mama (in this case my gorgeous neighbour) having a rest. To ensure playdates run as smoothly as possible, here are some tips and tricks I try to adhere to. They might not float everyone's boat, but they work for me!






Photography

Since I like to snap everything that moves, I always check with parents if a) it's OK to have their children in pictures and b) if it's alright to put them anywhere (Facebook, Instagram etc). If they say no, respect their wishes and abide by them. Fortunately, my neighbour is a good egg!

Set Activities and Free Play

Before guests arrive, have a few games/ideas up your sleeve to encourage structured play. This provides ready made entertainment and a little bit of focus. Once they tire of that (and that really depends on age and character), leave them to their imaginations. Darcy and Becca spent more time playing in her bedroom with princesses and dolls than they did painting with me. Time just slips away when they're in play mode. It's lovely. 

Expect and Allow Mess

In my books, making a mess of your bedroom whilst playing is entirely fine. There's little point getting in their way and tidying up behind them so as long as the chaos in confined to one room, I'm gonna let them go for it. It might feel unnatural to let destruction rein but for the hour or so they are playing, I like to see children be free spirits. When Darcy is a little older, I'll expect her to clear up herself but for now, it's a pleasure to put it all away knowing she's had a good time. 

Offer Drinks and Toilets

But not at once, heh heh. Offering regular drinks is obvious but when you're little and you're caught up in the moment of play time, it's easy to forget you need a loo break. Just a bit of gentle asking here and there is worth it. 

Love Love Love

The way I look at it is this- if Darcy were at someone else's house, I'd want her to feel loved and cherished there. With this in mind, I like our miniature guests to feel looked after and wanted too. I'm not saying go wild and squish them to bits, but encouraging words and a few cuddles (if they don't mind!) don't go amiss.  


And that's about all we do. What are your top tips for smooth running play dates? I'm always open to learning more. 

Toodlepip!

xx

Contributor - Louise

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59 comments:

  1. Aww so cute I so want to meet Darcy hopefully at sitc ��

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  2. That's so lovely Louise! Can't wait until my daughter can have her friends over. Thank for your post. Lisa xx

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  3. Your last tip was absolutely heartwarming, Louise. I hope to be as welcoming and caring to my friend's children one day.
    Sending love from the US,
    Melissa

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  4. I don't have any tiny humans of my own, but when my nieces and nephews are around, I like to make sure there's lots of ROOM.

    I clear out any area, sprawl out some games & toys, and give the kiddies lots of room to jump, twirl, dance, etc.

    I also keep a large roll of white artist paper and offer hand and feet painting! Messy? Yes. The best time? Definitely.

    Between paint, bubbles and lots of space, the kiddos always leave happy as a clam, and super pooped (which is great for my sisters)

    Great post, L.
    xx

    sheandwild.blogspot.ca

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  5. Aww, what an adorable post. I always look forward to your posts, but whenever I see a Darcy-post, my excitement just goes through the roof :P

    Great post! x

    Laura
    http://likecubed.blogspot.co.uk/

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  6. You're perfectly right, I do the same (we have a 5 years old boy and a 3 years old girl). But my husband thinks they are destroying the apartment:D. You are right about children's photos, there are so many parents not sharing their kids photos, we always ask for their appoval.
    http://www.beautybellenotes.com/

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  7. These photos are beautiful Louise!
    I love seeing Baby Glitter grow up through your pictures, she is turning into a fine young lady!

    Lots of love,
    Charlotte
    x
    www.whatcharlottewore.blogspot.com

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  8. What gorgeous little children...Darcy is an absolute sweet heart!
    This makes me a little nostalgic, what fun those days were.

    xx

    http://izzbizzz.blogspot.com.au

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  9. Darcy has the BEST outfits. Seriously. That cat-print jumper, gurrrrlll.

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  10. That's just adorable. Darcy is always the best dressed toddler!

    Cloey
    The Student Blog x

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  11. I love this post! Just yesterday my little one had her Boyfriend over for a playdate and at first I was kind of lost as to what to do. I let them play and figure it out themselves for a while, then as toddlers aren't amazing at the whole sharing concept, we entered intro structured play with drawing and puzzles (each) and they had so much fun together. I love watching their little minds work and be creative!!!!! And yes, I sneak little cuddles in too!!! xx

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  12. I don't have children but this was just such a sweet post filled with fun photos!

    thegreatcatsby.blogspot.co.uk

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  13. Your a great mom, Louise! Darcy and Becca are adorable!

    CATHY // helllo, Cathy

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  14. Oh good lord! This is just the cutest!
    So precious xox

    child abuse survivor blog;
    thelittlestladyxo.blogspot.co.uk

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  15. Oh how sweet! Looks like they had a lovely time x

    Erin, beingerin.com

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  16. This is so cute, I still remember friends coming over to play when I was little... I remember when me and my friend were about 6 (she's still my best friend 12 years later) and we were in fits of giggles playing with dolls as this knew doll I got could wee haha

    http://laurenslittleblogs.blogspot.co.uk/

    xx

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  17. Your daughter is the most precious thing ever! :)

    http://thefashionbreezeblog.blogspot.com

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  18. These are some of my babysitting methods, so I'm glad to know I have the right idea!

