Help your toddler develop friendships by hosting play dates! Here are great ideas to get you started:
1. Two by two. Toddlers do best in pairs. They inter act better this way and generally will get along better when there’s not an additional “threat” to sharing, etc.
2. Keep it short. One hour is a good length for a play date for kids under 2. If you sense your child is cranky, tired or simply has had enough, it’s OK to end the play date early.
3. Make it About Your Child and His Friend. Make the play date with someone your child really likes, not someone who happens to be convenient, such as your best friend’s daughter.
4. Enjoy a snack. Offer the kids a nice healthy snack such as cheese and fruit. They will enjoy having a break from their playing.
5. Plan easy activities. Think of things the kids can do side-by-side such as a fun craft, swinging at the park or painting pictures. At a loss? Check out the book, The Toddler’s Busy Book: 365 Creative Games and Activities to Keep Your 1-and-a-half to 3-year-old Busy.
6. Don’t overdo it. If your child is more aggressive than usual, cries, or doesn’t seem happy to have a play date, he may be saying, “This is too much for me.” We tend to think kids are better off with lots of friends, but they really don’t need to be with other kids all the time.
Source: Toddler 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Toddler