I’ve long had the opinion that having regular individual date nights with your kids is as important to their overall well-being as eating healthy meals and getting a good night’s sleep. As a stay-at-home mom, I’m home with my kids all day long, and we have a lot of fun together amidst all the errands, chores, and “busy” work of the day. But that time during the day doesn’t often lend itself to one-on-one attention, especially when you’re worried about 25 pounds of flour being dumped out, sisters’ desks painted, or bathrooms flooded. (Not that those things have ever happened…)
I LOVE date nights with my kids, and it’s a much-loved tradition at our house.
I had one child for almost 8 years, and it was just the two of us everyday. And…we still had date nights. My husband and I traded off, and both of us loved that time with him, with no distractions. Now that we have six kids, we have to work harder to spend quality time with each of them individually, but we feel it’s important enough that we’ve made it a priority, and it goes on the calendar before other things. Life is busy, and sometimes it gets so crazy that date nights mean grocery shopping with mom…but it’s one of their favorites!
It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive…just a child and a parent, spending time together, really focusing on that child, and giving them all of your undivided attention. Asking questions, and really listening to their answer is one of the best things you can do for them, and for your relationship–whether they’re two years old, or sixteen years old. Date nights are perfect for this, and something we think is essential in our family. We have a lot of fun on our dates, and I wanted to share our top 20 date ideas with you! My boys and girls like so many of the same things, that I put all of our favorites on one list. Most of my kids are little–five of them seven and under–so the majority of these activities are aimed at that age group, but quite a few of them are really great for older kids as well.
1. Grocery Shopping
I know it might sound funny, but it’s true–it’s one of their favorites! Our dates always include food, so we go to lunch or dinner first, then head to the store. They love being the one that I ask which kind of ice cream or cereal we should get, and crossing things off my list for me is a big deal.
Whether it’s speed bowling, trying to tickle each other while trying to bowl, or laughing about our shoes, this is a beloved date from the tiniest to biggest of kids!
3. Visit the Fire Station
My little 3 year old boys LOVE the fire station. It’s more of an obsession, really, so this is way up high on their list. Adding ice cream or hot chocolate is the icing on the cake!