For most parents, the play date is an opportunity that allows them to get some adult conversation in while the children play. Play dates can get tricky as everyone has a different opinion of what they expect on a play date. Yours could be completely different from what your child’s play mate’s parents might have in mind.
Play dates prior to preschool are really intended for moms, dads, or caregivers more than babies or toddlers. At this age, children participate in parallel play as opposed to with one another, and it gives parents a chance to have some adult conversations with other parents who understand what they are going through.
With kindergarteners, it’s slightly different. You as parents need to be aware of their whereabouts in the house/garden and activities they undertake. Also for hosting a play date, it’s important to get the list of ‘allowed-food’ from the guest parents to be prepared prior.
A lot of important developmental milestones take place during the elementary school years. Children meet friends and they want to socialize outside of school. Children tend to defy rules and make plans without parent’s knowledge.
It’s important to make sure all parents are informed of plans, even if their child says they’re aware. This also means they are identifying with their independence and you do not necessarily have to supervise them. Also food habit cannot be controlled at this age unless there are any allergies at play for which you must inform your host parents about.
In simple terms, you’re learning about your child as much as they are learning about themselves. It needs to be in balance with their wishes and safety.