I love hosting play dates because:
- Jackson is so comfortable and confident in his own home.
- All the necessary gates and cabinet locks are in place for the trio.
- It's a good excuse to clean the house. (before and after)
- The kids have fun with their friends while I get to hang out with my friends.
- I genuinely enjoy preparing snacks, activities, etc.
For the Halloween and Christmas play date, I prepared various crafts that required a lot of supplies. All of the food was homemade and I dyed icing in every color. For Valentine's, I scaled back and kept everything simple. My main priority was coming up with a way to include the kids in a service project. Since I had picked the Ronald McDonald house for our monthly service project, I extended it by asking my mom friends to help contribute items for gift bags. The RMH residents are obviously out-of-town and most had to leave their homes hastily. After speaking with the volunteer coordinator and some of my triplet mom friends, we decided to provide things that could help entertain families.
I am blessed to have generous friends who were happy to contribute. Two of them could not stay but still came by to drop off items for the bags. Together we were able to provide each family/room with a slinkie, coloring book with crayons, pen, notepad, word search/crossword puzzle book, deck of cards, stickers, and a loofah.
Each preschooler was in charge of putting their item in each gift bag. I had to let James play outside because he insisted on knocking every gift bag off the table. Amelia and Maddie participated by placing their baby dolls in bags.
I kept the food simple with store-bought cookie dough, one color of icing, fruit, and pretzels. The one semi-fancy thing I did was slice and cut hearts out of a block of cheese.
If anyone noticed a difference in cookies or icing, they certainly didn't complain.
I selected to have the play date today because this was the best weather when I checked the 10-day forecast last week. It's so much easier when the kids can play in the backyard, especially since we more or less have our own playground.
James, Amelia, and Maddie tried their best to hang with the big kids. They couldn't quite keep up.
I tried earlier this morning to take Valentine pictures of the trio holding XO and the heart. It was rather unsuccessful, so I felt redeemed when Jackson and his friends were willing to indulge me with a quick photo shoot. Love these kids!
This evening I dropped off the 28 gift bags that our play group assembled, along with the 28 snack bags from youth group. I don't know how much the kids truly understand about the Ronald McDonald House, but it fills my heart to know that they were so eager to "make mommies and daddies smile even though their kids are sick".
I'm thankful to be able to provide a fun place for Jackson and his friends to play, eat, smile, and serve.