Activities and Food for a Play date

May 23, 2012

Playing with peers is so important for children. The amount of peer learning that takes place is amazing as is learning an understanding of self within a group and the best ways to deal with and cooperate with others.

Here I'm sharing some activity and food ideas for a play date that was set up for 4, three year olds (3 boys and 1 girl. Obviously the food and activities could be used with children of varying ages.

Invitations to play 
(Activity ideas)
Activity for play date.
Water Beads, cups, bowls, spoons, containers

Playdough, popsicle sticks and wooden farm animals

Imaginative play. Dress Ups. Doctors

Home made playset. Blue glass beads, rocks, sticks, twigs, felt, leaves, flowers etc

Baby Play

Let's Play and Learn Together
 The boys exploring the water beads for the first time. Quite the sensory experience

What are you doing with the play dough? Learning new ideas from one another

 Collaborative imaginative play
(t's pretty funny for everyone when the "sick patient" has a "sore butt" and therefore needs a butt injection.

Burning off a bit of energy
(Three year-olds certainly have A LOT to spare!)

 Fun for baby too!

The Food
Exploring Apples. 
Tasting plate. Apples 4 ways. Back- 3 types of apples. Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Golden Delicious. Which is your favourite? Bottom Left- puréed apple, Middle- Apple chips, Bottom right- apple cinnamon crumble mini muffins.

 Nutrition for busy, growing kids

 They dug right in!

Who knew that Pirates ate Purée? 

This was the only time our fabulous 4 were quiet!

Want more food and activity ideas for a playdate? Check out some of our other ideas here.

Handy Tips:

- A little bit of planning and thought before your house is descended upon will help make your playdate run more smoothly

- Depending on the age of children, modify the snacks and activities accordingly

- I buy my Water Beads off ebay (love shopping from home!) but they are also available at flower shops, markets and more and more variety shops. I recommend waiting for a good day to do this outside if it's the children's first experience with them.

- Don't be upset if the children are more interested in everything else in your house than the activities you've set out. Just being in a new environment is a learning experience for children and they will get to your activities eventually

- To contain mess, try setting out individual activities on their own blanket/mat. This can help the children see and recognise boundaries and can keep toys with lots of parts (eg Lego) all together and a breeze to clean up at the end.

***- Water Beads should not be ingested so parental supervision with children who might be tempted to eat them is required***

Happy playing,
Debs :)

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  1. That is a perfect toddler snack. Looks delicious, wish I was at your playdate :)

    1. Thank you Amy :) I must admit that even I was a little surprised when they completely devoured the whole lot and asked me to cut up more apple for them. I think presentation is key! :)

  2. What a great plan! I especially love the apple taste test. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Those are some lucky kids, it looks like they had an amazing playdate.

    1. Let's just say, it wasn't a quiet play date Ali, lol. It was lots of fun though. Thanks :)

  4. I want to move in with you! Looks like so much fun!

  5. Great ideas for a play date, we are always looking for new ideas

    1. Can never have too many ideas Adele... ok, well, you can, lol, but variety is good ;) Thanks for the comment

  6. Great idea to plan the play date! And the apple taste-tests are great! I'm guessing the muffins were a hit? :)

    1. They certainly grabbed the muffins first.. but ate ALL the rest as well ;) Apparently they are still asking their mum's for apples now. Thanks tricia

  7. Looks like a blast! What a great play date :)

  8. What an amazing playdate! You are super organized. Good tip about not expecting kids to be interested in the activities you set out. I have had many playdates where the kids just wanted to play with sticks or cars and had no interest in the special stuff, and that's okay too. =) As long as they are having fun, it's all good.

    1. I think I put that tip in Rebekah because even the best laid plans don't always work and sometimes things we think they'll be interested in are bypassed for something you didn't even think of. Usually though, they are drawn to the set out stuff first but as you said, ultimately, so long as they are having fun then that's all that really matters. Thanks for commenting :)

  9. What a fun playdate! Love the apple snacks too! Great ways to explore the different things you can do to apples! It looks like they had a blast with all the activities!

    1. Thank you! I was kicking myself when I found dried apple rings in the cupboard after they left though, lol. I could have had it another way! I was also thinking that little cups of apple juice could have been added too... but we try to encourage all our kids to drink water whenever possible so I left it this time. :)

  10. That snack looks like so much fun!! I love all of your ideas here! Pinning!

  11. Providing the children with oppurtunity to work with water beads is so sensorial, good idea!!

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  13. Thank you for talking about the importance of spending time with children and engaging in useful activities. My daughter and her friends and I cook different goodies every weekend. But recently my mixer broke down and I can't make the dough for the cake. I need to find a place to buy it by next weekend and my mom told me to read the reviews on bella housewares because she used to buy a coffee grinder and mixer there herself. She liked the quality, but it was a long time ago, so she told me to choose carefully.


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love reading them all.