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Playdates and Playgroups

Playing with peers helps children learn strong social and emotional skills. These important skills stay with them throughout their entire lives.

Make playtime positive for everyone:

  1. Invite other children to your home, playground, park, or other community area.
    • For the first visit, involve only one other child.
    • Keep the first visit short (an hour or less).
    • Plan to end before everyone gets too tired.
    • Know how to contact the other child’s parent.
    • Find out if the other child has any allergies or foods they should avoid.
  2. Go to another child’s home.
    • For the first visit, you may want to stay until you know your child is comfortable being there without you.
    • Get to know the other child’s parents. You might be able to help each other out.
  3. Join an organized play group.
    • Limit the group to a small number of children. Children do better in smaller groups when not every child’s parents will be present.
  4. Find out who your child already likes to play with.
    • Invite that friend to your home, park, playground, or a community area.
  5. Make your home a great place to play.
    • Plan ahead.
    • Offer activities your visitors enjoy. Ask your child to find out what those activities are. Playtime will be more fun, and your child will have a lesson in thoughtfulness.
    • Have enough items for everyone. If there aren’t enough, suggest another activity.
    • Don’t make your child share favorite toys. Let your child put away a few things ahead of time that are off limits.
    • Don’t over-plan. Just set the stage with materials and ideas. Let the children use their creativity and imaginations.
    • Come up with some activities. (While you keep an eye on safety, several young children can enjoy cutting out shapes for arts and crafts.) Get involved only when children need your help.
    • Avoid items like toy guns that encourage aggressive play.
    • Make your home a safe place. Poisons need to be locked away. Guns must be stored locked and unloaded; bullets need to be stored in another locked place. Homes without guns are the safest.


Parents and caregivers – we hope you find what you’re looking for here. Whether it’s tips on sleeping, feeding, developmental milestones, or many other topics, we have information for you! Visit again soon, as we update these tips often.




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