Play dates – mix up the magic

Play dates. 2 words that strike fear into the hearts of so many parents. Kids love them – a chance to have friends over, show off their toys and bedrooms and play all the games they make up at school. Parents see another child to supervise, feed and entertain.

BUT! Play dates don’t have to be stressful. If you plan ahead, have some activities ready for them and try something a little bit out of the ordinary they can be, if not exactly fun, then bearable.

Get outside

Being outside diffuses a lot of the tension that can build up when kids are inside, especially if they have been at school all day and need some fresh air. Think about outdoor activities that are cheap, simple and don’t require too much adult input – so you can get on with cooking etc.

play date ideas

play date ideas

play date ideas

play date ideas

Bubbles are always a winner – kids can entertain themselves for hours on end with them. You can pick up pots of bubble mixture pretty cheaply in any supermarket, or make your own with some water and washing up liquid. Take indoor toys outside – it seems to change the dynamic slightly, and children tend to play in a very different way then they would inside. We like to take farms, wooden bricks and toy cars outside – you can play with the animals on the grass, build and knock down huge towers and build car ramps that run right across the garden.

Go sensory

Sensory play is another favourite with most children, and it doesn’t have to mean messy. We have some fail safe sensory activities that suit all ages.

play date ideas

play date ideas

Magic snow doesn’t just have to be for winter – my kids all love the stuff. You can buy it in tubes – just add water and it turns from powder to a sort of slushy feeling mush that really doesn’t make much mess at all. It’s great for just squidging, or you can drive cars in it, bury Lego people or build snowmen. 

If you don’t fancy that, spend a few minutes the day before the play date and make a batch of sensory dough. Just 2 ingredients and you have some gorgeously soft, silky dough that’s much nicer than playdough, less crumbly and lasts far longer too! The possibilities with this are endless – cutting ‘biscuits’ with cookie cutters, making handprints, rolling snakes or just giving them free rein and seeing what they come up with!

Wooden toys

No matter what age the child, some of our most played with toys during play dates are the wooden ones. We have quite a collection – train sets, car and road sets, bricks, stacking blocks, animals and board games to name but a few.

play date ideas

play date ideas

As mentioned before, you can take these outside, but if the weather is grotty, as it often seems to be when you have a house full of children, then inside works just as well. Build a huge, long winding train track through the whole house – it doesn’t take long to pack away, as everything can just be chucked back into a box! Dig out the traditional board games – they are always popular, the things I remember playing as a child – think snakes and ladders, ludo and draughts. If all else fails, try some round of noughts and crosses with a pen and paper.

After all the playing, the kids want feeding. After you have negotiated the minefield of who eats what, and how they like it to look on their plate (I tend to go for spag bol, it’s always a winner) you can serve up Petits Filous Magic Squares in the knowledge that they will be well received by all. You can choose from raspberry and vanilla or strawberry and vanilla (or both) and I can pretty much guarantee that they won’t last long! The unique quadrant shape of the Petits Filous Magic Squares range creates a new eating experience and allows kids to mix up the magic. Whether they taste one flavour at a time, experiment with a mouthful of each, or totally mix it up, kids will love exploring the delicious new flavours.  Not only is it great tasting, Petits Filous Magic Squares provide calcium and vitamin D for strong bones.

Petits Filous Magic Squares

If you want to mix it up just a little bit more, and make yourself the coolest parent in the school playground, stick some lolly sticks in the top and serve Petits Filous Magic Squares lollies!

Petits Filous Magic Squares

Petits Filous Magic Squares

This post is an entry for BritMums #MagicSquaresPlaydates Linky Challenge, sponsored by Petits Filous



  1. Janet Rumley
    June 2, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    Frozen Yoghurt looks like a great idea !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Family Fever

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading