Just when you thought cabin fever would make everyone in your household crazy, the weather is finally starting to warm up. At last, you can throw open the front door and let your kids burn off some energy.
If you and your kids are itching for a fun playdate, check out our easy-to-plan, inexpensive ideas for keeping your little ones entertained for hours.
1. Host a Teddy Bear Picnic
If the day is sunny, invite your friends and their kids to a teddy bear picnic in your backyard or at a local park. Have all the kids bring their favorite toy as a special guest to “eat” alongside them, and then throw blankets on the grass to make the most of the sunshine while everyone enjoys lunch. Ask each parent to bring a packed lunch for their child or divide up the food-shopping list to create a potluck feast. Don’t forget the Bounty napkins and Pampers Sensitive wipes for cleaning up lunchtime messes and sticky fingers and faces! The best part is that while the kids eat and play together, you can get your weekly dose of adult interaction.
2. Messy Art Afternoon
Put everyone in some old T-shirts and jeans and head to the patio armed with cardboard boxes and a roll of craft paper. Fill some disposable bowls with an array of washable paints and let your kids and their buddies go wild creating giant, colorful pictures and cardboard houses. Let them walk in it, roll in it and splash paint around to create their masterpieces. When the artworks are dry, hang with pride or cut up their designs to make birthday or Christmas cards from the children later in the year. Don’t worry about their clothes – you can remove paint stains by treating them with Tide Ultra Stain Release. The super-concentrated gel in these convenient laundry pacs removes stains and leaves messy clothes clean and vibrant.
3. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
Embrace the power of outdoor play and go on an adventurous scavenger hunt. Meet in the woods or on the beach and give the kids a printed list of things they have to find on the walk: an ant, a green leaf, a shell, a cobweb, a butterfly, a wild mushroom and so on. They’ll love running around trying to find the things on their list. Not only will exploring help build up their immune system and physical health (and yours!), educational games like these will also encourage them to observe the world, take risks and use their imaginations. If springtime allergies are an issue for anyone in your party, keep a pack of Puffs tissues on hand to combat sniffles.
4. Ride-on Rally
Have all the kids bring their favorite ride-on toy – depending on their ages, it could be a scooter, balance bike, tricycle or bicycle – and set up a course for them in the park or a quiet cul-de-sac where you won’t be disturbed by traffic. (Don’t forget the helmets!) Map out starting and finishing points in chalk and create a wacky racetrack with small cones to weave around or a net to go under. Whether they race each other or just whizz around as fast as they can, they’ll love the challenge.
What’s the best playdate you’ve ever hosted? Tell us about it in the comments section below.