Playdate Panic!

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2001
Playdate Panic!
5
Thu, 09-28-2006 - 11:18am

I have twin 7 yo. ds's. They are constantly asking for playdates. I have let them have playdates in the past and they are always running out of things to do. They start out OK but in the end they are ruff housing and just making a mess. I have to constantly be thinking of what games they can play or "this is the worse day ever".

On the other hand my dd who is 9 has no problem. They are just constantly on the go from one project to another. But are always happy. On the other hand, I encourage her to invite different friends over from school. But she is shy and has only stuck with 3 local girls.

How do I keep my twins busy during playdates and out of trouble. Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Rainbow

"Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain!"

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Thu, 09-28-2006 - 4:15pm

Well... for my kids and their friends I just give them chores for when they are 'done playing.' :D It only takes me saying thoughtfully to no one in particular, "Hmmm... I've got some toilets that need cleaning out...." And suddenly they are busily engaged in something constructive.

I've never bought in to the 'kids must be entertained' deal. My little darlings have at least 764 different things they can play nicely with at any given moment in time PLUS their vast imaginations.

I'm just too old and tired!

Susan :)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-20-2001
Thu, 09-28-2006 - 8:58pm

I'm with you... also "old and tired" here.

That's why I'm venting, if I leave them for their own devices they start fighting over who goes first and who chooses what to play next...

Can't win.

Thanks,

Rainbow

"Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain!"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-05-2004
Sun, 10-01-2006 - 2:56pm

sending you positive vibes for good future playdates.


We've had good results having a friend over after school on a Friday night.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2003
Sun, 10-01-2006 - 5:09pm

Well, you've got me already with "twins." I don't have any, so can't even begin to offer any REAL suggestions! But I'll try with a few anyway....

1. You didn't say how your playdates usually work. Do you invite one friend to play with both boys? Invariably, threesomes don't work in my house (or my friends' houses). Maybe better to invite two other kids over at the same time? Or try splitting your twins up; set up a playdate at someone else's house for one, while the other has a friend over at your place.

2. Some kids click better for playdates than others. We know one boy with whom my son can play happily for hours, with no intervention from me. Needless to say, his mom and I arrange a LOT of playdates. :-) My son has lots of other friends too, but they simply require more work. One boy is really aggressive, so I feel that I need to be right there all the time for when the punches start to fly. With another boy, there seem always to be problems sharing, so I have to help them come to a compromise. I don't know what it is--just something about the chemistry between the kids. I make sure that my son has lots of playdates with the kids who make playdates easy for me. With the others, it's once a month.

3. Hit the yard sales and stock up on extra bikes, scooters, helmets, bats/balls, etc., so that EVERY KID gets the same thing to play with at the same time--outside.

4. I have not yet done this, but there's nothing wrong with everyone taking a little chill-out time and watching a 30-minute video. (That's my plan for the next time my son's aggressive friend comes over.)

5. Have a frank discussion with your sons. They're old enough (I think?) to appreciate the fact that if the playdates are too difficult for YOU, then they simply won't be able to have as many. Let them participate in the *responsibility* of a playdate, which is to keep it fun. Encourage them to think of games ahead of time that they might want to play--pogo stick contests, obstacle courses for their bikes, building a fort out of sheets and pillows, washing the car.... I'm sure that this is a crazy fantasy, but sometimes I think it might be worth being honest and letting them be involved in the reality of the situation.

6. Outings often work better for me than playdates at home. Can you bring them to a playground, park, pool or skating rink?

Good luck! Be sure to tell us what works!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 10-02-2006 - 3:14pm

Here's another thing I've learned about playdates....make them 2-3 hours TOPS! If they are longer they just loose interest. Itsnot because of anything other than their attention span and ability to socialize past that point. Think of when you have a friend over and its dwindling.. the conversations get shorter, loss of things to look and talk about... time to go home, right? Same with kids. I can tell its time to go after about 2 1/2 hours....at which point its clean up time.


Edited to add the playdate includes a snack of some sort that they can help make...popcorn with parmasano cheese is a great one! Jello with ice cubes is, too or instant pudding with everyone getting a turn to "whip" it.

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