Sometimes it can be tough for little kids to make friends. After all it’s a whole new set of social skills that they have to master and after just being around their parents and other family the difference of how they act with another child can be quite startling to them. Well today I want to share a few little tips for you to help you organize play dates for your child to help them make a new friend.
Make It An Small Play Date
What I mean here is do not invite a whole bunch of kids around to the house. Instead just invite one or two kids. I actually would recommend just the one child as two can sometimes lead to one being left out of the fun. Also try and organize it with a child who your child is somewhat familiar with even if it’s just the know them from preschool.
Make It A Short Play Date
When I say short I am talking about two hours max. You may think that this is a very short time especially when probably at least the first half an hour is going to be them being awkward with each other. But the reason for keeping a play date short is that it leaves the kids wanting to see each other again. If you have a play date that say lasts for 5 hours then chances are squabbles are going to start and your child will be reluctant to have another play date. As the friendship builds you can then extend the time of the play date.
Have A Plan Of What The Kids Can Do
Do not just ask a parent to bring their kid around and then you two have a cup of coffee and you just leave the kids to their own devices. Instead have an idea of what they can do. Set up maybe a drawing station, get some toys out, stuff to build a fort or just anything really so that the kids do not have to come up with ways to entertain themselves. Make sure there is plenty of reasons for the kids to have to interact with each other.
You Can Play Too!
While it can be tempting to see a play date as a time for parents to interact as well (which it can be) in the early days of helping your child make a friend, it is best if you and the other parent get in there and play as well. This can ease the kids into playing with each other and get rid of some of that shyness kids have. Eventually (probably within ten minutes) the kids will not want you guys playing with them anyway! But early on you should and probably will have to instigate how they play. Eventually the kids will just run off and play together without giving you a second thought.
Try To Make A Playdate A Regular Thing
By regular thing I am thinking like once a week at least. You want the playdate to be something that your child and the other kid as well really looks forward to. It’s really sweet to see them get excited at the thought of their little friend coming over to play. Keeping the playdate regular lets them build a familiarity with each other which will hopefully blossom into a good friendship.
You also might find interesting this related article: So It’s Time For Your Child To Go To School.