This morning I had one of the MOST FUN play dates ever! Seeing as the holidays are not busy at all and I have NOTHING else I should be doing with my time (are you hearing the sarcasm?), I decided this week was a PERFECT time to organize a community wide play date for our littles! The idea came to me last Tuesday, I shot out a few text messages, and VOILA! Super fun Christmas Pajama play date!
I wanted to have SOME structure to the morning to avoid chaos or boredom, so I came up with a simple schedule. We broke the morning into 4 parts:
For the first 45 minutes, the kiddos had a “free play.” A sweet friend brought one of those cute felt trees that are all the rage on Pinterest right now, I put together some sensory bins from materials we mostly had on hand, & we pulled out all of our Christmas board books.
The sensory bins, by the way, were a HIT. Who would have thought cotton balls could be so entertaining?
I was also intentional about providing activities that would be entertaining to a variety of ages. We invited preschool and under, so I chose activities that were flexible.
I knew our friends would just trickle in during this time (9am is EARLY, friends!) so it was the perfect time for the kiddos to just play and burn some energy.
Throughout this first 45 minutes, we had fun & energetic Christmas music playing! We also used this time to make sure all of the kiddos got name tags so we could learn our new friends names easier!
At 9:45, we rounded the kids up for a snack and story. I chose a healthy, yet festive option of red and green fruits as well as a sweeter, less healthy option of our Christmas Crunch.
During story time, I prepped for crafts. I had all of the tables prepared and off to the side so that all I had to do was pull out craft goodies. After snack, the kiddos were free to play again, or participate in as many crafts as they’d like! Again, I tried to chose crafts that would be versatile for the age group.
Other than fun & versatile, my other goal was to have crafts that were as hands off as possible for mommies. Lots of crafts are incredibly cute but require 100% attention by mommies (hand print paint crafts, for example). I did not want moms to be responsible for painting hands, printing hands, washing hands, and then turning said hand into a reindeer/Santa/Mona Lisa. Nothing against those crafts (they’re on my wish list!) but this time was intended for mommies to socialize too! So! With these, moms were encouraged to be close by and guide their littles, but would allow for freedom for both mommies and littles. :)
For the last 30 minutes of our play date, we had lunch & movie! We chose a 30 minute short film. This worked out great because the kiddos were ready to rest and I needed time to clean up! Plus, with this timeline, all of the kids were home in time for nap (a non-negotiable in our world).
This whole event was so much fun! I hope that I get to do more! What about you? Do you host themed play dates? I’d love to hear! Comment below or contact me through Facebook!