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  • Writer's pictureKelly Priest

Let's Play! A Playdate Tip Sheet

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

This has been a hit with the families in my practice. One group of parents told me that they laminated it and used dry-erase markers with it on a regular basis! In this case, their kids quickly got the hang of it and started using it on their own for a while, then they didn’t need it anymore.


  • Friendly welcome. Let them know you plan to be friendly and have fun.  (Doesn’t have to be words.)

  • Show around your house if first time.

  • Offer two ideas for fun things to do. (See starter ideas on back.)

  • Try a little flexible thinking on activities. (Take turns, mix ideas, try a little?)

  • If there are any problems, maybe ask yourself ,"What’s the size of the problem?" before you react.

  • Stay nearby. (Beware of “drift”!)

  • BUT: If you need a break…     1. Make sure your friend has something to     2. Give your friend a heads-up: I’ll be right back!

What’s your “back pocket plan” in case the playdate isn’t working?



  • Briefly remind about expected behavior before the playdate.

  • Give kids time to figure out expected behavior.

  • Give a tip or reminder in private.

  • Only 1 or 2 reminders, no repeating.

  • Be prepared to make some good snacks or help get materials out.

  • Practice flexible thinking about small messes.

  • Keep it short.



OUTSIDE:   Trampoline - Play Structure/Tree -  Chickens Pool - Tennis/Hoops. - Climbing Trees - Hopscotch - Jump Ropes - Chase/Tag - Sidewalk Chalk - Skateboards/ Bikes/ Rollerblades/ Scooters/ Pogo

GAMES:  Othello - Life - Chess - Trouble - Mancala - Apples to Apples - Charades

MORE GAMES:  Pretend - Sly Fox - Hide & Seek - Sardines - Chase

ARTS & CRAFTS:   Clay - Sculpey - Drawing - Painting - Making Cards - Bracelets - Write a Play - Dance Party

FOOD:   Making Snacks - Baking - Cooking - Lemonade

DON’T FORGET ABOUT:   Boxes/Forts - Potions - Dress-up - Spy - Pretend - Reading Together

BACK POCKET PLANS:   Dance Central - Sprinkler/Pool - Walk Dog - Change of Scenery - Snacks

OTHER IDEAS: _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________

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