Play dates give children a fun way to interact with others, learn social skills — while mums and dads take a step back or visit with other parents.

Having unique ideas on-hand will make planning and setting up play dates easier.

They’ll also make the day more enjoyable for your children because they have a fun and exciting project or activity to do together.

We’ve compiled a list of interactive activities and options — where you can get out of the house or even enjoy new adventures at your own home.

Whether it’s a Saturday morning or Thursday afternoon, host or join a fun play date with these ideas.

While some of these are more appropriate for pre-schoolers and kindergarteners, many can be done with 3-and-unders, too.

Here are 18 unique and interactive play date ideas for you, your child and their friends!

1. Homemade ball pit: Use an inflatable pool and fill it with small balls.

Dump the plastic balls in the play pool — and wallah! — you have your very own ball pit.

This can be fun both indoors and outdoors. 

2. Craft day: Pull up a seasonal craft idea online.

Get all of the supplies in advance and invite the neighbors over to take part in the craftyness.

You can serve snacks and beverages to go along with your craft or theme.

3. Dance party: Let your child pick their favorite jams and host a raving dance party.

Costumes, dresses and tap dance shoes welcome.

Serve treats and throw in a round of musical chairs.

4. Book club: Invite each child to bring a few of their favorite books to “book club.”

Kids can read together, share stories and even get creative and make up their own.

This is a relaxing play date with some seriously fun learning!

5. Kid Olympics: Best for active pre-schoolers and kindergarteners, set up a few “Olympic” events in the backyard or your basement.

From running across the yard to jumping on a trampoline to painting a picture, the events can be whatever you desire (they don’t have to be in the real Olympics).

Award kids with a medal or sticker for each event they complete.

6. Sidewalk party: Buy sidewalk chalk or sidewalk paint to light up their imaginations.

Have each child draw individually or create a larger picture together.

This gives kids great opportunity to practice their numbers, letters and shapes.

Serve homemade lemonade, fresh fruit or other healthy snacks to make the day even brighter.

7. Garden time: Pick up inexpensive plastic pots, soil and small flowering plants.

Have each child plant their own flower or herb in the pot.

Share the secrets of taking good care of plants.

Children can take their new plant home and watch it grow!

8. Fashion show: Bring out your dress-up box and gather other items from around the house — like a scarf, tie or tu-tu. Add jewelry and shoes.

When the children try on a costume, have them walk in front of you to show off their outfit. Make it fun with cheers and twirls.

9. Card making party: Whether it’s near to Father’s Day, Christmas or Hanukkah, pull out some colored paper, markers and crayons to make cards for someone special. You can also make “thinking of you” or birthday cards.

The parents will appreciate that something’s checked off the list and that a special card is all ready to give to a loved one.

10. Decorate cookies: Ideal for the holiday season, make up a batch or two of white sugar cookies.

The children can decorate a handful of cookies with frosting, sprinkles and other toppings.

They’ll be proud of their creations and can even take some home!

11. Window paint: Perfect for a rainy day at any age, try window painting. An easy step-by-step guide is offered here.

The kids will have fun and be entertained for at least an hour or two!

12. Homemade popsicles: Together with toddlers, pre-schoolers or kindergarteners, you can stir up a recipe of healthy homemade popsicles or frozen yogurt pops.

They can play outside while the popsicles freeze and can enjoy their treats after they’ve worked up an appetite!

13. Head on a hike: Pick a local park with trails and set out for a day adventure.

Pack a lunch and spend the day exploring the outdoors.

14. Make a fort: Bring out sheets, blankets, pillows and chairs to have a fort-building party.

Let the children use their imagination as they build their fortress, moat and secret entrance.

15. Camping trip: Now although this may sound like more work at first — but it can be easy for a fun play date!

Pop up a tent in the backyard or basement for an adventurous play date.

They can pack along snacks, books and games to enhance their experience.

16. Scavenger hunt: Different than a treasure hunt (which involves creating clues and checkpoints), a scavenger hunt is simple.

All you have to do is compose a list of items for your child to find. You don’t have to make or hide and clues.

List out things the children can find in the house or the backyard. Give them a bag or box to put all of the items in.

Set a time limit or see how fast they can complete the list.

17. Play-doh creations: Pull out all the colors and enjoy creating together.

To make sparkly play dough, use this recipe.

18. Be a photographer for a day: Have each child bring a camera or purchase disposable ones.

Head outside to explore the backyard, woods or zoo.

Let the kids pretend to be photographers and put together an album after the day is done.

Mix up the normal play date with these fun, unique play date ideas.

Invite friends over for an afternoon they won’t forget.

To learn more about all of the fun and learning that happens at Petit Early Learning Journey, book a tour today.