This playdate idea is provided by special Guest Blogger Julie Kieras from A Year with Mom & Dad.
Playdates can be sanity-savers when your kids are on summer break, but not when the kids are saying “I’m bored!” To help keep kids entertained, try picking a theme for their playdate. Recently, we gathered a few friends on a warm day to work off that energy with a roll-icking good playdate focused around throwing, rolling, and spinning activities.
Our small group was content to play each game together. However, if you have too many kids for one activity, try setting up stations so multiple games can be played at once.
A popular toy was the bouncy kickball (test the air out beforehand!). Kickballs are a number-one item to have on hand for a ball-themed playdate. A bit softer than other balls, a kickball is a great start for toddlers to enjoy a game of catch. Plus, any number of games from Foursquare to soccer, obstacle courses to relay races can be played with a bouncy ball!
The longest game the kids played turned out to be bowling. Bowling was great for taking turns, counting, and eye-hand coordination. The rolling action is different than throwing games and easier for the smaller children to manage. We changed up the action by lining the pins up in various configurations (a circle!). Next time, I’m going to tape down pool noodles to the sidewalk or driveway to create “bumpers” for the younger players.
It’s a bird, a plane, it’s… a Tootle Turtle flying disc! Fun to throw, a good challenge to catch, and got our group of kids running in circles trying to nab it before it hit the ground. Idea: Set up buckets around the yard to play a “Frolf” (Frisbee+golf) game, trying to flick the disc into the buckets from a certain distance.
Finally, for some ball-istic moves, the kids experienced a Day-in-the-Life-of-a-Ball by using their whole bodies in rolling action! We had rolling downhill and somersault races as they pretended to be a life-sized ball!
Never underestimate the creative power of children to come up with amazing games all on their own. Simply hand them a few round props and ask what they’d like to do. We heard all sorts of clever ideas: obstacle courses, soccer tag, relays…you name it!
They were exhausted after all that rolling, throwing, tossing, catching movement. So, we ended the day with round snacks like crackers, pepperoni, carrot coins, and oranges and apples sliced into circles to complete the theme!
After a playdate like this, children will have learned a few new games, and perhaps created some of their own!
For more themed playdate ideas, check out our Plenty of Playdates Pinterest board.
Julie Kieras mothers two inquisitive boys with the support of her husband in the lovely four seasons of New England. She is often found at home interpreting toddler-speak, elbow-deep in PlayDough, or behind the pages of a book. In her spare time she enjoys organizing, walking, crafting, or baking! She blogs about her family life at A Year With Mom and Dad.
This post was created for our Summer Fun Calendar series. Click for more info.