Did you know that August 3rd is national Play Day? On the first Wednesday of every August, playday.org.uk encourages little ones and their families to get out and enjoy some quality play time with friends and their local community – all to highlight just how important a role playing has in children’s everyday lives.
To celebrate this wonderful day, here are eight fab ideas you can use to create your very own perfect play date.
Play at a Play
Got any budding young performers in the house? Lots of children love to sing, dance and act so a really fun idea for a play date is to have your little one and their friends put on a play. You can take inspiration from a favourite book or film or simply let them come up with their own story, which they can then stage for the rest of the family. Bear in mind that not everyone loves to be the centre of attention; if you have any young guests who aren’t so keen on performing, make sure there are plenty of other ways they can get involved like making costumes, sets, props or writing a story. It’ll be a literal play date!
There’s nothing little imaginations love more than being fully immersed in a real-life adventure. Help them become the heroes of their very own story by creating an exciting and challenging treasure hunt for them around the home. Treasure trails work best the more varied and complicated they are so now is your chance to get creative; think clever clues, tricky puzzles and brain-teasing problems for the most entertaining results. Don’t forget to finish up with some treasure too!
Everyone loves a good boogie so throwing a mini disco is bound to go down well with little dancing feet. Pick a good playlist of child-friendly music and organise lots of healthy snacks and drinks (mocktails can be exciting for older children). Organise some fun dancefloor games and then let them dance the day away. After all, the best kind of baby is a groovy baby!
Arts and crafts are a guaranteed way to keep little ones quiet for a bit – if not very clean. There are millions of fun and exciting craft ideas out there online; choose painting, card-making, toy-making, costume design or set up a whole bunch of stations with an activity at each for a super-varied play date that will stop kids getting bored.
If there’s one thing that children love it’s making LOTS AND LOTS OF NOISE. If you think your nerves can bear it, a musical play date always goes down a storm. If you haven’t got lots of instruments in the house (who does?) you can always ask guests to bring one from home or nip round to the local toyshop to pick up cheap plastic versions. Alternatively, why not blend crafts and music and have the kids make their own?
If a sleepover play date is on the cards, a movie night is a great way to kick off the fun. Pick one or two of the best kids films you can find then create a comfy movie den out of sofa cushions, pillows and blankets. Add snacks and hot chocolate – et voila! A simple and oh-so-fun play date with minimal stress.
Cooking is a great skill for any kid to master and it’s even more fun if you’re cooking something tasty. From making mini pizzas to cooking up chocolate cornflake cakes, a cookery class is a great play date idea when your little one has just one or two friends coming over (any more than this can be a bit tricky to keep an eye on in the kitchen). Remember to keep your recipe age-appropriate; older children might enjoy a baking lesson but there are plenty of no cook recipes for kids that are more suitable for keeping younger chefs safe.
The Great Outdoors
Play dates don’t always have to happen inside. If the weather permits, get the kids out and about in the great outdoors. From sports day-style games in the local park to setting up a tent in the back garden, there’s no end of fun things to fill any play date when the sun in shining.