Set up your child's play date via this new app - GulfToday

Set up your child's play date via this new app

Play:Date app

Play:Date is a social application for parents to select friends for their little ones.

Manjula Ramakrishnan

Play:Date is an interactive platform where parents can help build their child’s social circle through a single app.  The app is a modern day answer to parents’ woes as to how to get their children socially comfortable, as also how to keep them entertained and engaged in a healthy manner.

Speaking to Panorama, Shamim Kassibawi, founder of Play:Date says: “Conceptualised in Dubai, Play:Date is currently available for download on iOS and Android in the UAE, US and UK. Users can share stories, create memories and expand their child’s world, all through the ease of a single app.’’

What’s the concept behind Play:Date?

Born and based in the UAE, Play:Date is a social application and  platform for parents to set up play dates for their little ones, engage with another another based on the interests and personalities of their children, while also expanding a parent’s network within the community. In addition, the application also features various vouchers and offers exclusive to Play:Date members.

Shamim Play:Mate

Shamim Kassibawi, founder of Play:Date app.

How do social relationships help in the wholesome development of a child? 

Prior to launching Play:Date, we extensively researched the importance of forming friendships at a young age. Friendships add to your child’s social skills and help them foster empathy, teach them about conversing and help develop important life skills. We also spoke to doctors and child experts who confirmed this scientifically.

What do professionals say about the importance of social relationships for children?

This is what Carla Buck, Play:Date child behaviour expert and founder of Warrior Brain says: “One of childhood’s most challenging lessons is to learn how to be a good friend. Some anxious and shy children find it really hard to face their fears, especially when it comes to making new friends. Thoughts such as ‘what if she doesn’t like me’ stop them from being brave. Some help and encouragement from you as the parent can make a world of difference to your worries and fears for your child, and also to theirs.”

What are the features offered by this app?

The app allows parents to create a profile for their child and browse through several other profiles within their area. It also strives to bring exclusive discounts and vouchers to its members, and these are updated frequently on the app. We are massive supporters of giving back to the community; we achieve this by organising regular events for parents free of cost to bring their child along for creative sessions or playtimes.

What is the involvement of parents in this?

Everyone is so busy leading fast-paced lives that parents have a hard time introducing their children to others their age – this was a gap I identified while living with my sister and her children. This is how the idea was formulated. For us to grow as a society, each one of us has to adapt and move ahead. We find likeminded friends in a new city online and millennials are even finding jobs online – all via apps. We aren’t telling parents to encourage an online friendship for their child. Instead, we are asking them to filter through profiles, identify a child with similar interests, and then set up a play date for them.

Does this help strengthen the parent-child bond?

If you are new in the city you are more than likely striving to find the perfect fit of families or friends for yourself and your child. Play:Date will help you engage within the community. It gives you access to like-minded parents within close proximity. Recently, we also added a ‘language’ feature that helps parents encourage children to be both comfortable in their current language and learn new languages through their interactions with other children.

Is getting their child socially busy becoming an added onus on modern day parents?

Raising children has become significantly more time-consuming and costly but I wouldn’t call it an onus. At the end, of the day they are your children and a parent strives to provide the best. At Play:Date, we try and ease things for parents by creating a convenient way to build a child’s social circle and provide families with an affordable experience through vouchers and giveaways.

Is this at a cost to the parent? If not, how does the revenue angle work for the app?

Play:Date is available for download on iOS and Android at zero cost. Our revenue is created through brands whom we give access to real consumers and real households in their target audience.

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