Activities to entertain a large playdate

As previously reported, I swap kids.  Last week was my day to host the three-hour group drop-off swap.  We were tot one short, so we only had seven kids, usually it’s eight.  Another mom (and her mother who was visiting from out of town) and I hosted children aged ~2-5 years old at my house. Luckily we had wonderful weather, so we moved the party outside almost immediately.  Being outside is key a step in containing chaos in a larger group. 

Here is how we kept seven kids contained, happy and my house in tact for the duration.

 

Please pass the rice...

Please pass the rice...

Rice, split peas, pasta and a bunch of cooking gear.  The kids poured, spilled, shared (didn’t share), felt, and “cooked” for at least a half hour. The adults just sat there, enjoying the non chaos while chatting.

 

A, B, C stepping stones.

A, B, C stepping stones.

Get out the sidewalk chalk!  We have stones surrounding our garden, and I wrote out the A, B, C’s, each letter on one stone and we played ABC stepping for a bit.  Some little artists took their own chalk to the sidewalk as well to add their personal touch to the alphabet.

Get crackin'

Get crackin'

Figuring out how the nutcracker works.

Figuring out how the nutcracker works.

No nut allergies?  Nut cracking isn’t only for December. The kids chose the nuts they wanted, I cracked them and they dug them out and ate them.  Activity and snack time all in one.  Maisy and I even decided to save the shells to make a future art project.

Make some noise..uh, I mean, music.

Make some noise..uh, I mean, music.

Bring on the tunes.  We have quite the assortment of musical instruments.  The instruments, along with a drum (djembe) were brought out and the kids all had a time making their own tunes for a bit.

Lunch time! 

Lunch time! 

Have a picnic.  It’s agreed that the kids come packing lunch.  Easy peasy, set it out and let them nosh and share (or not) as they wish.

Getting artsy.

Getting artsy.

Art!  All of our coloring books and our ginormous bag of colors were brought out and the kiddos grabbed a book and went to town.

Other play options...

Other play options...

Now, there were some stragglers who weren’t into the activities.  All was good.  I had an extra set of toys set out to entertain.  

For that many kiddos the day was really low stress. Being outside helps tremendously. I’ll have to get much more creative come rainy season!  These activities were all easy to throw together and by keeping the group focused, there were less variables to monitor as a caregiver.  The sheet in the yard made clean up a breeze and keeping on top of cleaning up after each activity as we went, made it all so effortless.

The photos in this post aren't the best quality (sorry!).  I took them with my iPhone instead of trying to have my real camera safe and within reach.  I'm already looking forward to my next hosting duty to see what fun activities we can come up with.

Hope you enjoy the ideas! Don't be afraid to swap some kids and host a large playdate yourself.  It could get you some well deserved quiet time in return this summer.

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4 Comments

becky

I'm a part-time work from home, full time stay at home mom to two daughters and an Australian Labradoodle puppy. We are enjoying our last year before big girl school, playing with friends, swapping childcare to get the job done and getting crafty when we can fit it in. We live together in a wonderful community that we are truly thankful for and proud to be a part of. It takes a village and this is ours.