    Madeline | Ring-a-Round a Rosey | Bloglovin’

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  19. Daaaawww Darcy is the most precious child ever :)

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  20. Hi! I have a very active son, so, as long as they don't burn the house, I'm happy :) It's amazing to see they can play football and chess and then, draw, all in the same afternoon.
    I like your blog a lot. Best regards from a reader from Barcelona,
    Marta

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  21. This is so cute! I love Darcys hair so much! She must get it from her mummy!
    Make sure to check out my blog!
    Majotron.blogspot.com

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  22. love!
    x
    daniella
    simplybeautifulelegant.blogspot.com

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  23. perfect
    http://sofikasthoughts.blogspot.gr/

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  24. These are lovely tips (especially the last one), I'm going to pass them on to my sister and my gorgeous little niece. I used to love having playdates when I was a littl'un - Polly Pocket featured heavily :)

    Emily x
    emilovely.com

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  25. More posts like this would be great!! I know we only get the bits and pieces of what you share with us, but you seem to be a fantastic mom who loves with abandon. I also like that there is a thoughtfulness and intention to your parenting - a lovely balance of doing what comes from the heart, and having a purpose in all you do. Love it Louise!

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  26. such a original post!! :) x
    http://my--socalledlife.blogspot.com.es/

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  27. Darcy is so cute! Love this post!

    Sophistoecho.blogspot.co.uk

    x

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  28. Awesome tips Louise! I don't have kiddos and haven't been around kids much so they make me uncomfortable sometimes (lol) but I've been wanting to "hang out" with my cousins kids to give them a break and your post has given me great ideas. Thanks!

    http://www.flummerbug.com/

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  29. They're both so cute, can't believe how big Darcy is now, bless her, I remember when Zoe did that video when you went into labour :))xox - Me|xAWalkInTheSunx

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  30. I think that allowing mess is so important. I pretty much let my niece and nephews do whatever they want because I can always clean up a mess. :)

    Christina
    http://kissesandflowers.blogspot.com/

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  31. aww this is really precious! Mine and my brother's best friend growing up was our cousin and my mum used to help us all get into fancy dress and we would have a themed picnic in the garden, a pirate picnic was the best one! She'd make 'pirate' style food… fish fingers, of course!
    xx

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  32. I agree with the expect mess part definitely! I'm a bit of a clean freak at times so it was hard to let go at first, but now my little one is a proper toddler I just let her get messy and she loves it, i'd rather have a messy house and a happy child than a tidy house and a toddler who is too scared to touch anything! :)

    Mothers Day Giveaway over on my blog if anyone is interested :)
    www.our-baby-blog.co.uk

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  33. Omg this is so cute!

    http://mividabonitaa.blogspot.nl/

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  34. i love darcy's hair.. she is honestly the cutest ever! <3

    check out my blog inpired by louise.. http://mynamesisrachel.blogspot.co.uk/

    thank you! xoxo

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  35. Aww looks like they had a lovely time! My tip would be to teach your little ones to clear up after themselves as early as possible; kids are much more capable than we think! Especially when it's treated as a game or rewarded. I agree with you that cuddles and love is a great welcome. Cute!

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  36. Looks like great fun was had!looking forward to doing this with my little girl Amelia Rose x

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  37. Awww they look so cute together!!
    http://cat3zoe.blogspot.co.uk/
    xxx

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  38. Sooo cute and these are good tips!

    Love, Tatjana
    http://sectionofstyle.blogspot.de

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  39. Such lovely tips here! and such cute photos :D

    www.violetdaffodils.blogspot.co.uk
    xx

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  40. Those are such good ideas! I wouldn't have thought to ask the other parent if it's ok to post pictures online, but I'm so glad you said that because I can't think of anyone who appreciates knowing that you are so thoughtful of every detail. I'm so glad you mentioned that or I would never think to ask! Thank you for such a sweet post of such sweet kiddos.

    Victoria
    ourwabisabi.blogspot.com

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  41. i LOVE the last point! it's so refreshing to see someone not shy away from showing affection and love to people outside their family unit
    amy
    amybedrock.blogspot.com

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  42. Looks so fun! Girls are always much neater with the arts and crafts then the boys! haha :)


    http://ncolesnotes.blogspot.com

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  43. I don't have a little one of my own quite yet, but I used to babysit ALL the time and these tips are right on point. Thanks so much for sharing ;)

    luibrandland.blogspot.com

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  44. very cute post louise! love your blog :)

    samanthalfrances.blogspot.com

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  45. good ideas, but I think calvin will be more of a guest for a moment.

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  46. What a wonderful mother you are-- seriously, this post just rings with compassion and care. Darcy (& her friends) are lucky to have you!

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  47. Darcy is actually old enough to start helping you to clearing up and putting back toys in their place after she plays! It's good to start early (:

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  48. Lovely post, very helpful tips and I LOVE Darcy's jumper...bit jealous in fact that it doesn't come in grown up sizes haha! xx

    http://rainydaycupcake93.blogspot.ie/

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  49. These are great tips...even if you are only baby-sitting! I really like that you organize them something to do but don't try to force them to keep doing it once there bored...I also see this as sort of a great ice breaker for the child that is coming over if they have never been to your house before :)
    emmasbeginning.blogspot.com

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  50. I'm studying child care just now and it makes me so happy to see a parent that has the child's needs at the centre and just care so much for their child. You are an incredible mother Louise :) Xx

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  51. Seeing these pictures was so inspiring! Baby Glitter makes me remember the perfect years of childhood, when the doll house would've been my favorite!

    www.le-jorunal-brule.blogspot.com

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  52. You're an incredible mother Louise!! Seeing these pictures make me miss my own childhood :')

    - Alexis | pinkcloudpurplesea.blogspot.ca/

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  53. I am so young and I don't plan on having kids anytime soon but reading your mama blogposts and videos is reassuring and makes me excited to one day have one of my own. These are all such great tips and its wonderful to know that when I do have a munchkin of my own I can always refer back to you and the other internet parents.

    p.s. Darcy is such a treasure <3 she's always so happy and beautiful, you and Matt are lucky to have such a lovely girl.

    -Florence,
    www.thehost1012.blogspot.com

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Sprinkleofglitter xxx

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