Pirate Theme party with a scavenger hunt. Make toilet paper roll binoculars. You can buy compasses at Walmart and eye patches for super cheap at the Oriental Trading Company.
Hula Party The kids will have grass skirts and we'll have a modified limbo and surfing contest.
"ABC" or "Letter of the Day" playdates
Johnny Appleseed Day do a flannel/finger play about apples, read Ten Apples Up on Top, do a craft where the kids can make their own apples on a tree with their fingerprints or stickers (their choice) and have an apple treat of some kind.
Dino Days Fossils there is a park with a giant sandbox. Bury some premade "fossils" in the sand and tell the kids that archaeologists dig for fossils and a preschool explanation of what fossils are. After the kids dig for the fossils, make your own fossils using a premade fossil mixture that can be made...1 cup used coffee grinds...1/2 cup flour...1/2 cup salt...1/2 cold coffee you flatten it out like playdough and let the kids make imprints with different objects. You could use acorns, leaves, sticks, etc at the park... eventually the fossils dry.
Teddy Bear Picnic Print off some coloring pages that had a bear having a picnic that they colored. Read a teddy bear picnic story. Take a sheet and put the teddy bears in the middle and bounced them in the air the kids love this one. All of the kids bring their teddy bears. Snack on teddy grahams (graham crackers shaped like bears). Sing the teddy bear song: teddy bear teddy bear touch the ground (the kids touched the ground)teddy bear teddy bear turn around. November 14 is National American Teddy Bear Day.
Outdoor Playdate Ideas
Fruit Picking-- find your local orchard or go to a local farm, pick some berries, have a picnic. Maybe have a another date for making jam/jelly. Some of the farms also have petting zoos so that is an added bonus. find a pick-your-own farm near you!
Drive-in Movie -- We've done it twice so far as a family event and both times it received was super fun. Playdate goers ask to do it again. The adults get to enjoy the movie & the kids are free to run around & play.
Grandparents Picnic-- for Grandparents Day
Sensory Playdates -- everyone brings something of a different texture (homemade playdoh, shaving cream, gak, etc) or smell (lemons, cinnamon, lavender oil) or flavors (try to do the big four, sweet, sour, bitter, salty), these are always a big hit.
Finger Painting with pudding
Tie-Dying Shirts -- You can use different colors for different seasons
Baby Ragbrai -- Do a Baby Bikers and Big Wheels For Babies event where all the kids can bring a bike, ride-on toy or matchbox/hot wheels and bike across a local park. A baby Ragbrai to honor and celebrate the original.
Stroller Walks -- Bring your own Strollers for a stroll or a hike. These outings turn into so much more than fresh air and exercise!
Balls -- Have everyone brings balls of any shape or size with their name on it. Kids love to kick, hit, throw, catch, and run after balls!!
Indoor Playdates Ideas
Swap Meet Meetup everyone can bring a large tupper ware container filled with stuff they're willing to swap. I'll be providing some snacks and hopefully be able to get rid of some clothes my boys can no longer fit in. Clothes Swap
Mommy and Me Exercise putting on some music and everyone dancing or whatever with their kiddos!
Sign Language There is a video called "Signing Time" and it is so much fun. It's 30 minutes long. Vol. 1 first signs is a good first video to help teach little kids a few basic signs. Kids can start to pick up use sign language at 6-9 months. All three of my kids started at 12months and I'm an instructor!
S'mores Fun for National S'mores on August 10. Host a pretend indoor campfire, pitched a tent, read a camping story, and sang camping songs. Then, microwaved S'mores and the children can even made cardboard S'mores using brown paint and cotton balls.
Cookbook Swap and potluck lunch on Friday. Each mom brings a cookbook or two that they want to part with for a month. We swap them for the month(I keep a list of who's is whos) and we have potluck lunch. The kids will be playing while we do this. Then next month when we swap back we will have another cooking theme meetup.
Family Fun Nights - The kids bring sleeping bags/blankets and pillows and the parents bring dinner and snacks. We all eat together and then the lights go out and the movie goes on (it's on a big projection screen.)
