Playdates are a common activity for children. Parents get together and enjoy each other's company while their children play together. When you are hosting such an event, it's important to keep some rules in mind to ensure that their time together is fun and safe.
Children need boundaries to help them understand the rules of society and what is and is not appropriate. Setting up these limits prior to a playdate will help keep the activity running smoothly (or as much as possible!)
Some rules you may want to consider are the areas of the house that are to be used for play and those that are off limits.
Close doors to rooms that are "off limits"
Designate a play area
Keep pets in a safe place
Ensure that gates to fences are locked if playing outside
Keep them out of the garage
Childproofing the Playdate Area
While you may have your entire house child proofed already, paying extra attention to the play area is a great idea for when children from other households come to visit.
Secure any cabinets or drawers they are not allowed in
Secure any sharp objects
Secure dangerous appliances
If outside, eliminate fallen tree branches, or gardening tools
Turn off the water and remove any standing water (in buckets, etc) that won't be used as part of play
Little ones will get hungry after chasing each other and playing. Offer a designated snack time so that they are able to sit and enjoy their food. Allowing the children to run with food in their mouth is dangerous and can easily lead to choking.
Cut food into small pieces
Ensure that the children are seated in one area
Ensure there is enough for every child as to avoid fighting
Do not allow them to pick food up off of the ground to eat it
Beware of food allergies other children in the group may have
Ensure the toys that the children are using are safe. Keep small pieces away from babies or toddlers.
Mylar balloons are safer than latex
Don't use broken toys
Be aware of toys with batteries
Use age appropriate toys
Playdates should be a fun event that everyone looks forward to. Using these tips as a guideline for safety concerns will keep everyone happy and healthy.
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