5 ways to have a happy playdate
Playdates are a great idea especially when mom or dad is a busy at work and the kids need to be kept occupied. Here's how you can make it a pleasant experience for all.
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Playdates are a great way for kids to socialise and build relationships, which teaches them important life skills. It gives them the opportunity to learn how to get along with other children, which comes in handy when they start preschool. But let's face it, playdates can go from good to very bad, very quickly.

Here are a few simple ways to manage a playdate so that it doesn't end in tears:

1. Keep them short and simple

A two-year-old's concentration span is very short, and as a result they get tired and bored quite quickly. So keep playdates to an hour long or less at this age to avoid fractious toddlers.

2. Keep it small

It's best to invite one friend to your playdate, not two or more. Toddlers function much better in twos than in groups of threes or fours. It is also easier for you because you can better manage the kids.

3. Invite a familiar face

Plan the playdate with someone your child likes and gets along with, like someone at preschool or the child of a close friend of yours. Your child will be more relaxed around a familiar face and will be more likely to enjoy herself.

4. Don't be competitive

Do not compare your child to other children and don't expect her to have a fall-out at a playdate. There is no such thing as a perfect playdate, so let kids be kids and just supervise.

5. Don't force it

It's better to cancel the playdate if your child is cranky and not in the mood for people. Forcing your toddler to go to the playdate in this state will only cause it to end up in tears.

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