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Our Post-Pandemic Playdate Circle Part 2

Now that our playdate circle is in full swing, I’ve had time to reflect a bit, enjoy the time back and the time with the kids, and appreciate some of the magic. Enjoy Part 2 in our series about creating a playdate circle for sharing care among a group of parents.

Setting up the circle

My biggest piece of advice is to not overthink the process and get started in whatever ways you can because once you start the energy will drive it forward. You work out the kinks out along the way and improve things with each day and each week as you find what works for you, your group and especially, the kids. 

A few things i learned about setting up my playdate circle:

The introduction

The parents didn’t all know each other, but once I planted the seed, the parenting reflexes kicked in and not a lot of effort was needed.  We tried to organize a meet and greet but even that was difficult to coordinate so people ended up meeting each other more ad hoc and that was fine too.

The scheduling

We have 5 families to cover 1 day of the week each, and as we ease back into school, it’s been pretty easy to get this sorted as parents are excited to get some time back each week instead of being on pick up duty every day. Being flexible has definitely been critical as people have schedule changes, school days off, and various other things that pop up and the group is able to adapt and cover. For us, having a strict group would probably not work.

The kids

I was joking with one of the parents that I did an in-depth personality profile when pulling together the circle (I did NOT), but we have been lucky that our all of our kids are so perfect :P In all seriousness, it's been amazing to see how well the group of 6 kids gets along, plays, and helps each other out each day. Very subjectively, my observation is that having a mixture of genders and also ages has brought a nice balance to the group.

The app (Carefully!)

Getting people on the app was a huge help! The app was an all-in-one coordinator for our group. It got us all talking easier, allowed us to get the weekly events set up, get notifications on what’s happening and keeps us coordinated as schedules change or we need to coordinate pickups. We love to send/receive pics of the kids every day because they are so darn cute playing together. We can do all of this just on Carefully, so we’re not toggling between email-calendar-text to get it all done. 

The magic moments

Now that we are in our second month of the playdate circle, we’ve had some amazing magic moments as the kids are loving being back at school. Also, they are enjoying the camaraderie of the group and the chemistry has been truly amazing. 

  • We decided early on to start bringing snacks and starting the afternoon with homework. We were worried that it would be a challenge because homework is always a challenge at home, but WOW the kids actually just started doing it every day together and helping each other. Such a relief for all the parents to have this done when we pick them up and it’s a nice bonding time for the group to unwind from the day.

  • As a working parent, I rarely get to experience these after-school moments. While I couldn't sacrifice every afternoon, being able to connect with other parents, with my son’s friends, and watch them enjoying their childhood, especially after such a tough year, is truly priceless. Watching him making mud soup in the park with his friends is the kind of nostalgic moment I could only hope for and what I will always remember!

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