For most Mom’s, a play date is a chance to catch up with a friend with a hot drink while the babies interact and play. When they’re babies, this is very possible as they don’t do much more than wriggle and gurgle at each other. When you have toddlers, a play date takes on a whole new meaning. Being the host of a toddler play date can mean your house is the newest jungle gym. Actual jungle gyms indoors can be quite expensive and so taking turns to host a play time at your house means you get to do it on your budget – handy! If you love organizing parties, you’ll have the best house for a playdate!

A budget playdate doesn’t mean you do something cheaply, it just means you have a set amount of money you can spend. When the kids break for vacation, they always want to bring their friends round, so you need to be on the ball. Older kids will call it ‘hanging out’ but let’s be honest: it’s a playdate. With these tips, you can keep the costs of your playdate low and still have a fantastic time.

  • Bring a snack. When you are hosting, you’re expected to put on a spread or at least offer some snacks during a playdate. You can either buy store bought food and set it out, or you can get a little creative and this delicious cake pop recipe is to die for, meaning the kids at your playdate will really love it.
  • Go outdoors. Playdates don’t have to be hosted inside the house with crafts and video games (age permitting). Head out to the garden and make papier mache sculptures with newspaper and glue. Create your own garden Olympic games with play equipment round the house; the bean bag toss is surprisingly competitive!
  • Movie day. Winter playdates can be the hardest as children go a little stir crazy cooped up indoors. When you recreate the lounge into a movie theater, provide hot chocolate and marshmallows and home-popped popcorn, you can create your own cinematic experience. Dim the lights and snuggle down with blankets – it’s movie time!
  • Get crafty. Look around your house for old toilet paper rolls, paints, foil paper and any other assorted leftovers you can use for crafts. It’s time to have modelling contests in the dining room. Unroll leftover wallpaper and tack it to the table so you can paint a mural together. Getting a little messy while barely spending any money is the best thing to do.

Kids have fantastic imaginations and it’s amazing what you can do with so little in the house. All it takes is a little creativity and a lot of patience when getting messy. The best playdates are ones where the kids ask to come back. It’s a compliment on you if you have children excited to visit your home! Or the ones where you have new born babies – that’s the moment you can sit and get through a cup of coffee while it’s still hot!

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