Tips for Hosting A Playdate

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Quaker Oats. All opinions are 100% mine.

Tips for Hosting A Playdate

Over the past 5 years I’ve been the organizer of a large local playgroup. With over 250 members, we meet weekly at various locations and events around town.

As the organizer I’ve found it easier for new members to meet at someone’s home instead of meeting at a public space for their first event so I host a playdate at my house once a month. Needless to say we’ve gotten really good at hosting playdates.

I’ve put together a few tips on hosting playdates so that the next time you decide to invite a new friend over you’ll be prepared to sit back, relax, and enjoy some adult time while the kids play and entertain each other. Tips for Hosting A Playdate - imaginative play

Tips for Hosting A Playdate

1. Keep it simple

Playdates do not need to be complicated. Simplicity is key. As is prepping ahead of time so you don’t have to run around the whole time. Don’t overdo the toys and games. Keep a handful of things out but close the bedrooms and keep certain areas off limit.

Or keep everyone outside in the backyard so the adults can keep an eye on everyone easier. My friends and I like to grab some chairs, sit back with our smoothies, and chat while the kids run around and burn off some energy.

Tips for Hosting A Playdate - snack time

2. Have snacks on hand

If you want to make something for the kids to enjoy, do it ahead of time so you can serve when everyone gets there. I like to have one homemade goody on hand, like smoothies, oatmeal squares, or this delicious apple crisp.

Then we add some Quaker® Chewy® Granola Bars and some fruit and veggies that we have stored on hand for snacktime in between playtime. Quaker Chewy Granola Bars contain 8 grams of whole grains in every bar and come in delectably fun flavors like Chocolate Chip, S’mores and Oatmeal Raisin.

Tips for Hosting A Playdate - bubbles and other activites

3. Bust out the bubbles

One thing that seems to bring all of the kids together for a fun time are bubbles. Something about the joy of spinning, jumping, and twirling around to catch them just brings out the best in kids. So stock up on the sales and keep some on hand for playdates.

I prefer to have a bubble machine going instead of blowing them myself because they machines blow bubbles a lot faster AND we don’t have little ones trying to blow bubbles themself and getting bubble liquid all over the place.

Tips for Hosting A Playdate - fun for all ages

4. Fun for all ages

Have a few toys or activities on hand for all ages. I like to keep a small box of soft toys on hand in case any of the moms bring their babies along with the older kids. It makes everyone feel welcome and encourages the moms to relax a bit knowing there are toys for the little ones to play with.

And on the other side of the spectrum, grab a few Nerf balls and let the older kids play and have fun without worrying about hurting the younger ones. Or bust out the sidewalk chalk and let the kids use their imagination and creativity to make a beautiful picture or create another play area. A few simple things will go a long way!

Tips for Hosting A Playdates - sibling love

What are your tips for hosting a playdate?

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Lego Duplo Party {The Food}

As I mentioned in my party post, I wanted to keep this party focused on the basics. With a few simple decorations and some doctored up fun foods our party was the perfect Lego Duplo

To show off the drink cups a bit more I covered them in yellow paper and drew little faces on each of the cups to represent a different Lego guy. If you look closely you can see that each face actually matches the Lego on top of (and hanging from) the cups.

Munchies were also Lego themed. We went with peanut butter and honey sandwiches and cheese and crackers.

The peanut butter and honey sandwiches were super simple and fun! I made the sandwiches, cut off the crust (and ate them!), and cut the sandwiches in half.

Then I used my smallest round biscuit cutter to cut out small holes out of another slice of bread. I used some more peanut butter to adhere the bread to the top of the sandwiches. Two for each rectangle.

If you have a peanut allergy you can easily use sunflower butter instead. Or make the sandwiches with meat and use cream cheese to adhere the bread dots to the top. I was also considering making cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches as well. There are endless possibilities!

The cheese and crackers used the same techniques. I slathered two crackers with cream cheese and sandwiched in a piece of cheese in the middle. Then I used the cream cheese to adhere some cheese circles to the tops of the cracker sandwiches.

