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Some Playdate Guidelines for Fathers

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 19-01-2007

  • Let your children take the lead: At this age, kids are starting to plan the time they spend together at school — who they’ll eat lunch with, for instance, and who they’ll meet up with on the blacktop during recess. So it makes sense to allow your grade-schooler the same freedom when it comes to making playdates

  • Keep it small: Three really can be a crowd when it comes to playdates, says Sara Wilford, director of the Early Childhood Center at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Instead, try to limit playdates to one friend at a time. Otherwise it’s too easy for the third child to feel left out

  • Keep it short — at least at first: An hour is fine for a first visit, and two hours is plenty for after-school get-togethers, says Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, teacher Lisa Church, the author of Everyday Creative Play. Wait until the kids are seasoned pals before you attempt longer weekend visits or sleepovers

  • Get the facts on food: Because your guest will probably have a snack or two during the playdate, be sure to ask his parents about any potential food allergies, sensitivities, or preferences: Is he allergic to peanuts? Lactose intolerant? Vegetarian?