Let’s Play! A Playdate Tip Sheet

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 themselves for a while, then they didn’t need it anymore.



Friendly welcome. Let them know that you
have a plan to be nice to them and have fun.

Show around your house if first time.

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

Be flexible with activities. (Take turns,
mix ideas, try a little?)

If there are any problems, ask yourself
what’s the size of the problem before you react.

Stay nearby. (Beware of “drift”!)

If you need a break:

  • Make sure your friend has something to do
  • Give your friend a heads-up: I’ll be right back!
  • Maybe offer a reason: I just need to …
    go to the bathroom, ask mom or dad a question,
    get a snack for us

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

Go over expected behavior before the playdate.
Give kids time to figure out expected behavior.
Give tips or reminders 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      Chickens
Pool     Tennis/Hoops     Climbing Trees     Hopscotch
Jump Ropes     Chase/Tag     Sidewalk Chalk

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 Contest

FOOD:   Making Snacks    Baking    Cooking   Lemonade



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














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