Playdates for Toddlers

Playdates for Toddlers

Interacting with other children is an ideal opportunity for your child to make friends and hone social skills. Get the most out of toddler playdates.

It’s sweet when your child plays together with other children. What’s not so sweet is when the fun suddenly morphs into a toddler tantrum and a screaming match over toys.

Preparing for a playdate, diffusing difficult situations, ensuring a stress-free, fun experience for both you and your child: here’s what you need to know.

  1. Scheduling a playdate. Your child probably won’t start truly interacting with other kids until age three. Signs that your child is ready to play with a friend include being more aware of other people’s feelings (asking why another child is sad, for example) and showing curiosity about what her neighbor is doing or playing with.
  2. Anticipate limited interaction – at first. Keep in mind that at this age, your child probably hasn’t yet mastered the idea of cooperation and doesn’t have enough vocabulary to explain her frustrations. This means you should be ready to do damage control if tempers start to get out of hand during toddler play.
  3. Preparing for the playdate. Agreeing to keep the playdate short will help ease the frustrations that result when kids are overly tired or stimulated. Once you’ve scheduled the playdate, give your tot a heads-up. Tell him that Sam is coming over to play and that he’ll need to share his toys. Let him choose some special toys that can be put away during the playdate.
  4. Your role during the playdate. You’ll want to stay in the room during the first playdate, but not overly engaged. If things do become heated, feel free to step in. A simple explanation can work wonders: “Sam hasn’t had a chance to play with the truck yet. How about we set a timer for you to play with it for three more minutes? Then you can give it to Sam.”
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Play Date Activities


I have found that only putting out toys that have duplicates works best so you do not have some kind of tantrum thrown during the playdate.

Play date activities


I have found that making little centers up at different tables or outside play areas work amazing.

play time


its hard for us to have playdates since we travel a lot so just random play time at a playground has help him become so social

Finding other moms & toddlers


I struggle to find other moms and toddlers to set up playdates with. Any tips on good ways to do that?


ShayShay211 8/4/2015

My 2yr old is starting to enjoy play dates more. Glad to hear that it just takes a little while for them to love them.

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