This post is sponsored by Play-Well.
I have a confession…I am not a fan of play dates. If you are reading this and you have asked to have a play date now you know why I haven’t called you back! To be honest, play dates make me anxious. Will the kids get along? Will I like the parents? Will the parents like me? What will we talk about for two hours? Where should we meet? Is my house clean enough? Okay seriously my anxious thoughts could go on and on. My view of a great play date was changed when we recently had the opportunity to host a Play-Well TEKnologies party.
I was first introduced to Play-Well TEKnologies at one of my friend’s son’s birthday party a few years ago. Jude was much younger then and we knew he had fun but it wasn’t something we were instantly asking more about. As the years have gone on, Jude’s interest in all things STEM, LEGO® and building have made me think a lot about that birthday party we experienced years ago.
What Is Play-Well TEKnologies?
Play-Well teaches through play, everyday. Their programs combine LEGO® & play to explore S.T.E.M concepts in a fun & engaging hands-on environment. Play-Well offers summer camps, after-school classes, birthday parties, girl scout workshops, in-class field trips, team building events, homeschool lessons and more! Since 1997, they have been cultivating & empowering the next generation of engineers, innovators, scientists, inventors and change makers. Currently, Play-Well is available is 28 states.
Meet Doug, he was our instructor and he really impressed every single parent in the room. He was kind, funny, entertaining, patient and so great with the kids. He was having fun and that is what made the party great. When he arrived we made sure to show him exactly where we would have the kids build and he got moving. The parents sat back and were able to enjoy some adult conversation all while watching the kids build and learn. We were so blessed with Doug, he was so energetic and amazing with the kids.
What Is Included In A Play-Well Party?
Parents, this is where you have to do the most work and honestly, even this is not hard! Parties and play dates can be so stressful but Play-Well wants this experience to be memorable for the children but also for the parents. To start you will need to fill out the party inquiry form online, and then a local representative in your state will contact you to discuss information. A day or two before the party, you will hear from your Play-Well instructor, who will confirm all party details. All the projects are STEM-based, so the kids are learning while having fun. You can choose from themes, such as Star Wars, Minecraft, or even the LEGO Movie.
The instructor will come to your party, no need to travel. They will come ready with the thousands of LEGO® pieces and their great personality! Most parties typically have at least ten participants, although they have found that parties of at least six participants generate enough excitement and energy.
Each Play-Well party is about 90 minutes long. 15 minutes before the party begins a Play-Well instructor will arrive to start to set up. For about an hour and 15 minutes the kids will build an engaging project, guided by the instructor. 15 minutes before the end of the party everyone will help take apart the projects and cleanup together. Even the clean-up is fun!
Tips For Hosting a Play-Well Party?
Use The Floor: When planning for this party, I thought I would clear the living room and set up a few tables and chairs but Doug let me know that actually the best way for the Play-Well party to run smoothly was to have the kids build on the floor. This worked perfectly and I loved that Doug got down on the floor with them on their level.
Decide On A Theme For The Crowd: Play-Well can do all sorts of themes. To stay away from gender preferences we went with a playground theme and had the kids build a moving swing. This type of party is perfect for boys and girls, LEGO is not just for boys as some may think.
Let GO!: No seriously, let the instructor do their job. It is their job to instruct, lead and help the kids learn and build.
Relax: Play dates and parties can be super stressful for parents but during this time we adults really enjoyed having some time to hang out on the couch and catch up while the kids and Doug were building. It was great to see the kids learning and working together.
Limit The Numbers: Most parties typically have at least ten participants. Our party had eight kids. It was a perfect number in my opinion, especially in the space we had. The kids had enough space and instruction to get the most out of this experience with the group we had.
Leave The Little Ones At Home: Keep in mind that the participants need to be at least 5 years old. For our group we decided on a project that was perfect for the median age of our group. We did have a few younger siblings at our party but we made sure they were not around the small pieces.
Announcing Play-Well’s 2019 Summer Camps!
Still wondering how to keep those kids learning and playing this summer? We all hate that summer slide but adding some create STEM learning like the Play-Well program will keep those brains working! Play-Well will be offering LEGO-Inspired STEM Summer Camps this summer.
Play-Well TEKnologies provides project-based programs designed to teach principles and methods of engineering to children, ages 5 – 14, using LEGO®. Our curriculum is designed by engineers, building on the math and science skills students learn during the school year. Utilizing over 20,000 pieces of LEGO® for each class, we engage our students in solving real-world engineering challenges that explore concepts in physics, architecture, and engineering. Our goal is to have our students foster a greater appreciation of how things work, and encourage the qualities of inquisitiveness, self-reliance, and self-confidence in children. We have been growing future engineers since 1997.
You provide the kids, and Play-Well will bring the LEGO® and the fun. Simple, fun and full of learning. We had a great time at our Play-Well play date. It was a perfect way for the parents to meet and chat and for the kids to play but also get a little STEM learning in!
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