24 Brilliant Ideas For Your Next Play Date

Rachel Kor May 14, 2023

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Kids love play dates, as they should! Not only do they get to play with a friend their own age, but it also teaches them social-emotional skills, problem-solving, collaboration, and creativity. But within a matter of 20 minutes, parents often hear the words “I’m bored!”

Not anymore! With the 24 fun play date ideas below, your kids will have a blast the next time they get together with friends. The ideas below are great for a variety of ages, and will keep the kids busy and entertained.

I’ve included both indoor and outdoor ideas so kids can have fun and keep busy rain or shine.

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Indoor Play Date Ideas:

Balloon Fun:

Help your kids blow up lots of balloons and let the fun begin! You’ll be amazed at how much fun kids will have with them! Some ideas you can try are: catching them on a cup, balloon tennis, and using them as a “paintbrush” to create unique artwork.

Pretend Restaurant Or Bakery:

Set up the living room with chairs and tables for an authentic feel. Kids can take turns being the waiter, customer, and even the cashier. Complete the fun with homemade menus!

At-Home Movie Theater:

When the kids need some quiet time, set up a movie theater by popping popcorn (and serving them in these adorable bags), setting up a ticket stand, and either picking out a favorite film or – better yet – have them create one and perform it for the adults at the end of their play date!

Sensory Bin:

Not only will the kids love this sensory bin activity, but parents will love knowing that their kids didn’t just sit in front of a screen during their play date! Plus, turning this into a scavenger hunt keeps the kids occupied for longer, which is always welcome!

Scented Play Dough:

What’s more fun than playing with play dough? Making your own! This play dough recipe is so easy to make and such a pleasure to work with. We added essential oils in delicious flavors like bubblegum and blue cotton candy for even more fun.

Cloud Paint:

Cloud paint makes muted colors with a fluffy texture that stand up off of paper. Once dry, kids can touch the paper and enjoy the texture of their creation.

Rainbow Grilled Cheese:

Grilled cheese is that classic comfort food that kids and adults both love! This rainbow version is a fun way to jazz it up! The only problem with these? Kids won’t want to leave your house once the play date is over.

Fondue Party:

Okay, there is chocolate involved, but not only is this fun but it’s an easy way to get them to eat some fresh fruits!

Guess What I’m Eating:

Ever wonder what plain spaghetti, jelly, pudding, or dried dates FEEL like in your mouth? When blind-folded, it can be a real (and fun) challenge to decipher what you’re eating based on texture and flavor alone!

Make Fruit Loop Necklaces:

Or any jewelry, for that matter. Lay out some string and hoop cereal and your kids will be occupied for a while. This is also a great fine-motor activity to do with young kids. Plus, snack at the end – bonus!

Glow Party:

Turn out the lights, get out the glow sticks, and crank up the music. Instant fun!

Indoor Camping:

There is something about building an indoor fort or tent that kids just love. (We kind of love them, too.) To take the fun a step further, turn out the lights, hand the kids flashlights, and tell spooky stories. Make indoor smores for added authenticity.

Make Costumes And Put On A Play:

This idea is great when you want the kids to be busy for a long time (every parent raises hand). Plus, at the end, all the parents can kick up their feet and watch the production.

Indoor Beach:

Search “relaxing beach scene” and project it on a screen in the living room for the kids. Roll out some towels, offer some cold fruity drinks, hand out sunglasses, and voila! You’re at the beach. Just warn the kids that you’ll probably be joining in on this relaxing activity.

Outdoor Play Date Ideas:

Scavenger Hunt:

Hide some toys around the backyard and let the kids try to find the hidden treasures. Not in the mood to make up your own poems and riddles? Simply google it! There are so many amazing scavenger hunt printables online. Plus, there is no better activity for enjoying the beautiful fall foliage.

Make Your Own Jungle Or Zoo:

This activity goes over very well with a really creative and interested group. Kids can gather pretend animal, insect, and reptile toys from around the house, place them throughout the yard in creative ways (think snakes hanging from trees or a stampede of wild animals lined up charging towards you), and take each other on a wild adventure, narrating what’s happening around them! For added fun, kids can pull each other between each animal “exhibit” in an outdoor ride-on wagon.

Outdoor Picnic:

There’s no better time to have an outdoor picnic than in the fall when the foliage is brimming with rich, vibrant colors. Pack a picnic lunch or snack in a basket with a large blanket or towel and let the kids set up the perfect picnic spot in the backyard.

Paint What You See:

This idea is exactly what it sounds like. Set the kids up with paint, brushes, water, smocks, chairs, and a hard surface to paint on and let them paint what they see in front of them. Every child sees something different. You’ll be amazed at their creativity when they bring their masterpieces in to show you.

Don’t Touch The Bubble:

Set up a toy in the center of the room. Then, nearby, either set up a bubble machine (which adds so much fun to parties, by the way) or designate a bubble blower. Have the kids take turns being the bubble blower to ensure no one has to blow bubbles for too long at one time. Challenge the kids to try to touch the toy without getting touched by a bubble!

Sports Game:

Here’s to some good old-fashioned fun. With some simple sports equipment, kids can have fun playing whatever sports game they choose.

Paint Mini Pumpkins:

Pumpkins are cute on their own, but have you ever seen a painted pumpkin? They are truly works of art. You’ll actually want to display these for everyone to see. (Try gold paint for an elegant and stylish look.)

What’s Your Fantasy?

All kids fantasize about being some character, whether it’s a superhero, princess, dinosaur, or police officer. Encourage the kids to be whoever they want to be. They can dress up and play the part throughout the play date!

Rainbow Leaf Art:

Leaves in the fall come in all different colors, so why not have the kids try to find a leaf of every color. Once they’ve gathered their findings, they can glue the leaves onto project paper and make a “leaf rainbow.”

Treasure Hunt In Leaves:

We can go on and on about all the fun nature can offer (especially in the fall), but we leave you with this last idea for now. Have the kids gather a bunch of medium- to large-sized toys and hide them in big piles of leaves throughout your yard for a fun twist on a traditional scavenger hunt.