Every year when the holidays come around, I can’t help but get swept up with the magic of it all. There’s just something about having little ones that makes the holidays even more special than they already were. As soon as December hits, I make a list of ALL the festive things I can think of and proceed to pack our our schedules with as much Christmas magic as humanly possible. (During my first few years as a mom, I’ll admit that I went a bit overboard!)
Since then, I’ve learned that sometimes the most simple things turn out to be the most magical. The activity that my kids always get most excited for is one I started when my oldest was just a toddler: a super simple holiday pajama playdate. All of my friends and their kids love it — they look forward to it every year and it couldn’t be easier to host!
Here’s what you need to host the perfect holiday playdate (without feeling overwhelmed, because play dates should be fun, right?).
1. Pick a day and time.
I usually pick a weekday morning (10 AM is usually a perfect time because it’s not too early and it has a built-in end time — i.e., nap time — so guests probably won’t stay too long), but you could do a weekend just as easily. Basically, just choose a time when the most people will be available and the littles will be in pleasant moods.
2. Send out invites.
In the name of keeping everything low key for your party, use an app that lets you create invites on your phone add in all the details and text it to your friends. Easy peasy.
3. Make it a pajama theme.
Not only will a pajama party feel fun and festive, but it will mean that your friends won’t have to get their kids dressed for the party. It’s a win for all involved.
4. Think of an activity.
For our holiday play date, we always watch a Christmas movie, but if that’s not your thing or your guests are too young to appreciate a movie, you could always have story time and read some holiday favorites or do a little craft or project — just search Pinterest for ideas (think painted handprint wreaths, super easy gingerbread house making, or cookie frosting). The key is to keep it simple.
5. Gather all your coziest blankets and pillows.
For a little kid party, you don’t have to stress about seating, since everyone will be sitting on the floor with their babies and toddlers. I always like to gather all the throw blankets and pillows in our house and stack them in a pile for guests to cozy up with during the movie.
6. Tag team snacks.
Invite your guests to bring a favorite snack to share. Crackers, string cheese, fruit, and veggies are all good options. I also set up a hot cocoa bar — a nice sweet treat for mamas and kids alike.
7. Don’t overplan… and have fun!
Aside from having snacks and a general game plan, I sort of tend to just let things unfold. This is a time for little ones to play together and for mamas to chat. It doesn’t need to be overly elaborate — your guests will appreciate the chance to relax, even in the midst of all the holiday chaos. Try your best to let go and enjoy the party!