Every parent has been there. A group of friends get together and begin talking about setting up a play date with their children. Everyone agrees it will be a fantastic idea, but when the question of who will host the play date is mentioned, the room goes completely silent.

What do many parents find so scary about a play date in their own home? Most hate the thought of having to ensure their home is as presentable as possible for the arrival of friends and other children, only to have their hard work destroyed within the first five minutes of play.

Others worry certain parents may stay too long, getting in the way of other plans the host parents had for the day. And still others are afraid the other parents won’t enjoy themselves and will find the play date boring.

Hosting a play date can be stressful, but there’s really nothing to be scared of. With these few secrets, you can become a pro at hosting these fun events in your home.

Hosting a Fantastic Play Date

Play dates are fantastic for children. They allow them to socialize, make new friends, and explore new way to play with others. However, they aren’t just for the kids; parents enjoy them too. They give adults the chance to have a little ‘grown-up’ time.

When planning your first play date, make sure it’s a successful one for both the children and the parents by following these tips.

  • Time – In order to avoid the awkwardness of one parent overstaying their welcome, make sure to set a specific start and end time for each play date. Keep the fun to two hours or less as well.
  • Limit the Number – Don’t want to see your house destroyed and truly want to enjoy time with other moms and dads? Limit the number of children and parents you invite. The event will be more low-key with smaller numbers and will be much more enjoyable.
  • Bring a Toy – Always ask your guests to bring one toy from home to play with. This will not only encourage sharing among the children, but will ensure every child has at least one age-appropriate toy to play with. This is especially important if the children you are inviting are younger or older than your child.
  • Curb the Cleaning – You’ll need to clean your house before opening it up to guests, but you don’t have to clean every inch of it. Straighten up the play area, bathroom, living room, and kitchen. Then shut the doors to the rest of the rooms in the home and forget about them. Unless the guests are extremely rude, they aren’t going to go snooping.
  • Snacks and Meals – For the parents, the fun part about play dates is the ability to sit and chat with other parents. If you’re spending all of your time cooking in the kitchen, you won’t be having fun, and neither will your guests. Instead, hire an Ottawa catering company, like Kettleman’s Bagel Co., to do the work for you. With this Ottawa catering company, you can keep the snacks and meals simple by offering veggie trays, meat trays, salads, delicious deli sandwiches, or bagels smothered in cream cheese. The healthy finger food will be a hit with both the parents and the kids, and using a catering service will allow you to enjoy more face time with your friends.

Thinking of hosting a play date? While the idea is intimidating for some parents, it doesn’t have to be. Use these tips and the help of Kettleman’s Bagel Co. to make each one of these events successful and fun for the children and parents.