Playdate Etiquette

Playdates are one of the best side benefits of being a parent. You get to enjoy adult conversation and the kids get to enjoy playing with someone else’s toys. To make sure you’re a gracious guest, we asked Faye Rogaski, founder of socialsklz:-), for her tips on playdate etiquette so that we get invited to play again…

Good social skills make playdates fun for everyone. When attending playdates at other people’s homes, teach your child to think in someone else’s shoes – encourage him/her to be a good friend and treat others with consideration, gentleness, and respect. Practice and prepare your child for his or her playdate with these simple tips, so he or she can not only visit with ease, but continue to enjoy playdates with new friends.

Discuss the playdate beforehand with your child. Mark down the date in the calendar and talk about who you’re going to visit and when you’re going to do it, encouraging your child look forward to special occasions.

Get into the habit of greeting and saying good bye. Practice entering and exiting your own house with your child. Encourage your child to smile and say “Hello” with eye contact upon entry and “Thank you for having me!” This is a fun exercise for children!

Be a respectful and considerate houseguest. Remind your child that playing with toys at someone else’s house is different than being at home. Always ask before touching someone else’s things.

Bring a thoughtful treat like a small gift, a craft activity or a healthy snack to share, particularly if your child has food allergies. Rather than explain what your child cannot eat, bring your own tasty treat and mention that allergies are at hand, so this is the snack option for your child.

Arrive on time. It shows respect and consideration for someone else’s time.

Write (or illustrate) a thank you note after the play-date. This is a gesture for a first-time playdate. Also, if the playdate went well suggest that you and your child invite the friend over to your house for the next play-date to encourage and show reciprocity, a key to any friendship!

— Faye Rogaski, founder socialsklz:-) tools to thrive in the modern world ( workshops for children and young adults featuring modern day social skills needed to succeed on the playground, in the classroom, and beyond. She is also an adjunct professor of communications at NYU.