Posts Tagged ‘play dates’

Summer Play Dates for Baby

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

SUmmer Play Dates for BabiesIt’s time for summer play dates! As a first-time mom, I was clueless last summer on what to do with my daughter. She wasn’t walking yet, and I felt she was just too little for most activities. Here are some great summer play date ideas—because babies just wanna have fun.

Play Dates Where You Pay

There are many activities infants and moms can do together during the summer where you pay admission fees. Many cities have infant friendly zoos. Where I live, there is a special children’s zoo. We did take my daughter to the zoo last year. Just remember that your trip may be shorter than usual with an infant. Check out your local pool or aquatic center. Many places have kiddie structures and splash areas perfect for little ones who aren’t walking yet. These play dates are super fun, especially if you have a friend with little ones to tag along. If your little one loves animals, find a local petting zoo to visit. Season passes are a great idea because if you do have to leave pretty quick into your visit, you can always come back another time.

Outside Play Dates

Picnics in the park were one of our favorite play dates last summer. Bring an old blanket and some snacks. My friend and I would sit on the blanket with our girls and watch them interact and share toys. Babies love to study each otherLet baby swing on the baby swings or bring a ball to roll back and forth. My daughter is very interested in bubbles. Find a friend with a bubble machine or just buy some bubbles at your local dollar store. ! Parks are great for taking stroller walks with a friend, too. Remember to not take baby out in extreme heat, and bring plenty of water if you’re going to play outside.

Easy and Cheap Play Dates

Invite a friend and her little ones over. Have some snacks and goodies for the moms and kids. Lay out a blanket outside or inside and have music or art time. Babies love to play with pots and pans, and other music-making things around the house. Invest in some safe finger paints and let your little ones get creative. Try out a water table! If you have a swing set or sandbox, let baby explore your back yard with you.

Whatever fun you choose to have this summer with your little one, just remember to make it memorable. Play dates for babies are a fun, social time. They also are a great refresher for mom’s sanity and help make lasting friendships.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a stay-at-home mom in Northeast Indiana. She can’t wait for summertime so she can explore the outside world with her 20 month old, Johanna Grace!

Baby’s First Play Date

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Baby's FIrst Play DateWhen my daughter was 2 months old, we moved 6 hours away from our family and a whopping 15 hours from our previous home. I was lonely. My husband worked all day, and I was home with this little human. By the time my daughter was 5 or 6 months old, I had made a friend or two. One friend I made had a daughter only a week younger than mine. I was ecstatic for my first play date, but I was also nervous. Here are a few things I learned:

Tip #1: Be yourself!

I felt like I was going for a job interview. I remember analyzing my wardrobe and what my daughter was wearing, too. We met at Starbucks first. I sat at a table nervous as can be. After Starbucks, my new friend and I went to a local YMCA and walked on the walking trail with our little ones. It was so refreshing to meet another mom around my age with a little girl, too! If I could go back, I would not be nervous. While you will be watching your baby, you are still going to be interacting with the other momma. Be yourself. Share your interests. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn about a potential new friend.

Tip #2: Don’t stress if baby isn’t as excited as you are.

On my first play date, we went on a pretty long walk. I had prepared and packed my diaper bag with everything I could think of. Of course, somewhere along this joyful walk, my daughter got a little cranky. She was still napping twice a day, and it was getting close to naptime. It’s okay if your baby cries. It’s okay if you have a cranky baby. It’s okay if you have a diaper explosion, or have to nurse your baby in front of someone you just met. You can’t control baby’s emotions. Just take care of your baby and try to enjoy yourself.

Tip #3: Plan activities fun for you and baby.

The first play dates my daughter Johanna and I went on were mostly just walks with my new friend. We sometimes met at Starbucks, which was nice for us. These days, we go on play dates often. We like to go to breakfast. The babies get to “color” at the table while we chat. Play dates at a friend’s house are the easiest. Create a safe baby area where the babies can explore each other, as well as the toys available. Have coffee and cookies for the moms.

Your baby may be small, but he or she can still make friends. You can too along the way. I am so glad I went on my first play date. The friend I made that day is still a good friend and our daughters have been on play dates together now for almost 10 months.

Karyn is a mom of 1 and 1 on-the-way who loves play dates with free cookies for her and free entertainment for her daughter.