I am a work from home mom with a young son and the truth is that we need to get out and socialize more! To do that, I’ve started organizing play dates for Don and I. The hope is that he plays with a friend and I get to have adult conversation at the same time- win win!
The sun is shining, so I’ve decided to do my play dates outside. I LOVE entertaining outdoors because I don’t have to clean my house (lol). I couldn’t have done this project without Tuesday Morning. We partnered up to share some entertaining ideas and I’m so excited to show how I reworked our front porch to be perfect for play date entertaining!
tips and tricks for creating the perfect outdoor spring get together
have a comfortable place to sit
First of all, you’ll want a cozy spot for sitting. I already had the bench, but knew I’d need a place for the kids to play. For that, I picked up this mini kids table, stool, and umbrella set from Tuesday Morning for $69.99 (compare at $99.99). I thought that was SUCH a good deal- isn’t the umbrella cute?!
The store I shopped at had a stack of probably 5 of these kid tables, so definitely check your local store if you want one! They have limited availability on their goods so its best to check in every week or so to see if items show up that you want.
a rolling cart is perfect for drinks and snacks
Next, I also needed a place for snacks for the adults. I wanted a cart that could be moved inside and outside. I found this gold mirrored wheeled end table from Tuesday Morning and am excited about it- isn’t it so unique?! It was also $69.99 (compare at $99.99). It usually lives inside as an end table, but I love that it is so portable and can quickly be moved outside.
set a menu
With play dates (or any entertaining, honestly), its important to set a menu and expectations for eating. Make sure you address any dietary restrictions and allergies. I let my friend know we’d be having snacks and made sure a little sugar was fine. I like to do my play dates before lunch so we can stay on our nap routine. Plus, with little ones being picky, I find it best to eat lunch on our own.
How gorgeous is he?! The snacks are from Tuesday Morning (do you see a trend here?! I stocked up while I was grabbing the furniture). Those lemon cake batter cookies were divine! Plus they were $2.99 (compare at $5.99). Gourmet looking treats that are reasonable in price are kind of my favorite thing 😉
set a schedule
Can I tell you my worst nightmare? Its when people come over in the morning and don’t leave until 5. Lol! I need work time, so I like to say something like “do you want to come over at 10 for a few hours?” That compared with having snacks instead of lunch creates a clear timeline and sets boundaries. If you’re fine with people staying as long as they want, that works too! Just know that I’m jealous of your flexibility 😉
If I take Don to another friends home I make sure to not overstay my welcome and watch the host’s clues so I can respect her family’s needs.
tassel hat DIY
For my outdoor entertaining, I did a few DIYs that I thought I’d share. Everyone needs a sun hat when entertaining outside, right?! I grabbed this one for $7.99 (compare at $18) from Tuesday Morning. I bought some super affordable tassel trim online and hot glued it on. This project seriously took about 2 minutes, but it really jazzed up the hat and added a bunch of personality to it!
flamingo napkins DIY
When I was at Tuesday Morning, I saw that they had a 12 pack of white cotton napkins on sale for $9.99 (compare at $16)! I added those to my cart so quickly, that is a killer deal! Later, at home, I decided to customize them with pink fabric dye. I painted pink flamingos on the napkins, rinsed them out, washed them. And, ta da! You have flamingo napkins!
a few more tips and etiquette for play dates
make goals for your “event”
I’ve been focusing on play dates with the following goals in mind for my son: I want to make sure he gets the social experience and interaction he needs for his development- especially his verbal communication and sharing. Anyone else have a selfish only child?! Its definitely something we’re working on before he goes to school!
tips for helping little ones share
I think sharing is the trickiest part of play dates (at least for toddlers)! Before we do play dates, we go though Don’s toys and decide together what we’ll be sharing and playing with. His very favorite toys stay inside so he doesn’t have to share them. We practice sharing before others come other. Then, when he’s playing, I praise him when I see him sharing. If playing turns to fighting, I hang back for a minute to see if they can solve it together before rushing in.
play date discipline
I have a rule for myself with play dates- I discipline my child and let the other mom(s) discipline their own children. When we go to other homes, I make sure to ask myself “would I be ok if someone else’s kid was doing this at my home?” You don’t want things to get awkward and ruin future playing opportunities, so watch your own child closely.
Lastly, at the end of a play date, make sure to help the host to clean up. There’s nothing worst than ending a fun afternoon with a lot of dishes and toys to clean and straighten. If everyone pitches in, it leaves the play date on the best possible note. Plus, its good to teach kids to clean up before leaving a friends house for when they’re older and you might not be there to remind them.
a little more about Tuesday Morning
Tuesday Morning is a unique store! I like to think about it like a treasure hunt. Their buyers travel around the world to find limited edition products that they can offer at a fair price. The store is clean and organized and you can tell that the stock is changing daily with high quality products sold at incredible savings. I had fun searching through the aisles looking for good finds to work for my outdoor entertaining!
If you want to see a sneak peek of what you can probably find in store, here is a link to their spring outdoor entertaining ad! To find your local Tuesday Morning, click here.
play table set $69.99 (compare at $99) / pillow $9.99 (compare at $19.99) / gummy bears $2.99 (compare at $4.99) / rock candy $4.99 (compare at $8.99) / melamine white plates $1.99 (compare at $5) / sun hat $7.99 (compare at $18) / lemon cookies $2.99 (compare at $5.99) /peach juice $2.99 (compare at $4.99) / bamboo cups $2.99 (compare at $8) / goblets $4.99 (compare at $12) / napkins 12 pack $9.99 (compare at $16) / vanilla meringues $3.99 (compare at $5.99) / pink after dinner mints $2.99 (compare at $4.99) / scalloped cake stand $9.99 (compare at $20) / gold rolling card $69.99 (compare at $99) / pineapple canister $13.99 (compare at $30) / melamine white bowls $1.99 (compare at $6) / shell mini bowl $3.99 (compare at $9)
Anyone else so excited for the beautiful spring weather?! I love having friends over, but have only just now been learning what to do for play dates. Tell me, what did I miss? Anything you wish your friends do when they bring their little ones over? Thank you to Tuesday Morning for partnering with me on this post and helping me find a variety of items at great deals that help me express my personal style!
This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.