Everyone talks about daddy-daughter dates and how cute and sweet they are, but what about mom? I don’t know about you, but I adore having some one-on-one bonding time with my daughter, even though she’s only four and not quite old enough for some of my ideas. (Learn from my mistake — don’t expect a four-year-old to sit down for a manicure. Ever.)
Ifyou’re struggling with activities that you and your toddler can do togetherwhile leaving daddy at home, here are some of my favorite mommy-daughter dateideas for you to try out.
Story Time at the Library
Weall love reading to our kids, but sometimes it’s nice to let someone else tellthe story while you sit back and cuddle with your daughter. Check out yourlocal libraries for toddler-friendly storytimes and simply spend some timetogether listening to one of your favorite tales.
Youdon’t even have to leave the house to have a fun mommy-daughter date. Let yourlittle one help you bakecookies.Whip up some chocolate chip cookies and let her lick the beater, or roll outsome sugar cookie dough and hand her the cookie cutters. It will be messy, butit will also be fun, and you’ll have some tasty treat to snack on afterward.
Throw a Dance Party
Whodoesn’t love a good dance party? Put on some upbeatkid-friendly music and start dancing. It won’t take long for your little one to join in.As a bonus, dancing burns a ton ofcalories soyou can skip your afternoon exercise session or replace it with an afternoondance party instead!
Whenwas the last time that you stuck your hands in some paint and made somethingbeautiful? We forget the pure joy of something like fingerpainting as we growolder, but it can be a fantastic way to bond with your little ones. On a sunnyday, set up some big posterboards and paper, and a ton of finger paints, and goto town. Your daughter will be delighted to see you participating.
Go See a Movie
Mostmovie theaters, during the summer months, have kid-friendly matinees where theyshow both old and new animated features. It’s much less expensive than seeing aregular movie — tickets usually start at $2-3, instead of the $8-12 that you’dusually pay — so you won’t feel bad if you have to get up and leave becauseyour toddler just isn’t feeling it. Plus, these showings are generally loud andrambunctious — they’re full of kids — so no one is going to complain if yourlittle one wants to get up and cheer at the screen as she sees her favoritecharacters in all their larger-than-life glory.
Two Words: Ball Pit.
Isthere anything that’s more fun for a toddler than a ball pit? Find one whereyou can play together, or make one in yourback yardand spend the afternoon swimming around in a pit full of large plastic balls.You can play the ultimate game of peek-a-boo by burying yourself in the ballsand popping up like a jack-in-the-box, to the musical sound of delightedtoddler squeals.
Make DIY Slime
Whodoesn’t love slime? Making some DIY slime can be a great way to spend theafternoon. Most DIY recipes require the use of contact lens cleaning solutionor borax as the activating ingredient, which you don’t want to use with atoddler who might put their hands in their mouths while playing with the slime.
Youcan make a kid-friendly DIYslime withElmer’s glue, baking soda, saline solution, and food coloring. If you’re stillworried about your toddler eating the slime, why not make an ediblealternative?You can make slime out of everything from nutella and gummy bears to sodiumalginate — a natural gelatin alternative derived from seaweed.
Have a Backyard Picnic
Ifyou always have lunch in the dining room, why not change things up a little bitand throw a backyard picnic? Lay out a blanket, and pack the foods and drinksthat you were planning on serving for lunch into a basket or lunchbox. Thenhead outside and enjoy! It’s a good excuse to get out, soak up some sun, andrun off some energy before naptime.
Visit a Petting Zoo
Mostkids, regardless of age, love animals. Do a quick search for a toddler-friendlypetting zoo in your area. You don’t really want them in the pen with large farmanimals like cows or horses, but your daughter might find petting a goat orfeeding a sheep from the palm of her hand delightful. Be ready for delightedsqueals and giggles as she gets licked and nuzzled by furry farm animals.
Feelfree to leave dad at home while you go out (or stay in) and enjoy thesemother-daughter date ideas. Dad’s get plenty of daddy-daughter events — thesedates should just be about the two of you.