Play-date Ideas For Apartment Living
Living in such close quarters with two young and rambunctious boys proves to be challenging at times. We want to be respectful of our neighbors, but also want our boys to be able to be children. It’s yet another one of those compromises requiring a balance in our lives- a little give and take.
I have to be honest. My favorite types of play-dates are the ones involving the kids playing somewhere while the other mom and I sit quietly chatting over a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, this isn’t always realistic as these youngsters tend to get louder and louder the less entertained they are kept. Those visits will have to be saved for mornings at a play-place.
When hosting my first play-date at our apartment I was very nervous how it would play out. The last thing I wanted was four 4-year-olds running a muck throughout our complex, disturbing any peace to be found. So I got busy planning.
The idea of an itinerary for a play-date made me a little nauseous. I’m not a huge fan of structure and don’t want my children to feel constantly tied to a schedule. But for these purposes I felt it was necessary to at least have some activities planned ahead of time.
Here is what we did for our St. Paddy’s Day play-date:
THEME: Since it is March, I decided to incorporate St. Paddy’s Day into our gathering. It’s always fun to celebrate and the boys were excited to have a reason to be getting together (not that we should need one). Setting a theme made planning fun and easy to come up with ideas.
PROJECT: I had been collecting toilet paper tubes and was able to use them for an art project. I headed to the dollar store and bought scissors, pencils and paint brushes for all the kids whom were coming over. I think I spent a total of $15- a very small amount. We painted the toilet-paper tubes green and cut out green shamrocks. Next, we glued the shamrocks onto the toilet paper tubes to turn them into an Irish pup. Their scissors, pencils and paintbrushes fit inside and it was a pencil holder they could take home with all their accessories. It was MESSY and FUN!
SNACK: It is always fun for the kids to have a snack they can assemble. Whether it’s cookies to decorate or ants on a log (celery topped with peanut butter and raisins), there are many popular children snacks they can create and eat.
PLAY: We have been fortunate enough to have awesome weather here in the Midwest this March. So we headed outside for a nice walk. Of course we incorporated some games into our adventures – Red Light, Green Light (stop and go) and Follow The Leader were our favorites that day!
The boys love to have their friends over to play. It’s fun to watch them interact with each other, showing off their toys, their room and attempting to share it all. I almost let my fear of disturbing others stop me from planning this for my children. I’m so glad I didn’t! It went very well.
What are some play-date ideas that you love?