The truth about (toddler) play dates 

April 15, 2017

I am a big lover of the play date.

When I first moved to Surrey from South East London I had to make a whole new circle of friends as I had left my NCT group behind. I was lucky though as through our Sure Start Centre I met a lovely group of Mum’s and they introduced me to the way they did play dates and their name – Fizz Fridays.

I mean what could be better, we placed our darling babies on the floor with their friends, gave them lots of toys, they looked around in awe at other little people and we caught up with fellow sleep deprived Mum’s, ate cake and drank fizz.

But something changed…

Our babies started to crawl, then they started to walk and soon after they hit the toddler years which can (quite) often involve fighting over toys, snatching, not wanting to play and demanding our cake!

Play dates as we knew them were gone.

I do still love play dates, however the vision of them in my head is very different to the reality.

You may have seen that this week I hosted a play date. I knew that it wouldn’t be easy hosting and juggling two but it was harder than I thought! 

Here is what happened:

  • I made scones and attempted to film a vlog. The slight problem was that Amelie decided not to nap, bounced in her cot, hit her chin then cried so much she woke Evie. With half an hour before four mum’s, four toddlers and two babies appeared I had no baked scones (and no emergency biscuits), one tired toddler and one very tired baby
  • When everyone arrived Amelie decided she didn’t want to play with anyone and would only be carried. I think I made one person a drink – I only realised I didn’t offer the last guest a drink until that evening (sorry Hannah)!!
  • Everyone wanted to play with one toy. Inside it was the tractor and outside the trampoline. Cue Mummy police / UN negotiators trying to teach sharing and equal goes with said toys
  • Evie was totally beside herself but I couldn’t hold her as Amelie was in my arms so she got passed round every willing Mummy there (until thank goodness my Mum came)
  • The toddlers ate nearly all of the scones I had eventually managed to cook, leaving crumbs for us
  • When Evie finally calmed down for some food, she did the biggest, the worst, outfit destroying poo I have ever witnessed
  • Whilst this drama was happening Amelie found mini egg cakes and demolished two of them, which led to her not eating any dinner later

But for all of that…

  • I managed to talk to everyone and work out what they were doing for the weekend
  • When Amelie finally warmed up she did have fun in the garden and even shared her high chair with her little friend when they ate their scones
  • I managed to bake for a play date!!
  • I had a glass of fizz


So although play dates have changed since those baby days I still had a wonderful afternoon and wouldn’t change the craziness! It’s so nice that our children have the opportunity to have these playdates and interact with their friends at home – it’s good for them to learn how to share and to learn how to play with each other so for the frazzled state I was in at the end, it was worth it.

Do you find play dates stressful? What do you find are good play date activities?

Sarah xx

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  • Reply Kiki April 17, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Playdates are always stressful for us – always a tired tot and tantrums and tears to follow. I find going out somewhere helps eg the park or just walking about…even letting them loose on a playing field. Like you, I miss our baby group. Being back at work and not having the same days of has meant I’ve lost touch with some Mums (and Dads).

  • Reply ourrachblogs April 19, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I’ve got to be honest here, play dates make me stressed. I can’t deal with more than 1 child at one time very well! Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging

    • Reply sarahsurreymama April 20, 2017 at 7:34 pm

      Haha! They are starting to make me more stressed… we’ll see how long they go on for x

  • Reply Honest Mum® (@HonestMum) April 19, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Aw looks like fun but playdates definitely get more active as kids grow up!

  • Reply One Messy Mama April 23, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Play dates give me anxiety! No matter what the age… Toddlers screaming and need sleep to 7 year olds deciding they don’t want to play with their friends after all… I’m always worried about what might come out my children’s mouths :)…. The whole point of a play date is that the kids play and parents catch up… In my experience that is never the case 🙂 haha!…I seriously need to relax don’t I! Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging this week!

  • Reply Sadie April 26, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Playdates with more than one kid? Nu-uh, can’t deal! You’re a braver woman than I!

  • Reply Rhyming with Wine May 1, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    You baked AND there was fizz? You my friend, are winning at play dates! I love a playdate but the carnage around the house tends to make my eye twitch haha. I love your photos. Thanks so much for joining us for #DreamTeam x

  • Reply Janine August 26, 2017 at 9:21 am

    Nice post. Play dates are a nightmare these days, my daughter is on “mine!” Stage and doesn’t share. Then parents get involved and it’s a pain for all this policing business!

  • Reply Helen Treharne October 13, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Play dates have certainly evolved. When they were babies we met in coffee shops and talking about boobs. When they got older we went to soft play. Once they were more mobile it was impossible to chat as the little ones were spread all over the place exploring. We’ve settled into a nice routine of of play dates at each other’s homes now which is great. Far less to carry and they can explore safely. It’s also much easier to accommodate different eating and napping schedules. We tend to adopt an open house approach with a window of 2/3 hours when all welcome. It’s working… for now!

  • Reply Paola November 13, 2017 at 5:48 am

    Your post is real fun, probably because it resonates so much.
    Things get better when they get 3 or so. And I’ve witnessed everything works better if you keep the total number of kids below 5. 5 is the critical threshold after which it becomes a s**t party. 😐

  • Reply The Autism Dada (Sean) November 15, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Sounds like you have busy play dates. With our daughter we limit it to one play date and not few kids. Makes it bit easier.

    That said, because of our son we can’t have it too hectic anyhow as it may cause him to melt down. Fun times of being parents.

  • Reply Lora November 28, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Sounds like the play date went perfect! I have three and there’s nothing a glass of fizz won’t cure!
    Also a hersham mummy ❤️

    • Reply Sarah December 16, 2017 at 7:20 am

      Sorry for my delayed reply! Oh are you, wonder if I have seen you around xx

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