Hosting your first play date can feel like going to prom: butterflies in the tummy, wondering if things will click, hoping for no awkward silence. But being the host has big rewards if you don’t mind a little planning. You’ll get to trade battle stories with other parents and let the kids play — even if they’re just in the goo-goo-ga-ga phase. Scroll through our flipbook for tips for creating the perfect play date, from snacks to activities to mocktails.

A Picture Party

Combine play time and holiday picture time. Set up a background, be sure give parents the heads up to bring baby dressed “to the theme” and then get snapping! Click here to see how Running From the Law blogger Sara McCarty created a fantastic picture play date for her mama friends and their kiddos. Helpful Hint: Take the photos first thing, otherwise you might have a not-so-into-the-photo-booth kind of baby on your hands!

Photo: Sara McCarty

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How do you prepare for the perfect play date? Share with us in the Comments!

— Gabby Cullen
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Featured photo: Parker Knight via flickr