7 Easy Ways To Elevate Your Playdate Game

As a stay-at-home mom of two toddlers, I have no shame in admitting that playdates have easily become one of my favorite pastimes over the past few years. Not only are they a great way to get children together to socialize and have fun, but they’re full of opportunities for you, too. It’s a win-win if you ask me.

If you want to become more involved in playdates for your little one’s sake and yours, look no further. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for making the most of all your playdates going forward. They’re sure to elevate your mama-child socialization game!

Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most Out of Playdates

Whether you’re a mom of a baby, toddler, or preschooler, there are likely plenty of options for playdates near you. Perhaps you prefer low-pressure group settings that allow new friendships to blossom organically. Maybe you prefer more private, one-on-one playdates. Whatever the case, I hope these ideas inspire you and your tiny human to get out there and schedule in some fun!

1. Get Involved With Your Little Sidekick

If you have access to facilities that host group events or classes for children and caregivers, take advantage of them! My children and I have made friends at our local children’s gym, library playgroup, and mommy-and-me ballet and swim classes. Starting in these types of settings allows you to naturally build the foundation for potential playdates — without the pressure that can come from jumping right to one-on-one hangouts.

2. Get out of Your Comfort Zone and Initiate a Playdate With Someone New

Smiling woman using mobile phone while carrying baby. Mother holding son and texting on cell phone at home.

Striking up a conversation with someone you barely know — or even someone you once knew but haven’t seen in ages — can be intimidating. That said, you never know what can come from stepping out of your comfort zone. Go ahead and reach out to that local mom you’ve conversed with on social media, your former co-worker from your pre-motherhood era, or someone brand new on a women’s friendship app.

3. Venture to the Next Town Over To Discover New Playdate Spots

Two male friends are sitting in a cafe with their baby sons, chatting to one another and feeding/entertaining their babies.

While there’s nothing wrong with sticking close to home — or even scheduling playdates solely at home — a change of scenery can be a welcome component of any mama-kiddo meetup. If you’re looking for new places to meet playdate friends or schedule playdates, try researching children’s play spaces outside your immediate town lines. You might find a hidden gem or two!

4. When Hosting, a Little Bit of Hospitality Goes a Long Way

2 years old girls standing at a table with bottles of water and snacks.

If you’re taking the lead on a playdate by welcoming new (or old) friends into your home, don’t stress. You’re not hosting a fancy dinner party, after all! Nonetheless, a little bit of hospitality makes a big difference. Have bottled water, hot coffee, or tea and a snack or two on hand for your guests. Be sure to ask about any allergies or dietary restrictions in advance!

5. Schedule Playdates on Repeat

Two moms push their toddler daughters on the swings at the park on a warm and sunny evening. Selective focus on the caucasian little girl who is smiling toward the camera.

If you have a mama-child duo you and your kiddo love getting together with, schedule repeat playdates in advance. If you have a free day in common every week, why not pencil in your next few meetups? As moms, it’s easy to fill up our schedules without realizing it. If more socialization for you and your tiny human is a priority, be proactive in ensuring the connections you’re making don’t fizzle out.

6. Form a Neighborhood Mommy-and-Me Playdate Group

Young family having a play date on a sunny day in the city park.

There are so many logistics that go into planning a simple playdate as it is; distance and drive time shouldn’t keep you and your little one from building meaningful relationships with other mamas and children. Forming a neighborhood mommy-and-me playgroup is a great way to combat this! Consider spending a few minutes exchanging contact info with the other young family down the street on your next stroller walk — or use social media groups to connect with neighbors. Neighborhood playdate groups don’t have to be anything fancy. With a little bit of legwork upfront, the possibilities for future playdates and gatherings are endless!

7. Say “Yes”

Multi-ethnic mommies sitting with children. Young mothers with babies sitting on sofa and looking at camera.

If another mama initiates a playdate with you, accept the invitation . . . and be sure to follow through. As we all know, life with kids gets busy. We get caught up in a million different directions as the days fly by. It’s no wonder that it’s often much easier said than done to actually keep plans with other parents and children. But making it your mission to see playdates through will reap rewards for everyone involved. So, say yes to your next potential playdate — and stick to it!

Playdates Should Be a Source of Enjoyment

While good things take a bit of intentionality, scheduling playdates that you’ll truly look forward to is always well worth the time and effort — for both your child and you. Whether you’re a new parent just getting into the mother-child social scene or simply want to up your game, there are plenty of ways to elevate your playdate game. Getting together with other mothers and littles should be a source of enjoyment and connection, not stress. I hope the ideas listed here are helpful as you work toward penciling in all your upcoming playdates!