One of the most pivotal moments in my parenting career happened when I came to the realization that my job as a mom was less about keeping all my ducks in a row and more about developing relationships with said ducks :) If that makes sense. Setting aside a little bit of one on one time (or even one on two) with our kids, away from the hustle and bustle of family life to fill their love tanks and just enjoy each other’s company has been a really good way to do just that.
Over the weekend Tilly and I planned a park date but then had to adjust our plan after Poppy came down with a stomach bug and fever. So we ended up grabbing treats from Starbuck’s and then posing for silly pictures on the couch. Even though we didn’t leave the house for long, the 30 minutes of time spent getting a special treat and being silly together did the trick!
Sharing 25 more simple date ideas to do with your minis, below!
25 REALLY SIMPLE KID DATE IDEAS
- Head to the park to PLAYYYYYY. Bring a soccer ball, have a cartwheel contest, lay on a blanket and make pictures out of clouds, etc.
- Plan something together! A special meal, end of the year party, outdoor movie night, or weekend getaway. Head to your favorite coffee or smoothie shop with your trusty notebook and pinterest account. You’ll not only be teaching life skills but also have another outlet for quality time!
- Go for a bike or scooter ride (just make sure you hop on a scooter or bike too)
- Kid’s choice! just be sure to set up some guidelines so things don’t get too extra. pretty sure 75% of my kids would choose a trip to Target with a $5 budget, lol.
- Attend a High school sporting event
- Take a class together
- Visit a climbing wall (or a YMCA date if you have a membership)
- Volunteer together
- Play catch
- Fly a kite
- Plan a random act of kindness to do together
- Go putt-putt
- Go to the batting cages (ask if they have a tee for younger kids!)
- Go on a nature walk
- Go for a run
- Get slurpees
- Go to the library
- Have a picnic and make up a secret handshake
- Visit a you-pick farm
- Pick wild flowers to do a craft with later
- Pick out each others outfits and then go split an appetizer
- Visit a farmer’s market
- Learn a new skill together like making balloon animals
- Leave notes on the sidewalk for people using sidewalk chalk
- Play a board-game
Another parenting tidbit I’ve learned over the years is to focus on THE BIG 3 — touch, listen and look — when with the kids and it definitely helps keep those bonds and connections strong! What I find so ironic (or not so much) is that those are all things that came naturally to me during their first year of my kids’ life. They’re also things that can easily take a backseat as they get older and more independent. A good reminder that eventhough our kids’ needs evolve, they stay the same in many ways. Also another good reason to put the phone down and away whenever possible!
Tell me she’s not the cutest little date there ever was!?
I don’t want to imply that it’s more important to do this with certain kids over others and of course there will always be seasons where planning dates just isn’t in the cards — — but for the kids that challenge me the most, I would say spending one on one time has saved me from hitting burnout status and made it easier to fall in love with who they are instead of just focusing on their current behavior challenges.
Also a little footnote, sometimes all it takes is letting one kid stay up past bedtime or help you make dinner or even help you pick out your outfit (my dad used to wake me up in the mornings to help him pick out a tie for work and it is still one of my favorite memories!).
Here’s to building strong relationships — it’s something we all crave and were created for! Amen!