Hosting a preschool play-date is a great way to meet new parents and give your child a fun opportunity socialize and prepare for school in a comfortable environment. Who knows, if it goes well, it might even turn into a regular event or lead to a parent-led preschool co-op group as we have done. Admittedly, this can be a lot of effort, but worth it without a doubt. There is no one right way to do this, except perhaps to do it in the way you feel works best for you and your group of children/parents. It might be as often as twice a week, or maybe just once a month. Regardless, it is fun and beneficial.
One way to possibly get this going is to start things off by hosting a preschool play-date yourself, and plan activities for the kids/parents you invite such as crafts, snacks, stories, music/songs and simple learning exercises or games in a theme for that day. If everyone enjoys themselves, you could discuss a plan for the future and come up with a schedule and discuss lesson-plan ideas. Some groups use manuals, subscribe to on-line preschool curriculum programs, or simply discuss resources and come up with their own lesson plans. Some parents might have experience or talents in certain areas that would be great to share with the kids such as yoga, playing a musical instrument, drama or learning a useful skill. Whatever works best for your group and is realistic will be great for the kids. Our group meets twice a week, rotates hosting, and made a list of materials to make/purchase then split the cost between the parents. We put all the supplies in a plastic bin, and we pass the bin on to whomever will be the next host/hostess. Even if you do not participate in regular meetings, you can consider hosting the preschool play-dates yourself once a month or every six weeks, if it is something you really want to do on your own. The children will love you for it. You can find additional resources on-line, from this and other preschool blogs, visiting your local library for books and finding preschool publications at Amazon.com or other book sellers..and of course using your own ideas and creativity will make it fun your you. Now get planning and start learning and having fun together with your tot!