Play Date Ideas?

Updated on October 18, 2012
M.W. asks from Elkridge, MD
9 answers

My daughter (2 1/2) is having a friend come over for a play date next week. Her friend, Ava who is almost 5, has been over before (as her mother and I are friends), but never for a long period of time-- just enough time to run around the house a bit, and see all of my daughters toys/stuffed animals that she doesn't have.

Given the age difference though, I don't want Ava (the 5 year old) to get bored... most of my daughter Ula's toys aren't that complicated (some puzzles, a kitchen, a cash register, and stuffed animals)...

Are there any games/toys/ideas you all can give me so I can have an enjoyable play date for both of them?

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

Featured Answers



answers from Miami on

I like Tori's answer. I'd take them outside to run around a bit with some bubbles, balls and swing set if possible. Then put bibs on all of thm and let them paint.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Kansas City on

That's a pretty big age difference. Do you have any neighbors with older kids you could borrow a few toys from for that day? You could always go outside and do sidewalk chalk and bubbles. Kids of all ages love that!

She may just have fun running around after your daughter and "helping" her, but I'd have some stuff as a back up plan just in case! Crafts are good too, that could keep her busy for a while! Watercolors is a good one and your daughter can do it too, she will just probably be done with it a lot sooner than the 5 y/o.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The older child might very well enjoy helping your daughter with things.

Make homemade play dough, use sidewalk chalk art, bubbles.

Think about what your daughter enjoys and expand on it. Have fun!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

The older child is going to be bored so much after 15 minutes. You really need to do this play date in a park or play ground area. That way they can play together for a few minutes then separate for a little while then back together again.

You do realize your little one is not supposed to be playing "with" her friends yet right? Developmentally she is playing side by side, in her own world playing but knowing someone is there next to her. She is also going to probably have issues with this friend playing with her toys after a few minutes. She may be a very sharing little girl but at this age everything is still "hers" and not anyone else's toys.

These are reason's I would let them have a play date at a park, that way they each can go do other stuff and then come back together to play a few minutes then off again to play separately.

They really are worlds apart developmentally. This is going to be a hard thing to do until your little one is in school full time whether it's pre-school or kindergarten.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Can you change the playdate to a park? There's something for everyone there. Then again if you are the only caregiver, that might be exhausting.

If you are going to stay home, how about a craft? Coloring? Something for Halloween like stickers? Decorating a small pumpkin?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Some older kids do well with younger kids, some do not.
It depends on the child.
This is a big age difference developmentally.
Hopefully... the Mom of the older girl knows this, and doesn't expect a ton of entertainment etc.
As far as "sharing"... I always have, before a play date, WITH my kids, asked them which toys they do not want to, share. Their special things etc. Then we put them aside or I tell them they do not have to share it. I do not expect them, to share EVERYTHING. Put some things, out of eyesight. That is reasonable.
2 year olds, are not fully developed as far as sharing. For some young Toddlers, they think that their toy is being given away, for example.

It is not expected, that a home with a younger child, has to have... toys for an older child. What you have is what you have. And certainly, the Mom of the older child, can bring her own toys, too, to your house. All of my kids' friends, do that too.

Playing outside is a given. Kids enjoy that and easily entertain themselves. But the level of supervision and assistance, will differ because your child is young. So you need to be, there near your child etc.

If that older child gets bored, it is due to the age difference and/or the personalities. If they mesh or not.

At 2 years old, KEEP in mind, that kids these ages do not fully socialize or interact yet. They may still do what is called "Parallel Play." So hopefully the other Mom knows this as well. And that older child.

Whenever a younger child was in the midst of my kids... I ALWAYS tell them beforehand, that the child is younger than them, therefore they are developmentally not doing the same things as them...and therefore, they need to be aware of that. And my kids, understand.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

sidewalk chalk
crayons, coloring books
water color paints & paper
those tiny tot shopping carts
play tea set
baby dolls
toy stroller

If you have a car seat for her, you can take them to the zoo (if it's close), a nearby park, a pumpkin patch etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

That's a big age difference in little ones, 2 1/2 years older. Does it have to be at your house? Why not a park so you can sit and chat with the mom and let the girls run around and tire themselves out? If it's just you, perhaps a ball for both, a jumprope for the 5yr old, bubbles for the 5yr old while the 5 yr old jumps rope, sidewalk chalk if you have an area the girls can draw on the floor, scooters. How about an aquarium or an arcade, like Chucky Cheese?



answers from Washington DC on

I have a 4-1/2 yo and a 2-1/2 yo. They often play with the same toys so I am sure Ava will have fun with all your daughter's toys.

The one sure thing to get them both engaged in my opinion is some sort of art project. One that both my daughters love is gathering up fall leaves in a basket and then gluing them to construction paper. We get out the paint too and let them paint the leaves and/or the paper. My eldest likes to use the leaves as a stamp. I have child scissors that I need to help the 2 yo with but my eldest can use them on their own and let them cut the paper to glue other shapes. It keeps them both busy for ages.
Have fun!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions