Most Moms are planning summer activities and thinking about playdates to fend off summer boredom. Do you get frustrated with the hassles of planning a playdate? In the modern world of overly scheduled children and overly busy parents, two Moms decided to do something about it. The result is Playdate Planet – a new, free website that makes creating or accepting playdates a snap. Did we mention that it’s free?
“Based on our own experiences as Moms, we felt there was a need to make scheduling play dates less time consuming and more efficient,” says co-founder Lisa Baslow.
The website is more than just a way to make scheduling a play date easier for parents. “In today’s fast-paced world, kids simply are not playing enough and experts are concerned. We wanted to make sure our kids, and others, had sufficient opportunities for unstructured play and socialization with friends,” adds Meryl Neiman, Playdate Planet’s other co-founder. “We thought making playdate planning easier would result in more play for kids everywhere!”
There’s no charge to join or use Playdate Planet. To get started, parents need to register, set up a profile, and add their children. All accounts are private and password-protected.
One of the great things about Playdate Planet is how it streamlines the planning process. For example, members are prompted to fill in some basic information about their home, a likely playdate location. A parent whose child can’t yet swim might want to know that the playdate host’s home has a pool. You can also note information about your child, such as medical conditions or separation anxiety. If your child is allergic to cats, you will receive a warning when a scheduled playdate is hosted by a cat owner. Information only needs to be entered once (a super quick process) and it will be viewable for any future playdate.
Once an account has been created, parents simply choose the Create Playdate tab, enter the details—such as the date, time, location, and number of open spots—and then select the friends they’d like to invite. Once the playdate has been created, they simply click Publish to send out the invitations. Attendees are confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis up to the number of available playdate spots selected when the playdate was created (not on the total number of friends you’ve notified) so parents can feel free to invite a large number of friends to ensure the likelihood of someone being available without the danger of their house being overrun with children!
Also, the playdates are only visible to those friends who’ve been notified. At no time are someone’s playdates visible to everyone on Playdate Planet. Not surprisingly, the more friends you connect with, the better Playdate Planet works.
Everything is designed to make Moms’ lives easier. You can invite your friends to join you on the site via Facebook Connect (which allows users to connect their Facebook identity to any website) or by importing any popular e-mail address book. There’s a GoogleMaps link to the playdate address, handy reminder e-mails about upcoming dates, easy calendar export capability, the ability to sort your child’s friends into groups of your design (neighborhood kids, pre-school classmates, etc.) and lots of other great features.
Say buh-bye to how challenging and time consuming it can be to schedule good old-fashioned playdates in today’s hectic world. Say hello to Planet Playdate.