Long summer holidays call for some desperate measures from parents to keep their kids purposefully engaged. Being a single child in a nuclear family and staying in a small housing society, it doesn’t leave much scope for my daughter to make many friends in the housing complex.
As a mother, it broke my heart to see her depending on one or two kids in the building to keep her company. I soon realized, I was not alone; there were several mothers who were experiencing the same. And thus, it gave me the idea of forming a playgroup of mommies (of my daughter’s schoolfriends), who wanted their kids to mingle with a larger group of children. We have some awesome summer playdate ideas that we organize at various venues. And the best thing of all, it hardly costs much.
Here are a few creative summer playdate ideas that might just work for you too!
Scavenger Hunt: Kids as young as 3 years can participate in a scavenger hunt, with your help, of course. Go to a beach or a park, or even your building premises will do. List down the activities or things to do or spot and enlist the help of your child. Kids enjoy this hunt as they feel a sense of self-importance when they are able to spot a yellow colour flower or a round shaped object. It’s also a great learning exercise for them as they are exposed to the elements of the nature.
Similarly, you can have a treasure hunt too, however, it will involve kids older than 5 years. If you are unsure how to organize a hunt, there are many who organize it professionally at nominal rates.
Drawing and craft session: You can also keep a craft session. Just choose a couple of simple craft items like making sleepers or tiara from a chart paper, butterfly from a paper dish, clouds and raindrops from egg carton, etc.
Yoga session: It’s never too early to introduce kids to any exercise form – Let’s say Yoga. As such, most schools teach Yoga at the pre-primary level. Find in the group a mother who can volunteer to take a kid-friendly Yoga session, she doesn’t have to be a pro, just willing to teach. Go to a nearby park with a mat and a water bottle, and see the young kids bending and stretching enthusiastically.
Movie date: Summertime will see quite a few good children movies releasing. Take your kids on a movie date with popcorn and fries. A word of advice though, speaking from personal experience – kids upto 5 years are not comfortable wearing 3D glasses, so better opt for a 2D movie.
Pot luck: One of my personal favourites. Take your party to a beach or a park where kids can enjoy uninterrupted free playtime. Each mommy will get one snack from home, prepared at home or bought. The only thing to remember is that the snack should be dry and non-messy. You can even order a caterer for packed boxes. The idea of an old fashioned picnic sitting on an old sheet and sharing meals sounds more fun. What say!
Kids are happy, and the pockets are smiling too!