Fun December Playdate Ideas

 In Fatherhood, Featured, Living, Motherhood, Resources

Play dates are like gold to both mothers and children alike.  At every age & stage your child goes through, a play date can help them (and you!) navigate the adventures of childhood and parenting. Each month, we’ll bring you the best seasonal ideas for playdates for toddlers and babies. Here are our top picks for December!

Infant (0-6 months):

Infant playdates with other mothers and their babies are mostly about mom building the tribe that she’ll need to lean on over the coming years. A network of girlfriends that “get you” is the goal: ladies with shared motherhood experiences that you can confide in & depend on as we all navigate motherhood. Get together with neighborhood moms and share stories, time, and coffee while the babies nap.

Museum – A museum may not seem like the ideal place for an infant, but the early months of infancy may be the only time you can quietly enjoy these places for the foreseeable future. Gather your lady friends and their littles and take in art or history together while the little ones doze. Try modern or abstract art for babies that are a little more alert. Research has shown that high contrast patterns and shapes like black and white stripes and geometrical shapes register powerfully on a baby’s retina and send the strongest visual signals to babies’ brains. These stronger signals result in more brain growth and faster visual development.

Silicone chew bead necklace making Gather your girlfriends and have a fun and functional play date. Your baby will love sporting and slobbering these cute (and safe) silicone chew beads, or make a bauble for yourself. String the beads on ribbon for an easy, inexpensive and useful accessory. (Don’t forget to remove the necklace from your little one for bedtime, naptime, and anytime they are unsupervised for safety.)

Mommy & Baby Yoga – Hit up a local class or pop in a Mommy/Baby Yoga DVD with your friends, and do wonders for your postnatal body and your growing baby. You’ve both been through a lot of life- and body-changes these past few months. It can be hard to carve out “me time” once motherhood sets in, but it’s imperative to find a way to work in self-care. These early months might just be the easiest time to form these routines, so go ahead: relax, stretch, rejuvenate, restore and connect.

Baby (6-18 months):

While babies are still playing and discovering independently or side-by-side, they will benefit from being exposed to other babies, families, toys, and experiences.

Music Class – Music and song are fantastic for babies’ brain and language development, and a whole lot of fun for both moms and little ones alike. Kindermusik and Music Together have locations across the U.S., classes geared at many different age levels, and both offer free trial classes. Looking for a musical language learning experience for your family and friends?  Bilingual Birdies offers a great music-based language class for babies and children, and they’ll even come to you!

Holiday sing along – What better way to ring in the holiday season with friends than with some holiday tunes? Outfit your play date with jingle bells, festive music, and hot chocolate (for the moms!).

Card Making – There’s nothing better for the holidays than a handmade card. Let the little ones tap into their creativity and get a little messy making handprint holiday cards. Exchanging holiday cards with sentiments that warm the season is an age-old tradition, and there’s no better time to begin holiday traditions with your own family.

Toddler (18 months – 3 years):

Toddlers begin to enjoy each other’s company, and this is the perfect time to introduce interactive activities and games. Toddlers are learning how to act and react, and play dates are the perfect way to hone these skills.

Cookie decorating – Adorning sugar cookies with frosting is an activity that, believe it or not, can work for toddlers. It’ll be a messy but memorable (and delicious) experience! Follow these tips for success — cover the table with a disposable cover, use precut cookies, and expect a lot of creativity!

Dance Party – Has the weather gotten you cooped up indoors? Invite some friends over, pump some kid-friendly tunes, and dance the day away! Add balloons and silk play scarves for an extra sensory experience.

Easy Winter Ornaments – Make easy snow flake ornaments using 3 simple materials: Crayola model magic, snowflake cookie cutters, and ribbon! (Model magic is easy to use, wheat-free, and air dries easily.) Hang them on the tree, in the window, or on your front door to celebrate the season!

Alison DuBois-Eker
Alison is a mother to a young girl and a teacher of English as a New Language to young children from around the world living in New York City. She has studied Linguistics, Multicultural Education, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and is currently studying Early Childhood Education at New York University. She loves bringing the world into the lives of children through exposure to language and culture.   In her spare time, Alison enjoys traveling, being outdoors, cooking, crafting, and exploring New York City with her family.  She also writes for her own blog at www.peaceloveandliteracy.com
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