I believe that play dates are important, especially if you have an only child.
One of my favorite kinds of play dates are educational play dates. I try to
teach my daughter anything I can through fun things we do. To me, everything is a potential learning situation and many new things can be learned from one or two simple ideas of things that you can do together with your child.
Yesterday we went to the butterfly exhibit at our local botanical garden. We lucked out with beautiful weather! We invited some new friends of ours as we had extra tickets. The best
part of the day was that my new friend has the same appreciation for learning and
teaching her children as I do, taking every opportunity to teach the kids about
everything we saw. Even though we were there to see the butterflies, we learned about flowers, trees, cactus's and how birds make their nests in the cactus. My daughters friend brought a magnifying glass and the kids had a chance to reinforce the concept of sharing because there was only one with three kids. They got to look up close at the flowers, leaves and butterflies. The kids loved!! We enjoyed our time finding the different kinds of butterflies that were on exhibit. They all wanted a butterfly to land on them and I am not sure if one really did or not, even though it was mentioned that one did on my daughters head. Either way, we had a great time and all of us learned new things about butterflies and the desert life.
Make the time this week to have an educational play date, whether you go to the zoo, botanical garden, aquarium or library, the opportunities are endless. If you don't have the money for a paid event, many local libraries give free passes to many museums and such. Check with them and take advantage of the free opportunities provided for you in your community. Can't get a free pass you ask? Go to the park, have a picnic, grab your magnifying glasses, binoculars anything you can to make I an educational play date, you'll be glad you did and you and your kid will learn something new today. All my best, Dyan
What we learned: Getting together with new friends is a lot of fun and you don't realize how much you have in common in your parenting until you spend quality time with someone, lots of facts about the outdoor desert life, that there are many different species of butterflies, how to be patient in learning, educational facts from the guide at the garden, sharing can be fun and that educational play dates are just as fun as hanging out talking while your kids are playing.
What we shared: A love of learning, a magnifying glass and learning to share and the love of beautiful butterflies!!!