This weekend we saw the first signs of spring, and you know what it made me think of? All the fun things we’ll get to do in the warmer weather!
My kids and I love to get outside and play every chance possible. We love to host playdates year round, but by far my favorite playdates are ones where the kids can be outside the entire time. They can be messy, loud, and enjoy themselves to the max without me having to worry about cleaning up afterwards or keeping the noise down.
Fun Summer Playdate Ideas for Kids
The kids love it when we have kids over to play. I generally like to plan our playdates around loose themes because a playdate with a theme is way more popular than one without a theme.
Here are 7 fun summer playdate ideas I plan to use this summer:
- Water Balloon Battle – I don’t know a single kid who doesn’t like playing with water balloons! Just be prepared to spend a lot of time filling and tying balloons or enlist all the moms to help. If you think you’ll get tired of filling up balloons by hand, you can usually find a nifty little water balloon filler water hose attachment for less than $5 at Target or you can also splurge for a water balloon filling station.
- Pool Playdate – We either do this in the back yard or on the driveway. For the little ones, we set up a baby pool and for the older ones we used a larger pool up to 2.5 feet deep. I like to bring out popsicles about half way through to cool everyone off. If you have a community pool, that’s also a great option.
- Blackberry or Blueberry Picking – Sometimes the easiest playdates are the ones you don’t host at your house. Blueberries and blackberries are in season in the early summer, which makes for a perfect mid-morning meetup before the day heats up.
- Ice Cream Sundae Buffet – We don’t normally keep ice cream in the house on a regular basis (because I can’t stop eating it! LOL), so it’s always a treat for the kids when we allow them to have it. A playdate is a great excuse for them (and all the moms) to have a special treat. You can provide the ice cream, then ask each mom to bring one topping each.
- Picnic Lunch – One of my favorite early or late summer playdate ideas is to simply meet up with friends at a park for a picnic lunch. This is perfect for days where you have something to do in the morning, but would love to have company for the lunch hour. I usually try to avoid the very middle of summer due to heat, and I try to pick parks with plenty of shaded areas. If the kids don’t know each other very well, a good ice breaker could be a simple playground game.
- Hide & Seek – Some of my best and most vivid childhood memories are from times when I played hide and seek in the neighborhood. If the kids attending the playdate are old enough to run from yard to yard on their own, this is a great choice. You could even do this into the early evening and give each child a flashlight to carry around.
- Hopscotch – This one’s fairly self-explanatory. Just break out the chalk and draw some grids! You could customize them to fit the kids’ ages. Little kids could do numbers 1-10 in smaller boxes while older kids can jump longer and farther, so maybe up to 20 large boxes.
Hosting Tips & Even More Fun Playdate Ideas
After you choose a playdate theme and decide on a date & time, make sure to let the moms know what type of playdate you have in mind. This way they know what to expect and can give their kids something extra special to look forward to.
Even though hosting a themed playdate seems complicated at first, it needn’t be stressful. There are few things you can do to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. In the post How to Host as Awesome Playdate, I explain why simplicity and fun win out over perfection every time and also go into detail on how to set the RSVP limit to ensure good attendance.
If you need even more playdate inspiration, you may want to check out this list of seasonal playdate ideas. It includes over 30 fun ideas for playdates in the spring, summer, fall, and winter.
Lena Gott is a CPA turned SAHM of 3 little ones ages 2, 4, and 7. Her blog, WhatMommyDoes, is full of encouragement and resources for stay-at-home-moms. On the blog, you’ll find a variety of posts about fun kids activities, family finances, and losing 50 pounds after baby #3.
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