No way. I am sorry, but when I was a child, I was expected to be on my best behavior. Clean up shit when I was done with it. Don't trash the bedroom. Don't color on the walls. Ask nicely for something to eat or drink. When did we stop doing this? Teaching our children courtesy and decorum? Having to clean up and be polite does't mean "no fun at all."
Of course, on occasion, I accept a playdate offer, but always make sure that the playing grounds are neutral. If it is held at my house, I politely inform that mother/father of our house rules...and if that isn't something the child can abide by, then we shouldn't have it in my home.
Either way, I like to make suggestions or offer fun activities that involve the whole group (of course, the parents get some non-kid time). Read below to find out great ways to have playdates without impeding upon anybody's preferences/rule/neuroticisms.
1. Bake cupcakes or cookies
Kids love to get messy and what better to do that than making cupcakes or cookies. If you are going to have a baking playdate, remember to let the kids do all of the measuring and stirring. Back away from directing them or correcting them. The only time you should be involved is if they need help reading the instructions and putting the tin in the oven. Creativity is key in this one!
2. Christmas Card Party
Kids love to make cards and pictures for others, so invite one of your kid's buddies over to make Christmas cards for everybody. Get out the glitter, construction paper, glue and stencils. Let them go wild.
While the kids are busy making cards for everybody they can think of, you and the other parent can steal away to the kitchen to make some hot cocoa and sugar cookies (or apple slices?).
3. Gardening Playdate
Summertime can feel really long between June and September (if you don't homeschool that is...). To get your kids out of the house, plan a garden party for them and their friends. Ask the parents to bring a bag of seeds to share and the kids can pick a few different plants to grow. You can supply the soil and recycled containers to plant the starters.
4. Canvas Painting
Arrange to have a few friends come over and paint on large canvases. You can buy these at Michael's when they go on sale. You can also buy them on Amazon. Or if you don't want to splurge on the canvases, try taping butcher paper to your fences and asking the kids to make a community art piece!
5. Movie Night
For very special times (or maybe one of those "oh so cold winter nights"), invite 2-3 buddies over for a movie night. Select a G-rated film, load a few bowls with some popcorn, add in chocolate raisins and turn down the lights. The kids will love feeling like they are at the theaters.
Make this your favorite playdate by making it a monthly routine where each family hosts movie night so the other parents can have a date night. Win-win situation all around.
6. Lemonade Stand
Teach children solid business ethics with a lemonade stand afternoon. You can teach the kids how to make real lemonade, set up the stand and get to work. For a longer project, you could have them make flyers a few days in advance to promote their business venture. After a few hours of selling lemonade, let them decide how to split and use the money.
7. Friendship Bracelet Party
Make friendship bracelets! Super easy. Super fun. And at the end of the afternoon, they can give one to each other.
Get outdoors with another family by planning a small hike that ends in a picnic. Kids love picnics. Heck they love eating anywhere but the dinner table.
9. Superhero Excitement
Invite a fun kid over to make superhero masks and capes.
10. Tea Party
Have a classic tea party!