School to Home

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1. Craft Time

As long as you can live with a little mess, crafts are a reliable source of playdate fun, no matter what the age of the kids you’re hosting. Help preschoolers use crayons and yarn to transform a paper plate into an animal mask. For older toddlers, pour a bit of school glue onto a throwaway plastic lid, then let the kids dip cotton balls and stick them onto a piece of construction paper. Or help them trace the outline of their hands on construction paper, cut it out, glue it to a craft stick, and call it a “high five.”

2. Dance Party

When all that pint-sized energy threatens to soar out of control, crank up the tunes and let the little ones boogie the wiggles out. Boost the playdate fun by playing Sit-Down Dance: When you pause the music, the kids scramble to find a seat (the floor counts). Unlike musical chairs, no one ever gets out. You can even invite a few stuffed-animal dance partners to join the hoedown. Or try musical freeze tag!

3. Container Sandbox

Even when the weather doesn’t cooperate, let the kids play like they’re outside by converting a large, shallow plastic storage container into an indoor sandbox. Filled with sand or even rice, and peppered with shovels, cups, and trucks, it becomes a sandy getaway. In winter try this preschool playdate idea: Bring some of the chilly weather inside by scooping fresh snow into the box and supplying the kids with mittens. They can scoop and mold, make a miniature snowman, and even carve out a tiny igloo without freezing their tootsies.

Things to do WITH FRIENDS

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