As the school holidays are fast approaching, parents are considering what options they have in regards to care and entertainment for their children during the two weeks they are not at school.
For many families, the option to take leave from work is not a viable one and they are left to find appropriate options that are suitable for their family’s circumstance. Families with one or both parents at home may struggle with affording entertainment options for their children and will be on the hunt for free or low-cost ideas of things to do with their children. Some families with the financial means and physical ability to be around during the holidays may be considering alternative ways to entertain their children. Whichever situation your family is in, there is a solution and the
answer is: playdates.
A playdate is simply an organised time for two or more children to spend time with one another. They may happen at someone’s home or at a public area such as a park or play centre. If a playdate is one-to-one if can strengthen friendships and establish strong bonds outside of the school environment. The best part is there is no age limit. Play dates might seem like a simplistic answer to the woes of school holiday struggles but they can certainly meet the needs of all families if we bind together to create the ‘village’ often talked about in parenting. Social interaction in a variety of settings is vital in developing a child’s sense of belonging, enhances communication and enables for character development. By allowing your children to visit a friend’s house, they gain additional insight into the world around them and learn to cooperate.
So, parents if you have the means to invite your child’s friend over for a playdate these holidays, do it! Not only will your children have the chance to play with peers they like to spend time with, it will aid them in becoming more independent and confident as they mature.
Sara Drebber is an educational consultant, teacher, writer and mother of three.