If there is one thing I have always enjoyed, it is entertaining and hosting parties. Since Lily’s arrival a little over three years ago, I have moved from hosting fancier cocktail dinners to hosting a BBQ or play date for a brood of toddlers.
SET A TIME LIMIT.
You’ve all had those people that drop in and occasionally overstay their welcome, not taking the numerous hints you’ve thrown out. It is important to set expectations and times, especially if younger children are involved. Lily has always preferred an earlier bedtime so I make sure the 3-6 or 4-7 timeline that works for us is clear.
HIDE YOUR CHILD’S FAVORITE TOYS.
This sounds wrong, but it really isn’t. The likelihood of a favorite lovey or toy getting broken or lost increases tenfold with each additional toddler you have roaming around your house. I put away my daughter’s little pet shop kit since it has tons of tiny little pieces that other children might not cherish quite as she does.
STOCK UP ON SNACKS.
Some parents like to bring their own. Others arrive and ask if they could borrow a diaper (or two). Simply be prepared with child-friendly snacks. Otherwise, make it clear to the attendee that you are not providing snacks. Keep food simple and child-friendly and offer healthier options like sliced apples and water or milk instead of juice.
KEEP SICK CHILDREN AWAY.
Whether you are hosting or attending, plan accordingly if your child should happen to catch the latest cold. Reschedule or cancel rather than attend and spread the germs around.
What are your tips for a successful play date? Do you set a theme or do you let kids free-roam?