I'm proud of myself for volunteering to host a few play groups at our house this month. Proud of myself because I usually GO to play groups, I don't host them. Why? Because then I have to clean my house, that's why! Actually, I decided that I really like one of my friend's philosophies when it comes to having people over. She told me she makes it a point to make sure her house is not overly tidy when someone visits for the first time so that there are no expectations from that point on. 🙂 Because of this philosophy, I actually enjoyed hosting. I kept to my regular daily routine of general pick-up and the finger prints and dust remained where they were. And you know what? My friends are so awesome that I don't think they cared. We enjoyed our lunch and the kids had a great time.
So how do you host a play group?
I wrote this review while participating in a campaign forMom Central Consulting on behalf of Playskool. I received product samples to facilitate my party and review, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
Simple Invite. I find group messaging and/or Facebook groups to be a great way to keep everyone informed on the details. If you are only inviting a few people, group messaging is great, but if you are inviting several people, group messaging can be annoying for certain people. I was involved in a summer play group this last summer and it was easy to keep everyone informed because we all got notifications on Facebook as to which park it was being hosted at that week, and what time. If you're able to do the same day each week, great. If not, Facebook is probably the best reminder. If you have a specific plan for your play group, make sure and include that for the details. For this particular party, I let everyone know the kids would be “helping” my daughter test out her Let's Imagine Elmo.
Food. Just because you are hosting the play group doesn't mean you need to break the bank on the food! We have done food several different ways in our various play groups, and each have worked out great. For this month's play groups, I provided the main dish (pizza) and had everyone else bring a side, drink or paper products.
At home with the kids? Instantly access any of these printable activity bundles to keep them learning!
Entertainment for the Kids. The moms are going to have plenty to talk about, but kids get antsy really fast. Either host your play group at the park, or have toys set out for the kids to play with. For this particular play date, the kids got to try out our new Imagine with Elmo doll, as well as some other Playskool toys and that kept them pretty entertained.
Theme. This is optional, but sometimes having a theme makes your get together really fun. Maybe it's a holiday party, or a fall “soups” party, or a crafting party, or in my case since I just received a bunch of fun toys to try out, we had a “Playskool” party.
Be Flexible. I initially had some fun hats for the kids to wear, and had little name badges for them to write what they wanted to be when they grew up. All it took was one kid petitioning the idea before the whole gang refused to wear hats. No biggie.
Above all, just make your party our own. If you like to keep things simple, do it. If you like to go elaborate, go to town! I personally prefer spending more money on good food and less on decorations, so we settled with a simple dollar store tablecloth, and enjoyed some gourmet calzones.
Let's Imagine Elmo
Let’s Imagine Elmo comes with three different hats that unlock different imaginary themes and play modes: Prince, Cowboy, and Sea Captain. The kid's had fun changing the hats and hearing the different songs and phrases. My daughter's favorite is learning numbers with “cowboy Elmo.” I was glad we had other fun toys available like the Transformers Mixable, Mashable Heroes and Stack N Spin Monkey Gears so that they weren't all fighting over Elmo at the same time.
Learn more about the new Let's Imagine Elmo on the Playskool Website.