Gardening Playdate with Melissa & Doug

Allie from Notimeforflashcards.com is a Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador

This playdate idea is brought to you by Melissa & Doug , written by our Blog Ambassador Allison McDonald. “Everyday play is what childhood should be about.”

“Can we have a playdate?”  How often do you hear that?

For us it’s about every day at 1pm as I pick my son up from school. I love hosting other kids for playdates, but the disaster that is left in what was once my only slightly messy playroom is at times overwhelming. It’s not that the kids are being unruly, it’s that they are excited and go from one thing to another . . . to another . . . to another.

(And they don’t put anything away. Would you if you were that excited? Probably not.)

But sometimes it’s just the opposite.

“We’re bored, we don’t know what to play.”

Seriously? How is that even possible?!

To calm the chaos on the overexcited days and also spark play on the quieter ones, try planning your playdate on a specific theme. Here are some great ideas for a spring gardening playdate:

Dedicate a corner of your own garden or fill a large, shallow, plastic tub with some topsoil, provide some kid-size tools like the Tootle Turtle Gardening Tote Set and a few packs of seeds. Let the kids plant and water as they wish. It doesn’t have to be perfectly planted–remember you’re aiming for fun not a bumper crop.

After they dig, plant and get nice and muddy,  stop for a snack. You can serve mini sandwiches cut into flowers with a cookie cutter, carrot sticks and of course a gummy worm or two for a treat! Use the Bella Butterfly Picnic Set and the garden theme won’t have to stop just because the gardeners are refueling.

They will need that fuel for the next activity. What is gardening without water? It’s time to fill up those  Bibi Bee Watering Cans and feed all the plants in your yard. The kids won’t even know they are doing you and your to-do list a favor. Since they are probably going to water more than the plants, you might want to plan to pull out the Blossom Bright Sprinkler and let them run through it! Don’t forget to have extra swimsuits and towels on hand for guests that may have forgotten them.

After exciting and physical activities like gardening and running through a sprinkler, it’s a good idea to have a quieter, relaxed activity before it’s time to head home. I love the idea of a chill-out tent, and the Mollie and Bollie Tent is a great place to cozy up and read some garden-themed books or do a puzzle–like this Insects Chunky Puzzle–that fits in perfectly with your theme.

I can’t guarantee that the kids won’t still find a way to explode toys all over your playroom, but I can guarantee they won’t be bored! Using themes can change an everyday playdate into something really cool, and with the help of fantastic toys it can be amazing.

Have you ever hosted a themed playdate? Was it a hit ?