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TIPS FOR HOSTING A PRESCHOOL PLAY DATE


Last week I had the utter joy of hosting three little friends and their mamas for a play date. I don't usually get this fancy to have kids over (don't want you guys to get any wild ideas!) but the kind people at RoseArt invited Matilda and her friends to have a play date party and test out their new "Magic Fun Dough" line. I wanted to share our afternoon with you guys and also tell you some of my tips for hosting little ones (I'd love to hear yours too!).

The set up. I wanted the table to feel really fun and festive but also be practical! Here's what I put together for our little crowd:

  • This table cloth from Target (in stores only) I've used three times now. The pink polka dots make me happy. Paper table cloths are the jam for working with play dough because it can get a little messy. When the fun is over all of those tiny specs of dough get wadded up and trashed. Win!
  • For the runner I used this awesome $1.00 roll of kraft paper that is the perfect size for a runner, extra narrow (would this be killer for a cheese plate over the holidays? YES). Also from Target.
  • I found the cutest orangy pink melamine glasses + cream bowls and of course had to add some fun striped straws. I loved that their dishes looked liked glass + ceramic but weren't!
  • The kids freaked out over the magic dough sets: Fairy Tea Party + Volcano Valley
  • For snacks I had dried fruit for the kids to fill their bowls with (hit!) as well as Pirate's Booty to go along with our one-man pirate theme. I also bought some squeeze apple sauce (Matilda and Phoebe love it!) as well as fruit leather (which Matilda told her teachers that it was her favorite "candy").
  • I hit up the birthday aisle (at you guessed it - Target!) to get each child their own crown/pirate hat. These were $3 and under a piece and were loved and worn the entire afternoon.
  • We also raided Matilda's dress up closet and hand-picked fancy outfits for everyone. I was so impressed that there was no fighting over who got to be what. I think they liked that Matilda had picked out their outfits for them (and they're all dreamboat kids). It was so fun!
  • Had trail mix + coffee for the mamas (very important!).


When hosting a group activity I find that sometimes it's good to get them snacks first to occupy their little hands and help them to pay attention to instructions. It totally worked! These fun kits were instantly eye-catching but the real thrill came when they found out they were going to get to put tattoos on play dough. I'm pretty sure if I let Matilda, she would tattoo any exposed skin... all day long. The kits were easy to figure out, even for our youngest who was three. The real fun came with the "magic pen" aka water that they used to apply the tattoos to make their own characters and accessories for playing "tea party" or being adventurous on the volcano.

All they had to do was roll out the play dough, apply the tattoos, then use the magic sealer (also a huge hit) and then wait for the dough to dry. The result was surprisingly clear impressions of fairies, tea cups, dinosaurs, and more! They could play with the shapes, cut different shapes using cookie cutters, and even stand them up with supplied stands and play with them like action figures! You can watch a video here to see how it works.

They also loved the "tea" that poured out and making the fairies spin on the mushrooms as well as making lava erupt from the volcano... endless play options. Having two kits was plenty to keep everyone busy (each kit comes with 50 tattoos). The coolest part is that when they're done playing, the tattoos disappear right into the dough when mashed together. It was a trip to find out that across all genders... the Fairy Tea Party was the hit. I think the interaction of the tea pot was the most fun for all, that and the tattooing. : )

They all had a blast using the cookie cutters to make the characters into different shapes and they didn't require much assistance at all, in fact after the kids left, Til sat at the table for hours and played while I got dinner ready. We set the play date for 3:30pm which is perfect for us right now because that's right after Phoebe's afternoon nap and it fills those hours before dinner time that can be a lil tricky (you moms know what I'm talking about!). Phoebe played underneath the table the whole time and snacked. <3

Bottom line: we had the best afternoon. The kids totally dug the kits + we also appreciated that the caps were easy to get off the play dough and that there was no wheat in it (a common issue for sufferers of celiac is that some play dough does contain wheat). I would totally recommend these kits for a great birthday or Christmas gift. They are only $20 but feel so substantial. The packaging is super fun and it makes for a great experience for kids which I would take over an uncreative toy any day. You can purchase the kits right here at or at Target + Walmart.

We made the most of the gorgeous weather and got outside and played afterwards. Could fall be any prettier? Every year I am blown away by the gorgeous light and colors. It was such a fun afternoon. Preschoolers are just so awesome, our friends were so excited about playing and just oohed and ahhed over everything. I love the way they appreciate life. Couldn't we learn a thing or two from them?

A big thank you to RoseArt for sponsoring this post. You can enter a facebook sweepstakes for their 90th anniversary right now. As always, these are my honest thoughts + opinions. I love being able to share quality brands with you.

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14 comments :

  1. So cute! Makes me miss play dates. Enjoy it while you can because they grow up too fast!

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    1. aw thanks karen! i know it's true. <3

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  2. you party turned out great! love the photos!

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  3. It looks like they had an absolute blast! What a perfect play date, right? Alea just LOVED having her friends over and she has barely stopped playing with her Magic Fun Dough since!

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    1. it was such a blast and i sent my friends home with the volcano and both our kids were playing with them for the rest of the night. yay!

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  4. I love how you used that paper as a runner! I hung the sheet on an awkward little wall in our house and it looks so cute in both places :) xoxo

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    1. oh so fun! what a great idea. thanks eliza!

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  5. Replies
    1. such a nice compliment! thanks, gretchen!

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  6. Oh my gosh, what a cute party!! And your turquoise door, so gorgeous!!

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    1. thanks carrie!! so glad you like it too. :)

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