This post is for all of our fall inspired parent readers out there. Caleb and I recently joined one of the Southie playgroups and were (aka I was) super excited to plan and host our first official play date at our home. For me play date planning is fun, but for other moms and dads out there I know it can be intimidating just to get your home clean and set up for visitors…let alone a play date. So I thought I would help share some ideas to help make your next hosted play date interactive, festive and most importantly SIMPLE. Here you go…
As many of you know, I love hosting parties and events in October (like last year’s Halloween Bash). One of the best and easiest parts of planning a gathering in the fall is choosing a theme. Why? Well, personally I think there are hundreds of amazingly simple, budget friendly and seasonally creative themes to choose from. You can get your inspiration just by walking down the street in your neighborhood or watching your favorite Halloween movie.
For a kid friendly play date, my first thought was “Pumpkins”. Team Pearson had just visited the Boston Hill Farm over the weekend and carved our first official family Jack-O-Lantern together (pictured above). I was clearly in the Pumpkin spirit.
Text Message Invite
Two Words that will change your digital card life forever: Red Stamp. I was introduced to this app years ago by a super crafty and event savvy mom (Thanks Steph!). The app provides pre-designed digital cards and invitations that you can easily customize with photos to than text, email or post to friends and family’s social media accounts. It took me 5 mins to design the invite pictured above.
NO HOMEMADE TREATS HERE
Keep it simple and don’t worry about baking homemade treats if it stresses you out. The morning of the play date, Kristian graciously picked up a dozen donuts, making sure to include the pumpkin and Halloween themed flavors and a box of Joe for all the parents. I filled Caleb’s trick or treat container with additional snacks for the kids, including peanut butter crackers, Craisins and Goldfish. I also served yogurt and granola and finally some store-bought Sparking Cranberry Cider Water and Apple Juice boxes for beverages. Whoola!
Pumpkin Crafts and Coloring
Caleb is a huge fan of Mickey Mouse so I thought it was only appropriate to display Mickey in a Pumpkin printables for our guests to color. I also pre-cut orange circles, black eyes, mouths and noses, and green stems out of construction paper to create a DIY Jack-O-Lantern station.
Not So Spooky Decor
Outside of making sure of the toys were out and ready to go, I displayed the small pumpkins we snagged at the Boston Hill Farm earlier that week and the beautiful fall bouquet that the hubby surprised me with.
I am not big on holiday knick knacks so I tend to fill glass vases with seasonal items to add a festive flair to my tables or buffets. This month I have been all about using white pumpkins in my centerpieces. You could also use candy, apples or even acorns to get the same simple yet cheerful effect.
I hope these notes help inspire your next themed play date. The most important thing is to not sweat the small stuff and to enjoy the time you spend with your kiddos and your fellow play date parents.
Wishing all of you a very Happy Halloween!
With Celebration & Pumpkin Love,