Social interaction is one of the biggest concerns parents have when considering online schooling or homeschooling. The idea that homeschooled students are less social is far from the truth.
Homeschooling families treat socialisation as a priority and they consciously pursue and participate in socialisation activities to encourage their kids to make friends.
There are many social activities for homeschoolers to participate in and there are many ways that homeschooled children can socialise with other kids. From attending a learning centre or homeschooling hub to more personalised activities like play dates.
In this article, we explore some of the benefits of playdates and offer some indoor and outdoor playdate ideas.
What is a playdate?
A playdate is a planned social activity or outing that involves children playing together. Playdates can take place in a variety of settings, such as a park, a backyard, a home or a community centre.
Playdates are typically arranged by the parents or caregivers of the children and can involve structured activities or unstructured play.
Why are playdates important?
Playdates are important because they provide children with opportunities to interact with their peers, develop social skills, and have fun. They can also provide a chance for parents to connect with each other and provide a much-needed support system.
Here are some specific benefits of playdates:
- Socialisation: Playdates allow children to practice social skills such as communication, cooperation, and conflict resolution with their peers.
- Imagination and creativity: Playdates give children the opportunity to use their imagination and creativity as they play and explore new activities and environments.
- Physical activity: Playdates can provide children with the opportunity to be physically active, which is important for their physical development and overall health.
- Emotional well-being: Playdates can help children feel connected and supported by their peers, which can contribute to their emotional well-being.
- Parental support: Playdates can be a helpful way for parents to connect and provide support for each other as they raise their children.
Outdoor playdate ideas
Playdates are a great way to encourage children to spend some time outdoors. This enables them to have fun whilst getting some healthy fresh air and engaging in physical activity. Physical activity has great benefits for a child’s physical and mental health.
Here are some outdoor playdate ideas:
- Nature exploration: Take the kids for a nature walk, explore a nearby park, or spend time in a backyard garden.
- Sports: A playdate can involve outdoor sports such as soccer, basketball, or cricket.
- Water play: If the weather is warm, children can play with water toys or have a water balloon fight.
- Obstacle course: Get the children to create their own obstacle course using natural elements such as trees, logs, and rocks.
- Scavenger hunt: Send the kids on a scavenger hunt by getting them to search for hidden objects or clues in your backyard.
- Picnic: Set up a picnic in a park or backyard. A fun idea could be to get the kids to pack their own snacks and drinks.
- Outdoor games: Children can play outdoor games such as tag, hide and seek, or capture the flag.
Indoor playdate ideas
It is possible to have a fun playdate even if the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor activity.
Here are some indoor playdate ideas:
- Crafts and art projects: Encourage the kids to get creative with craft activities. Give them art supplies such as markers, paint, glue, scissors and paper, and let their imaginations run wild.
- Games: There are many educational indoor games that children can play together, such as board games like Monopoly or card games like Go Fish.
- Cooking or baking: Give the kids all the ingredients they need and a recipe to follow and let them have fun working together to prepare a snack or meal in the kitchen.
- Movie or TV show marathon: Children can watch their favourite movies or TV shows together – just don’t forget the popcorn!
- Indoor sports: Set up some indoor sports for the children to play such as basketball or bowling.
- Reading or storytelling: Ask the kids to share their favourite books or make up their own stories together. The kids could also put together a play from their favourite storybook and put on a show for the parents.
- Indoor scavenger hunt: Create an indoor scavenger hunt and get the kids to search for hidden objects or clues around the house.
- Indoor obstacle course: Children can create their own obstacle course using household items such as pillows, blankets, and chairs.
There are many indoor and outdoor playdate ideas that can provide children with fun and engaging activities. Encourage your kids to have playdates as often as possible in order to provide them with valuable opportunities to learn, grow, and have fun with their peers.