I have just finished all of my parent teacher conferences. One topic that kept coming up was playdates. Unless your first grade child is a twin, then he/she does not have a built in playmate. You may think that having a younger/older sibling, cousin, neighbor, babysitter, etc. is enough of a friend to play with for your child, but it is not. Your child is growing and maturing and developing friendships here at school. He/she wants to play with his/her classmates but does not have much of an opportunity to do that during the school day. I realize that these children are kept quite busy by their parents with all of their extracurricular activities that take them from one end of the week to the other. Your child needs time to explore friendships with someone his/her exact age, learn to share his/her toys and home with a friend and practice the social skills needed to be a friend. Your child needs you to help set up an occasional playdate with a classmate. This might involve having the friend come home on the bus for an hour after school, or you could try Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon to set up an hour or two for your child to play. He/she needs it, learns from the experience and uses the knowledge gained from the playdate to further develop the art of making and keeping friends. Children do not automatically know how to make friends and they do need a little guidance from us. They should be provided to opportunity to practice being a friend as often as possible and you will be amazed at how your child’s social skills will develop with your assistance.
Category Archives: Playdates
Your child has made many new friends this year in Kindergarten. It comes as quite a shock to many 5 and 6 year olds once school stops and they cannot see their friends on a regular basis. Even more of a surprise is learning that many of these friends will be in different classrooms once first grade begins in the fall. Our school PTO sells a parent directory which contains phone numbers and e-mail addresses of parents who wish to share that information with other parents. If you do not have phone numbers and e-mail addresses for the parents of your child’s friends, you might want to look into doing that now. Summer can be long for a child and having friends to have play dates with will help when you hear ‘there’s nothing to do!’ from your child. As a teacher, I cannot share phone numbers and email addresses but all you have to do is ask the parents yourself. You could write a quick note asking for this information and address it to “Mary’s Mom/Dad” and ask your child’s teacher to give it to Mary to take home. In the note you should share your name, your child’s name, your phone number or e-mail address and ask for the same from them so that you could set up summer time play dates. Believe me, having this information now, will really be beneficial once school is out and you no longer have the ability to get the note to the other child.
It snowed here for the first time this season and when I asked my Kindergartners how many went out to play in the snow; I was shocked to hear that some of my children did not go out in it. What? 5 year olds and snow go perfectly together and since we don’t get snow here every day an opportunity to have fun was definitely missed. The resounding excuse was that it was too cold outside. Again, what? Many 5 year olds are being raised to think it is ok to stay indoors and play with electronics when they really should be outdoors having fun and staying healthy. When outdoors the children are provided with fresh and clean air especially at a time when the house is heated and the air inside is dry, germ infested and stale. Playing outdoors increases circulation and appetite, allows the child to sleep better and decreases aggression and stress. So what are you waiting for? Playgrounds are still there in cold weather, backyards and front yards are also still there so if your child is dressed appropriately, let them go out to play. When your child says that he/she has nothing to do, take out the sweaters, winter coats, hats, scarves, mittens and boots and go for a walk together. There is much outside your front door just waiting to be discovered.