A playdate is a great concept through which kids not only get time to play but also learn to make new friends and become social. For school-going kids, it's a good break from their studies and daily routine. The kids make new friends under their mother's observation, decreasing the risk of falling into bad company or adopting bad habits. But there are some playdate etiquette that the mothers should follow and ensure that their kid follows it too.
When you are a guest, see to it that your child is well-mannered. May be your child has the habit of eating while roaming all around the living room , but the host likes to limit the eatables only to the dining area, ensure that your kid does the same. If the host is not interfering while the kids are playing, then even you should stay out of their matters until necessary (but keep an eye on your kid from a distance).
This is the duty of every mother. It's not necessary that every kid will play happily with others. There will be certain puppy fights among them. It is your duty as a mom to teach your kid to apologize if he/she is wrong. This is vital to being socially acceptable, and every mother definitely teaches this to her kid.
Specify the playdate time to two hours or so. If you are fairly close to the host, then there is no time rule for you, but if you are just a guest, then stick to the rules. Two hours are sufficient for the kids to play with each other before they start causing trouble. And one of the most important thing, the host has to clean the whole mess, and she cannot do it till you leave.
This is the first rule to follow. If your child is unwell, don't take him for a playdate. Sacrificing one day of play is better than putting the health of other kids at a risk. If you take your sick child on a playdate, the other mothers may express concern about their kids playing with yours. You can be your kid's friend to play for a day or two until he recovers.
If you are the playdate host, then make sure that you don't bring out the special or expensive toys for the kids. They are kids after all, they don't understand what's expensive and what's delicate, they just know how to play. If a toy breaks or gets damaged, then it's your loss because you can't even blame the child, and if you do, you will look like a bad host.
Leaving your kid at his friend's place doesn't mean that he/she is the host's responsibility. Rather, ensure that your kid is getting along with the other kids and not making a fuss. If your child is old enough to be sent alone for a playdate, then see to it that you send him with enough behavioral instructions. If in case your kid is not quite good at sharing, then ensure that he tries to adjust with his friends.
The host of the playdate is aware of the mess she will have clear after all the kids are done playing. But that doesn't mean that you just get up and leave once the kids are done playing. Offer to help her and also ask your child to tidy up his own stuff. Don't leave it to the host to clear up the mess, because someday you are going to be a host too.
A playdate is a great way for kids to socialize. Every parent should try to take an initiative to arrange it for their kids. This can also turn out to be a small picnic for the kids where they can enjoy themselves with new friends.