Preparing for a playdate is a lot of work. You organize your hot spots.
You dust your woods. Wait, that hutch was symmetrical. Someone got ahold of a knickknack.
You vacuum and straighten. Wait, that room was straightened. Is that a toy already out?
You clean off your perpetually messy counter, leaving only fruit, tissues, and cell phone cords. No, I did not pick out that 70's tile. I inherited it and was told taking it off was a big job, not to be undertaken with small children underfoot.
You make your games and puzzles accessible in the playroom--only not to the two year old.
You display their artwork.
You put out knickknacks, once again, that the two year old will mess with.
You have crafts available.
Which only one or two children will do, because, let's face it: When kids get together, they want to be physical--do things like, say, play tag and break a lamp (that happened here once).
My faithful crafter, Paul, liked the Valentine things.
Yesterday, Jack Black was the hit. Our homeschooling friend, Elizabeth, has at least twenty different animals in her house, mostly caged.
They built Jack a Lego maze.
Jack is not supposed to be loose on my carpet, but I made an exception for the playdate.
The two year old is taking advantage of a distracted Momma. Here she was caught eating the snacks--in this case, Hershey's kisses. She is her Momma's daughter.
Within the first fifteen minutes of the playdate, the children went outside, begging that an igloo be built for them. We had never made one, but Elizabeth's father led the way. The men are out there, sans children, because the children came inside after twenty minutes. The men wanted to finish what they started.
Here they are digging out the center, after piling snow on for a half hour.
Later, after the playdate, my Mary took advantage of the Valentine craft things. I had also expanded our supply of craft beads, adding some lettered beads for spelling names and such. Again, only my faithful crafter, Paul, took advantage of those. He made Elizabeth a necklace. My own children did want to do crafts at some point, but girls around nine can be a bit bossy. Elizabeth didn't want to do crafts.
Come to think of it, girls around four can be a bit bossy as well. I recall my Mary saying this week, "Paul, you have to wash your face before we go to the library or to the store. You see, people can see the food on your face."
At this bit of wisdom from his little sister, my Paul only laughed, as did the Momma.