Playdates! Who ever came up with the word playdate is a genius!
"A play date or playdate is an arranged appointment for children to get together for a few hours to play.
Playdates have become the standard for children of many western cultures because the work schedules for busy parents, along with media warnings about leaving children unattended, prevent the kind of play that children of other generations participated in.
The intention of a playdate is to give children time to interact freely in a less structured environment than other planned activities might provide. Playdates are different from organized activities or scheduled sports, because they are not usually structured.
Playdates are becoming part of the vernacular of popular culture and form a part of children’s "down time." Most parents prefer children to use these hours to form friendships by playing with other children either one-on-one or within small groups. When children are very young, most parents stay for the playdate and use the time to form their own friendships and parental alliances." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Play_date)
One of my son's friends said the only thing he wanted to do on his vacation week was to have a playdate! Kids love 'em, parents love 'em, it's a win win situation.
I always remind my son to be polite, use your manners, be respectful of your friends toys, wash your hands after going to the bathroom :) and pick up after yourselves.
What do you remind your children to do before their playdate?
Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow: educational games!