100 Games to Make Your Next Playdate an Educational Success

Family Fun & Activities, Parenting | May 11, 2016

Entertaining a few preschoolers is no easy task. You want to make the playdate enjoyable for the kids, as well as the moms. You could let them destroy your house or you could have a planned activity for them to try. Little ones LOVE talking about their FAMILY, so it makes sense to build an activity around their families, plus making it educational is what I’m all about.

The Family Word Puzzle:

Photo word puzzles are an easy, small group craft for kids to make while using supplies that you already have on hand.

What You’ll Need:

  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Plastic bag
  • Pictures of your family (Use copies or doubles, not originals)

Before the Playdate:

  • Print a photo of your child. You could print photos of each family member too.
  • Cut construction paper in squares of 6”x 6” (15 x 15 cm) and stack. Make sure there is enough for each child attending.
  • Put the construction paper, glue stick, scissors, and markers in a cute basket on a table.
  • Check out a few family themed books from the library.

The Day of the Family Themed Playdate

I like to read a story and sing a song when the children arrive. This helps build vocabulary and gets children thinking about families. After the song and story, it’s time to do a craft.

Step 1: Select a photo and glue it to a piece of construction paper. Make sure you leave space below the photo so you can write names or locations.

Step 2: Write the name or location on the remaining construction paper. Make sure you leave enough space between the letters so you can cut in-between.

Step 3: Cut the photo vertically using each letter as a new piece to the puzzle.


Step 4: Repeat process for each photo. Use different color construction paper to make it bright and fun.

Step 5: PLAY!

  1. Place the photo pieces into a bag.

  2. Take turns pulling puzzle pieces from the bag. As your child removes the piece they will arrange pieces into the proper letter order to create the word.

  3. Once assembled, encourage your child to practice naming the words and letters.

*If you have any readers in the group who want a challenge, write a sentence under each picture instead of a word.

Set out a dollhouse for children to pretend play when they are done making their word family puzzles!

Want More Playdate Ideas?

100 Fun & Easy Learning Games For Kids is a great resource for play date inspiration! You could prepare games and activities for kids to play when they get together. You could gather your mom friends and have a game-making MNO (Moms Night Out).

Keep a stash of games available to keep your little ones engaged and learning this summer. In addition to the Family Word Puzzles, some activities in the book include:


  1. Zip-Line Letters

  2. Caterpillar Cover

  3. Build a Letter

  4. Real or Nonsense


  1. Shop the Alphabet

  2. Mystery Words

  3. Storytelling Seashells

  4. Sneak-a- Peek-Letters



  1. 25 Squish

  2. 3,2,1, Blast Off!

  3. Bees in the Hive

  4. Estimation Station



  1. Magnetic Construction Site

  2. Rocket Ship Adventure

  3. Ice Castle Challenge

  4. Superhero Water


Music and Art:

  1. Outdoor Sound Garden

  2. Print Mysteries

  3. Dragon Castle

  4. Pattern Wheel



  1. Celebration Jar

  2. State Toss

  3. Technology Timeline

  4. Roll a Landform


 The variety of activities means you can choose from high-energy games full of laughter and delight, or quiet activities that kids can complete on their own.
If you’d like to buy 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games for Kids: Teach Reading, Writing, Math and More click here.To learn more about Amanda go to The Educators’ Spin On It.

Now it’s your turn.

Will you try this puzzle at your next playdate? Tell me in the comments below…


Leave a Comment

Moms are talking


loading comments