Life gets a little crazy sometimes, especially when you have little ones running around the house. But like older ladies love to remind you, time really does go by so fast. How can you make the most of the time you get to spend with your kids while they’re still under your roof?
Creating lifelong memories with your kids starts with just making space to be together. It doesn’t have to be something fancy and expensive; you simply need to show your kids that you enjoy spending time with them.
We’re always told to make time for dates with our partners. Why shouldn’t we prioritize parent-child dates as well? I’m not trying to add another thing to your already-overwhelming to-do list, but I do think it’s important to have one-on-one time with each of your kids on a regular basis.
Taking your child on a date forges a special bond between the two of you. No matter what you do together, you’ll always have that sweet memory to look back on. Here are some ideas for kid dates you can try. Add your own unique flavor and don’t forget to have fun!
1. Go to the pet store
Kids love seeing all of the different animals at the pet store. You may need to clarify beforehand that you won’t be getting any new pets. Instead, you might allow your child to pick out a toy or accessory for a pet you already have.
2. Look for butterflies at the local park
There’s something magical about being outside together. Walk around the park searching for butterflies. Your child can keep track of which butterflies you find in a special notebook. You can even add drawings or photos.
3. Cook a meal
This is a great idea for you to do with one child while your partner is out with the rest of the kids. Start by creating a menu together that includes some of your child’s favorite foods. Then, go to the grocery store and show your child how to pick out the best ingredients. Prepare a meal for the whole family, complete with fancy napkins and candles.
4. Make art together
There are so many different arts and crafts kits you can find to do with your child. If you’re worried about spending money, do something simple like making playdough from scratch and then creating sculptures together.
5. Go ice skating
Do you have an ice rink close to where you live? Take one of your kids ice skating. Afterward, you can go grab a cup of hot cocoa to warm up.
6. Visit a local retirement community
This is a great way to teach your child how to have a kind and compassionate heart. Come up with something your child can do to serve a local retirement community. Maybe it’s playing an instrument, putting up drawings on the wall, or offering social media assistance to the older generation. They will love it!
7. Get out of town for the day
You might need to save up for this one, but it will be quality time your child never forgets. Visit a nearby town or beach and stay overnight at a hotel, just the two of you. Watch movies, eat ice cream, and enjoy the time together. If spending the night is too much, take the day to explore a new area and come back home in the evening.
8. Have a dollar store contest
You can do this with one child or with the whole family. Give everyone $5 to spend at the dollar store. The person who finds the coolest five things wins!
9. Go to the library
There’s nothing like reading side-by-side with your child. Spend the afternoon at the library, either reading a book together or finding new books to enjoy separately–depending on your child’s age.
10. Buy crazy clothing at the thrift store and take photos all dressed up
Is your child in that goofy stage where they just want to do something spontaneous and a little crazy? Take them to the thrift store and pick out some kooky clothing together. Take silly pictures in the clothes you found.
11. Shop for plants and plant them together
Kids tend to be fascinated by things that grow. Pick out some plants or seeds together and then plant them in your garden. Taking care of the plants will become a special activity for the two of you to continue doing together.
12. Invent a board game
I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly amazed at how creative kids can be. Give your child enough support and resources to invent a board game that your family can play together. If your child is into video games, maybe they’ll want to create one of those instead.
13. Go stargazing
This is perfect for sneaking out of the house after your younger kids are in bed. Take your child stargazing, either in your backyard or on a grassy hill somewhere in town. Learn about the constellations together and see if you can identify them.
14. Visit the zoo or aquarium
Seeing animals is exciting for kids of all ages. Take your child on a zoo or aquarium date and challenge them to learn facts about their favorite animals. Talk about what it might be like to work as a zookeeper or aquarist.
15. Fly a kite
Is it looking a little windy outside? Take your child to the park to fly a kite. You may even be able to make your own kite together or add a special touch to a store-bought kite such as writing your names or attaching streamers.
16. Get unlimited froyo toppings
You probably limit your kids’ sugar intake, but leave that aside just for one day. Allow your child to get unlimited froyo toppings and see what they pick. Talk about something meaningful as you spend quality time together.
17. Try your hand at fishing
Have you ever tried fishing? Even if you haven’t, it would be a fun skill to learn how to do with one of your kids. If you’re already an expert, you can be the teacher. Otherwise, you’ll be figuring out something new and exciting together. Fishing offers plenty of time for conversation and connection.
18. Go to a trampoline park
Let’s face it, this is fun for parents too. Go to a trampoline park and jump around with your child. You might feel silly, but your kid will love bouncing around with you.
19. Create a doughnut tasting
Buy a box of a dozen doughnuts and cut them up into small pieces. Then, do a doughnut tasting together. You can even use blindfolds if you want and try to guess which doughnut is which.
20. Watch the sunset
Going out to see the sunset only takes a few minutes, and it’s a breathtaking moment to spend together. Maybe you’ll find a special sunset spot that you keep visiting with your child for years to come.
21. Have a picnic
One of the most affordable kid dates is having a picnic together. You can even do it in your backyard if you don’t have a park nearby. Leave your phone at home if you can in order to fully focus on this special quality time.
22. Start a business together
Starting a business together is full of opportunities for quality time. You can brainstorm product ideas together, visit other businesses to learn from them, and fulfill orders together. This is something your child will never forget.
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