Play Date - Westford,MA

Updated on July 19, 2011
G.S. asks from Westford, MA
7 answers

Just what are the rules of play date?
How long does one last?
Do you drop off your child when she is invited to one?
Do you feed the kids when they are over?
Do you give them structured activities (for a 7 year old)?
New to this.....thanks!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

More Answers



answers from Miami on

It all really has to do with the age of the child. Under 8 I would require I'm there. Over 8 I'd prefer to meet an a nuetral zone for first time to see how the kids get along and how the parents respond. If its a 7 year old girl I would say do not leave your girl. You just do not know who is who and never know how one will treat your child. Or even what they expose your child too. There are of course exceptions. My daughter is close friends with a few that I've taken out without mom and there mom has done the same. Also some kids can handle longer playdates and some can only handle a few hours. Neither is wrong just the way of the child. 7 year old girls still like parks so meet at a park with another mother and the child.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Play dates can be fun or a nightmare. I nanny for a family and have had them go both ways. When they are going to be playing at the house I nanny for I make sure the kids have specific plans. (they can play whatever but not running up and down the stairs in and out of the house messing etc)
so to answer your question here goes

How long does one last? usually anywhere from 2 - 4 hours

Do you drop off your child when she is invited to one? If I know the family and or the parents then yes. if not then not for the first playdate.

Do you feed the kids when they are over? this depends on the time of the play date. if it is for 2 hours then usually not except maybe some graham crackers and milk. if it is a longer one like 4 hours then yes. but this is something nailed down with the other parent ahead of time.

Do you give them structured activities (for a 7 year old)? for the little boy I nanny for yes. otherwise they do nothing but run and scream. for the little girl she is 9 no they do whatever they want to. sometimes art stuff sometimes dolls etc.

a biggie though is to make sure you have phone numbers and cell phone numbers of everyone involved in the playdate. good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It all depends on the kids. Rules : Whatever house rules you have- no hitting, swearing, fighting etc. Drop off: No---I go or their parent comes to my house-not sure what age you start dropping off, we aren't there yet. Feeding kids: Yes, we always have snacks or if its around lunch and they want to stay longer, they have lunch with us. Activities: No, they pick what they want to do- if they need help, they come and ask me. GL!!!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Our play-dates have always been a get together style where everyone just got together and visited while the kids played.

We did one at church every Tues. and Thurs. from 9:30am to about 11am, just in time to go home to cook lunch. It was in the cultural hall and the kids even took their bikes to ride on the wood floor. We had a stash of toys under the stage that we pulled out, they were toys the kids didn't have at home so it was a special time. Everyone of us got close during the time we were allowed to have the play times. We got to know other sisters and had time to enjoy each other and also learn from each other. I learned a lot about patience and nurturing from these wonderful ladies.

We had some times where we would meet at the park too. The kids liked that but with little ones they can run off if the park area is open. I didn't like those as much as the indoor play-dates. Also, you can't regulate who your child comes in contact with. We had to call the police a couple of times on high school students who were ditching school and smoking pot in the playground area. Then there is always the people who show up in risque clothes and use language most moms don't want their kids to hear and repeat. Our little guys didn't even know what smoking was until play-dates at the park.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

There aren't any hard and fast rules to learn because it depends on the kids and what you work out with the other child's parent. It lasts as long as you and the other parent determine; you drop off or stay depending on what the other parent and you work out; etc. Ask the other parent: "Thanks for inviting Susie over at 10. Would it be OK for her to stay until 12? Since she's seven and hasn't had many play dates, I'd like to stick around, at least for the first little while, if that's OK, then if it's OK with you I might slip away until I pick her up..." You really need to just discuss with the other parent. As for feeding, that depends on the timing: If you invite a child to you for a play date from 11-1, for instance, I'd say to the other mom, "How about if Bobby has lunch here since it'll be lunchtime? Would mac and cheese be OK for him?" etc. I'd always have healthy snacks around and always check kids' allergies.

And yes, at seven I'd definitely have some activities ready to go because at that age they can get stalled and start wandering around bored; have some craft and/or game ready to go. No TV! I hate TV on play dates -- they should be playing or being creative instead. Talk to the other parents, stay if your gut tells you to, feed if the timing is right, and enjoy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Wow, after reading the other responses I guess I am in the minority but my daughter is five and almost all of her playdates are drop off and have been since she was about four. The children that she is playing with are kids from her class or friends of our family, so I do not have worries about her being away from me and we have had plenty of playdates at our house too. As far as how long, I think it really depends on the children and how they play together. As a general rule we do about 1.5 hours but if it is going really well I might call the parent and say "the girls are playing really well together, could she stay a little longer?". Like the other responses, food depends on the time of day, either a snack or lunch is appropriate but check with the parent first about any allergies the child might have. In the area we are in it is very customary to drop off and I think that another parent might be VERY surprised if I expected to stay while my child was over. Most often the parents are not looking to entertain an adult but rather have a friend for their child to play with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Around here, a play date for that age is a drop-off, unless the invitation is for a child with whom you are not familiar. In that case, one mom usually invites the other over for coffee and the kids can play. Once you are acquainted, I can't imagine why the other parent would stay - the whole point of these dates is so that one mom can get something done! Of course, if the moms are really good friends and WANT to hang out together, that can be arranged, but you don't sit in the same room with the kids!

Yes, you feed them. You ask the other mom if there are any food restrictions (that covers allergies and gives you a sense of what the other kid eats). If the weather is good and they can run around outside, or if you have a playroom or basement area, I don't see why you need to structure activities. Kids don't PLAY much anymore - there's too much structure and there's no creativity. You can make some things available (art supplies, for example) but then leave them alone.

For 7 year olds, a couple of hours is fine - 2, maybe 3.

The rules of the house are the rules - your kid follows them at another house, the guest follows them at your house. You need to let the kids know the parameters - only play in the backyard, stay out of the garage, all snacks and painting are done in the kitchen, etc. For 7 year olds, I don't think you need to specify no hitting, no swearing, etc. - just intervene if it occurs and say that we don't allow that in our house. They know this stuff from school.

I don't think you need to be in the same room - just within earshot. If there is a swimming pool, obviously an adult needs to be present for safety reasons. They don't need to be watched every second, and play dates are to encourage socialization among peers.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions