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Teaching Kids Healthy Habits Teaching Kids Healthy Habits

How to Have a Tantrum-Free Playdate Exit

Posted by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM
  • 34 Replies
1 mom liked this

So, you set up a nice afternoon for your child to play with a little friend from her preschool....they are due to come over at 10:30...which means they will be leaving when? Yes, the eternal question as to how long a playdate should last.

When kids are small, often the end to a playdate is determined by that, when naptime is...or when a younger sibling's naptime is or the like. But when they get older, that built-in timer isn't an issue. From everything I've read and other moms I have asked, they all say about two hours is a good length for good buddies to play.

One thing about ending a playdate is the whole saying good-bye thing. Getting kids to stop the fun and don their shoes to head home can make the end of a good playdate go south to Tearsville really fast. Here are some hints to make the final minutes of a playdate as fun as the rest:

-- Tell both kids at the beginning of the playdate how long it will last. They may not get the concept of time yet, but letting them know at some point Dylan is going to have to head home for dinnertime is essential.

-- Give a countdown to clean-up time and good-bye time. When it is about 15 minutes before the guest has to leave, tell the kids they can play for another 10 minutes and then it will be clean-up time.

-- Make clean-up fun. Create a game to get all of the dinosaurs back in the bucket or throw on some tunes and make it a dance-clean-up party.

-- Be sure you have proper goodbyes and talk about the next playdate you will have. Give hugs, high-fives, and thank yous all around before the guests go out the door. If the kids know they will get together again soon, it makes leaving go a little easier.

How long do your playdates usually last? Give your hints on a graceful playdate exit!

ŠiStockphoto.com/Ridofranz


by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
sarah824
by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 12:16 AM

2 hours seems to be the norm. We always discuss how long we will play ahead of time. The kids also know that when I say let's go, I mean let's go...NOW! :-) 

batjmom
by Sarah on Apr. 18, 2012 at 5:59 AM
My Kids are older and past this Stage but if I saw this I would say "it's nap time so we better go" quick and simple
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PoehlerBear1983
by Meghan on Apr. 18, 2012 at 7:59 AM
We dont do playdates
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NicholasMama608
by Sarah on Apr. 18, 2012 at 10:54 AM


Quoting sarah824:

2 hours seems to be the norm. We always discuss how long we will play ahead of time. The kids also know that when I say let's go, I mean let's go...NOW! :-) 

Same here.

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countrymomma81
by on Apr. 18, 2012 at 9:31 PM

We've never done them. 

soccerchik8287
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Awesome tips! Ours usually last about 2hrs

MamaMandee
by Member on Apr. 19, 2012 at 3:21 PM

Ours are a couple of hours and I always give a countdown warning when the time is getting near to be done. 

nngmommy83
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 4:05 PM

great tips! TFS

TheBabyFactory4
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 6:03 PM

We don't have playdates

Kmakksmom
by on Apr. 19, 2012 at 7:50 PM

My girls had never really wanted playdates when they were younger.  Now that they are older they want to go over to their friends' houses and have "playdates".  They know that when it's time to go it's time to go.  My son who's 3 doesn't want to go anywhere else to play yet.

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