Tumbling Tuesdays --event where the kids can tumble away on my playroom floor. Put down foam pieces and tons of blankets and pillows.
Mama Skate/ Strollerskate -- some roller rinks set up a few hours for the facility to let the moms bring in their strollers and skate with the kids.
Arts & Crafts Playdates
Handprint crafts or other things that record the sizes and stages of the kids. Buy some cheap t-shirts and if there is a small group of 5 or 8 kids - let them each put a hand print on each other's shirts. Turns out super cute!
We made home made playdough in all different colors and each child got to take home a little bit of each color. It was great for the older children who could help and get their hands dirty and the little ones just played with it after it was all done. We used kool aid to scent the dough
Mini-Pizzas It is fun to make your own pizzas, you can toast english muffins, have the kids add sauce, cheeses, and toppings. Put them under the broiler for a minute and lunch is served!
Pancake Party Bring the kids and come over for some tasty pancakes, lots of good strong coffee, and loads of good times! Snacks and juice available for the kids as well. All apparel welcome!
Grass People Fill cup with soil. Add grass seed. Water. Glue 2 googly eyes on each cup. Draw a mouth with the marker. Place in sunlight and watch grow. Cut hair when he needs a "haircut".
Raising Butterflies Buy the school kit ($52) from www.insect lore.com, and small butterfly pavilions ($14) at oriental trading.com. Charge $6/butterfly to cover costs including shipping.
Decorate your own Sippy Cup! Playtex Sippy Cup Playdate Playtex now has a cup that your child can decorate themselves, you can print out replacement decorations on playtex's website.
Watermelon Playdate Cut paper plates in half. Have the children paint the half circle red. Then have the children stick the green squares along the grooved edge of the plate. (This will be the rind of the watermelon). Then, have the children add the seeds.
Invest in a play parachute. (I've seen at Target.)
You can use the parachute to sing Ring-Around-the-Rosie. Have 3 children sit in the middle while the moms hold the parachute handles up and walk in a clockwise motion. The parachute will turn. On "all fall down", the moms drop to the floor and sing the next verse while shaking (for lack of a better description) the sides of the parachute up and down "Cows are in the meadow eating buttercups. Munching...Munching we all stand up" and then the moms rise and do it again.
You could also do "Wheels on the Bus." For the "Wheels on the Bus go 'round and round", the moms hold the parachute handles and walk in a clockwise motion. For each verse, you move the parachute differently. "Windows go up and down"- moms lift the parachute up and down
"Wipers go swish, swish, swish"- moms move the handles back and forth to make the parachute swish "Babies go bounce, bounce, bounce- moms drop to the floor and bounce parachute
You can blow the bubbles for the children and let them use their index finger and thumb to pop the bubbles (great fine motor skill). OR, you can give each child a mini-bubbler tumbler and let them blow their own bubbles. Either way, put on some nice classical music or soothing instrumental music for them to explore the bubbles with.
You can find long wooden dowels at Home Depot or any do it yourself store. Cut them into about 6 inch lengths, which is perfect for little hands. You can rhythm sticks to teach timing and rhythm. There are lots of really great kiddie songs to tap along to!
Fill a box with all kinds of drums, tambourines, bells, etc. Kids love to have a parade!
You can go to any DIY store and ask for a batch of paint sticks. Wal-Mart just leaves them on the counter here! Then, purchase spools of 2-in. ribbon at a craft store. I like all different colors. Cut the ribbons into 6 feet lengths and glue (Elmers works well.) one end of the ribbon onto the paint stick. When it dries, the kids will enjoy twirling and twisting and spinning with their ribbon sticks. Again, you soothing music or classical music for the children to move and explore to the music. A song I like to use is April Showers from Bambi but really anything will work.
It's good to incorporate math concepts into a Mommy and Me group. There are so many great websites to find fingerplays. You can almost an topic out there!
There are soooo many resources out there, it can get overwhelming! Use this blog to find playdates WITH descriptions to use for your group of kiddos.