Hosting a Covid-Safe Playdate

Disclaimer: Make sure you are following local Covid safety rules and regulations, and it’s always best to make sure you are wearing masks and social distancing whenever possible.

It’s been nearly a year since Covid turned our world upside down, and finding ways to keep kids entertained and occupied in a VERY different way can be a challenge –  especially in the middle of winter in Wisconsin.

Here are some tips and ideas to refresh your routine in the coming months.

  1. Check with local businesses to see if they offer private play time. Did you know many local businesses are opening their space for a private group? Check out GoNinja in Waunakee, where you can rent their indoor ninja warrior course for an hour, or host an indoor playdate at The Little Gym of Middleton and let your little ones have the entire space to themselves! Another fun option would be to surprise your crew with a private movie screening at Marcus cinemas – you can rent an entire theater for $99! 
  2. Get outside. Yes it’s cold. Yes it’s snowy. But kids LOVE snow and somehow barely seem to mind the cold. So bundle up, grab some of those little instant hand warmers and head outside with a hot beverage while your kids build snow forts and make sledding ramps with their friends. Cold weather activities are often more socially distant to begin with (sleds, ice skating, skiing) so it’s a natural fit for trying to keep Covid-safe with people outside your immediate family. Here is a great list of local sledding hills if you’re looking to try a new spot this year! 
  3. Give in to technology. Let your kids “meet” up with others in a digital universe, whether it’s on Zoom, playing a video game together (such as Fortnight) or watching a movie “together” on Netflix party. They can connect with friends in a way they are now VERY comfortable with – on a screen. Another option is Facebook Messenger Kids, a fun way for kids to send digital stickers, create funny pictures and chat with friends. All friends are approved by the adult’s account, so it is a great way to feel comfortable with those your child is connecting with. 
  4. Sign up for a class or activity together. Many local businesses have found ways to adapt their programming to be Covid-safe. Storybook Ballet is offering private group lessons for those in the same Pod – class sizes are small, masks are always worn, and social distancing is enforced. Local Recreation departments are also hosting events through the winter with safety top of mind. They are limiting the number of kids participating, and many of the options are outdoors. 
  5. Write letters or deliver surprise packages to friends. If you’re not seeing anyone in person right now, another fun option is to write letters to friends. They can send stickers, Pokemon cards or other “treasures” by snail mail, or drop a homemade package off on someone’s front step. 

This year has been a challenge, but we have all found ways to adapt and adjust. I hope these ideas give you motivation to try something new, or remind you there are still ways to connect even in the toughest of times. If you have other ideas, please share them in the comments below!