I had all intentions to coat these rectangle sandwich cookies with red, green, and blue chocolate and cover them with little m&m dots but time got away from me so I simply served them as is. Not as exciting but still fit the theme! And the kids couldn’t get enough of them.

As a play on the Lego guy’s head shape I made some watermelon & feta skewers for the mamas. This is my latest favorite combo and adding a bit of basil makes this a super tasty bite on a stick. You can also cube up the watermelon, toss with feta and basil, and serve as you would a salad!

In order to satisfy the mamas at the party I decided to throw together a simple quiche. Honestly, there’s nothing special about it. And really… it’s more of an egg bake in a pre-made frozen pie crust. I simply combined cooked sausage, spinach, 6 eggs, a cup of cheese, a cup of cottage cheese, some salt and pepper and poured it into the crust. I then baked until it smelled done (maybe 35 minutes?) and pulled it out.

And the color is yellow like a Lego head, right? Haha… might be too much of a stretch.


If you were planning a Lego Duplo party what would you serve?

Mommy and Me at the San Diego Zoo

My family is pretty lucky. Living in San Diego we’re blessed to have a few amazing places to visit with the kids to teach, learn, and enjoy ourselves. One of the most frequent places we visit in town is the San Diego Zoo. And we make it at least once a month for a special program I’ve been able to participate in, the Zoo’s Mommy and Me tours.

Each month the San Diego Zoo has a themed tour that teaches the kids something different about the zoo. We spend an hour discussing different animals, their features, where they come from, and fun quirks about them. Then we end our time together with a story and stickers!

Here are a few of the recent tours we took:

  •  Animal Ambassadors: What is an Animal Ambassador? Animal Ambassadors are animals that visit schools and community events as part of our educational programs. They also appear in our shows, Keeper Talks and during special tours. This month we will discover how important these Animal Ambassadors are to the Zoo and the ways they connect people with wildlife. As we explore Urban Jungle, you will see many of the Animal Ambassadors that live there. 
  •  Alphabet Bus Tour: B is for Bus Tour! This month, we are leaving the strollers behind as we board a bus and take a non-stop tour through the Zoo. Join us as we see our striped, spotted, and furry friends while learning letters in the alphabet (G is for Giraffes).
  • Children’s Zoo Tour: Wear some of your favorite colors this month of July as we invite you on a colorful journey through the Children’s Zoo. Kids can practice their colors, and moms will awe at some surprising facts about the history of the San Diego Zoo!

The last Mommy and Me tour we went on (the Children’s Zoo Tour) ended with a visit from a very special animal, this porcupine from South America!

Each visit takes us to a new part of the zoo. We get to explore a little bit, learn, and then are left to do what we’d like after our tour. This makes visiting the zoo stress free and easy. Especially with two kids. Instead of spending the whole day, we do the tour with the group and then afterwards we head to the children’s zoo to play, visit meerkats, and pet goats.

I couldn’t imagine a better way to see our zoo! We don’t stress about seeing this animal or that. We don’t feel exhausted because we didn’t have to trek around one side of the zoo to the other pushing a double stroller up hill. And we get to hang out with our friends! 

The San Diego Zoo also has an amazingly fun interactive site for kids as well at San Diego Zoo Kids. Visit their Mommy and Me section to learn more about the animals you visit at the zoo. You can even view the animals (including babies!) on the animal cams in the different animal habitats.

As we visit the zoo over and over again, my son has been increasingly interested in the jobs available at the zoo. Being able to speak with the staff, find out exactly what each person does, and how involved they are with the animals can help motivate my son to find out what he wants to be when he grows up. Sure he’s only 3 1/2 but sometimes a dream can start early on in life!

If you haven’t already joined a playgroup for your little one, I highly suggest it! Being able to connect with different locations around San Diego while bringing a large group means discounts, special tours, and much much more!

I found my playgroup by simply perusing the playgroups in our area on I’m sure if you check them out you can find one that fits perfectly for you!

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