Play dates are something that parents and carers are very passionate about. Some people are of the opinion that toddlers should have play dates, and others are of the opinion that children should not need play time with other young children until they are ready to start preschool.
While it is true that play dates are not detrimental to toddlers, they are not indispensable. Everything a play date is—or should be—is fun. But play dates don’t just involve the children. Parents and caregivers can also have fun. You are either hosting or attending a toddler play date, and you can play your part in ensuring that the date goes well.
When children are around three years old, they play most of their time with each other. They play with each other, with little interaction. At first glance it may seem that toddlers do not want to play with other children, but most toddlers love socializing with other children. They just do things differently.
When children of any age go out to play, they are able to take something out of their play dates. Even babies who like to see new faces and touch new toys can benefit from play dates.
- Make a fashion show that you can show off with scarfs and silks, and dress up costumes for children. By pretending, you can help your 3-6 year olds to be creative!
- Games for children and young adults are great ice-breakers.
- You may play shadow theater with your 3 year old children, or teach them how to create shadows on the walls using their fingers. This activity is a perfect way to improve your motor planning and overcome the fear of darkness that toddlers have.
- Make pottery with air-dry clay. This is the best option for small children, because they can leave their crafts to harden for a few hours, without baking.
- Set up a play area for the children, and set up blocks for them to build a tower. Help them to build more complex structures, or allow them to have fun on their own. Building things out of blocks is a fun way for toddlers and preschoolers alike to learn cooperation, teamwork, and problem-solving skills.
- Sensory materials such as kinetic sand or jello are so fascinating to 3 year olds. You can also add some construction vehicles and create a very small and epic construction site, so you can dig the ground and make roads for your cars and trucks, and make them float with real jello.
- Grocery stores and play kitchens are the most popular props to engage children when they play pretend. These two toys are very familiar, so much so that you can play for hours without ever needing you.
- Then, use boxes to build things from. You can make a car, boat, igloo, or fort. Build houses from small animals to dolls. Or you can build rocket ships and airplanes. Be adventurous and make your own train or build rockets that blast off into space.