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All About Stress-Free Playdates

15 Playdate Commandments

Thou Shalt Not:

  1. Forget to ask: "Are there guns? Unsupervised Internet? Adults you don't know in the house?"
  2. Stay too long. (An hour is plenty for the littlest kids.)
  3. Leave without helping to clean up.
  4. Bring a sick child.
  5. Schedule playdates at naptime.
  6. Supervise the kids any less rigorously than you would your own.
  7. Leave out toys that everybody can't play with. (Put away things that are difficult to share.)
  8. Let things be one-sided -- always doing just the inviting or the accepting.
  9. Bring a sibling or a friend to tag along.
  10. Neglect to have your children say, "Thanks for having me."
  11. Feed snacks without asking about food allergies and parental preferences.
  12. Drop off a child who isn't 100 percent potty-trained.
  13. Plop the kids in front of the TV or video games for the duration.
  14. Forget that guests always go first.
  15. Gossip to another mom about a child's behavior. What happens on a playdate stays on a playdate.

7 Snacks to Serve (That Kids Will Like and That Won't Make Moms Roll Their Eyes)

  1. Bite-size muffins -- try something nutritious like banana, zucchini, or pumpkin
  2. Individual baggies of trail mix
  3. Portable bites such as string cheese, yogurt sticks, and cereal bars
  4. Fruit kabobs
  5. Rice cakes a la hummus
  6. Roll-ups (Spread a tortilla with cream cheese, top with turkey and shredded lettuce. Roll, then slice into pieces.)
  7. Frozen grapes (for children over 4)

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