Getty Images, photo by Jamie Sabau

A ‘play date’ is a day set up by parents to have their children play with each other. A day and time are set, even a set time for how long they’ll play, and the kids use that time for play. Remember when you used to go outside during the summer, hook-up with your friends and play until dark? Are those days really gone?

A new trend in children playing has parents hiring ‘recreation experts’ to show their children how to play. Really? The idea behind this is to show kids how to play ‘nicely with others’ because when parents apply for their toddlers to attend top-end schools they are judged on ‘playing nicely’. Well-to-do parents are paying these rec. experts $400 an hour to teach kids to share crayons, how to color and how to follow directions. Yes, all the things that normal parenting requires.

It seemed more fun to learn these thing as you went along and to be able play with neighborhood kids when, and for how long, you wanted to. Seems like $400 an hour is a lot to spend on something kids usually figure out themselves.