Playdate Hosting for Teen and Tween Gatherings

As I’m sure you can guess, my home is always open.  It hasn’t always been this way, but as my bigger bunch gets older and my youngest bunch still has their own needs, it is so much easier to have your friends come to your home for a visit.  My oldest bunch is in this “I’m too big for park days” stage and my wee ones aren’t really old enough to enjoy park days yet.  This leaves us stuck somewhere in the middle so I came up with a plan:

Gamers & Cooking Club

I know, I know, what in the world?  What do these two groups have in common?  Parents and friends…. video game playing tweens and teens often have siblings that want to come and play too.    They may not have the desire or opportunity to play the video games so I thought we could offer something for them to do instead – cooking… for the gamers (smile).

I was really worried that I would have more kids wanting to cook than what I had planned.  But as I initially suspected, the tweens just wanted to hang out and play video games.  They didn’t want to cook, they didn’t want to do cool kitchen science experiments, just play together without structure.  (Yes!  Less work for me!!)

So, I ended up with two eight year-old girls in the kitchen! They really enjoyed their trial run!  We started out simple –  Peach Cobbler and Freezer Jam.   It was great because they had something to enjoy now and the parents were able to take something home for the siblings to enjoy later.    Nice right?

What NOT to do When Hosting a Homeschool Group Playdate

It WAS a trial run so there were a few things I learned for next time:

  • Don’t go to the grocery store an hour before  the playdate… yup, that was me.  I was so busy cleaning and getting everything ready that I didn’t make it to the store on time.  We were still unloading the car when friends started arriving!  Eeeekkkkk!  I felt so unprepared and terrible that I had so much to get together when I should have been greeting our friends!
  • Make sure to tell the kids that are not participating in cooking to stay clear of the kitchen.  We had kids running in, and out, of the kitchen several times while the girls were trying to cook.  It was difficult for everyone and I worry that it is also a safety concern.  Next month I plan to remind the bigger group (my bigger bunch included) that the kitchen is off limits unless they are participating in the cooking class.
  • Pull the chairs out for the moms.  I left my dining chairs around the table instead of placing them around the living area.  I felt terrible that they were not easily accessible to them, don’t know, maybe nobody noticed, but I thought it was rude of me.
  • You can never be over-prepared.  I don’t care what anyone says, you can’t be over-prepared.  I would rather be over-prepared than under – any day!

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