Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cold Weather Play date (recipe exchange)

We hosted a play date in Jan. our first for 2013. I wanted to do a soup recipe exchange and I am so glad it worked out. My goal this year is to host one play date each month. Either at my house, at the park, or some other location.
January's play date was: Soup, Stews, and Chilies Recipe Exchange. We had everyone over for lunch. Each family brought a cold weather meal to share. We had lots of bowls and breads (I provided toasted breads) and we each got to try each other's soups. It was only the four of us, but it was a nice intimate  group without too many people to make it feel crowded and we all also got 3 new recipes that we know we like and we know work to try.
Still trying to make choices for February. I haven't decided yet what to do. I'm sort of hoping that it will warm up enough to do it at the park.
I started a board on pinterest called PLAY DATE IDEAS. I started it because no one comes to the "come to my house and we'll chat and the kids will play" play date invites in official play groups. I'm not sure why, I go and its just me and the other lady. That's fine, I like to get to know the other lady, but its not fine when its you trying to host that play date and NO ONE shows up. Same thing with a park play date. You say "we're going to the park come join us" no one shows up. But if you say "we're going to the park and having otter pops" 14 families show up. True story.  So what is it? My theory is the doing that little something more is incentive to actually stick with it and follow through by showing up.
Follow, they don't have to be complicated. The kids don't care. They just want to play with their friends. Too many moms feel if they are hosting and planing a play date it has to be big and complicated and expensive. It shouldn't be any of those things (sure they can be but again the kids don't care) Its a play date not a birthday party.
Quick ideas:

  1. bubbles at the park
  2. cookie eating
  3. hot cocoa bar or just hot cocoa
  4. Read a book (mini story time at your house or at the park- see easy)
  5. a very very simple craft
  6. quick history lesson, maybe followed by a craft but not required
  7. water guns at the park
  8. kite flying
  9. snack time or lunch time at the park
  10. brunch (muffins) at the park
  11. make a card date (mother's day, father's day, I love you cards)
  12. Watch a show date 
OR you can plan something for the adults (don't do "parties" to sell if you want people to come, those make people uncomfortable and you'll get less to show up because they financially won't feel like they can participate) Such as:
  1. Recipe exchanges (salads, pasta dishes, soups, cookies, breads)
  2. Lunch bars (potato bar, soup bar, cheese and crackers, bread bowls, salads, sandwiches)
    these do not need to be a burden on you, each lady brings something
  3. books and magazine exchange (everyone brings their finished read books and magazines to let someone else take them home)
  4. Service: write servicemen, write missionaries, make a humanitarian aid craft or craft for the sick and ill. 
  5. Pedicures and manicures
  6. Craft afternoon (everyone brings their own craft project that they are currently working on to work on while chatting)
  7. Any exchange- bring items clothes, books, home supplies, craft supplies things you're preparing to send to DI or Goodwill, let the other ladies have first dibs, everything left over goes to Goodwill. 
  8. Meet at one location, park, and walk to the park. 
I'm sure there are so many more. I'm just brainstorming. Almost anything you do can either be done at your house or at the park. Parks are easy places to meet. Less stress on you because there is no need to make your home spotless, less clean up, and lots of area to play. Good luck I hope this helps all of you plan better less stressful play dates. 

I have started a pinterest board for play date ideas

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