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Old 02-14-2009, 12:35 PM   #11
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Re: Playdate advice!!

I always offer to help pick up before we leave a house and then I say "Is there any organization system I need to know?" because I'm the same way about toys. And before we have friends over we put away the things that have a lot of fiddelty parts or that are going to be a mess. We leave out the kitchen and kitchen supplies and the Little people but put up puzzles, shape sorters, etc.


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Old 02-14-2009, 12:38 PM   #12
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Re: Playdate advice!!

I know you want your house to be playdate friendly mama.

Your children are very good about putting things away, right? But what if you look at the room from a guest's point of view? Is it easy to clean, easy to remember what goes where? If it's not already, make sure it is. Put little pictures or labels on bins and cubbies.

Second, I think the organized activity is a great idea! When I have littles here I put out a few interesting things on the coffee table to ease them into play - and keep them away from the things they shouldn't be in! It ranges from paints, to blocks, to chalk...just something small to occupy the child for a bit.

I don't see anything wrong with minimizing the room before playdates. Kids will always entertain themselves, no matter what. Keep a few open-ended play toys and put away the single use ones that will bore them after a few minutes (and be forgotten in the middle of the floor).

And don't hesitate to set a timer at the end asking for a few minutes cooperation in cleaning up. Sometimes mamas are unsure about the protocol in others' houses, so it's fine to enforce the house policy. (and if anything, it'll help weed out the families that probably shouldn't be invited back if they're reluctant to have their children help)
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:19 PM   #13
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Re: Playdate advice!!

I belong to a childcare coop so I have small groups of kids over to my house once or twice a week. They always get out all the toys!

I have some of the fabric cubes that fit into my bookshelf and a train table with 2 large drawers. I have labelled the cubes with pictures of what goes in them (blocks, or trains, or cars, or crayons/paper, etc) and we all clean up together. It literally only takes a couple of minutes and the kids think its fun.

If your system is more complicated, then maybe have the kids separate the toys into a few baskets (games in one, trucks in another, etc) and you can do a final sort later. At least they are helping get the mess out of the middle of the floor. As the same kids come back they could most likely handle more and more instructions about picking up.

I think its important for kids to learn to pick up after themselves!
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:42 PM   #14
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Re: Playdate advice!!

I couldn't imagine leaving someone else's home totally g]trashed like that... I would def offer to help clean up before leaving. I am OCD about toys and things, too. I totally understand. I am mortified that some of our play sets that we received for Christmas are scattered in different places/missing. I really like LilyGrace's idea about labeling the containers/cubbies! I bet that would really help out a lot.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:04 PM   #15
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Re: Playdate advice!!

Oh, thank you ladies, soo much!!. This has really been alot of help, all of your ideas. Your sympathy also helps make me not feel totally wrong for feeling this way. lol!. I have been brain fried for so long lately. I do have bins, lots of them. The labeling would work so well! I will be putting that on my to do list for this week! I don't mind if everything is out of order. But like one mom said before just off the floor. I have made it so that when everything is in their cubes or baskets it looks nice. This really will help. I am getting excited I think this will really work. I would definatley be more inclined to ask for help especially if everything was labeled nicely. I have always felt rude asking for help, but after this I don't think I will anymore!
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