As a mom to seven, it’s easy to group my children—the oldest, the teens, the littles. I might take all the girls out shopping one day and all the boys to a basketball game another. And while that helps our family work efficiently, it doesn’t fill up each child’s bucket.
It’s so important to carve out one-on-one time with each child—to discover and celebrate and love who they are. I’ve seen my quieter children open right up when we’re alone together while my extroverted kids lavish the extra attention. To help you create this great one-on-one time, here are 8 cool date ideas for moms and kids.
1. After dinner dessert.
You don’t have to set aside an entire evening for dates. Take one child out to her favorite dessert spot. Maybe it’s cupcakes, frozen yogurt, or cannolis at your local Italian restaurant. These short and sweet times will still pack in forever memories.
2. Art Adventure.
Spend an evening hands-on crafting and creating together. See if your town has a paint-your-own canvas or pottery studio. Craft stores also usually offer a variety of classes from cake decorating to jewelry making. Bonus: you’ll have a keepsake to remember your date!
3. Friendly Competition.
Some families thrive on a little affectionate rivalry. Keep it light but fun with games like putt-putt golf, bowling, or laser tag. If your child loves sports, cheer him on at the batting cage or golfing range.
4. Educational Fun.
Date nights are a great time to broaden your child’s cultural experiences. You might take in a play or concert together, visit an art or science museum, or even attend a local lecture or library event. IMAX movies are always a big hit with my kids.
5. Spa Time.
What little (or big) girl doesn’t love a little pampering? My youngest loves occasionally going with me for a pedicure. Budget tip: Since this can get expensive, we sometimes set up an evening at home with our own bubbly foot spa, a manicure, and face masks.
6. Night of Kindness.
Plan an evening extending acts of kindness to others. With a little planning, this kind of date night can make a big impact. The possibilities are endless but could include taking flowers to nursing home residents, bringing treats to your local fire or police station, taping quarters to laundromat machines, or anonymously dropping off groceries to a struggling family.
7. Progressive Dinner.
This is one of my favorite creative dates. We start out at the restaurant chain that serves the best french fries, then go to the restaurant with the best hamburgers, and finish up at the spot with the best milkshakes. Hint: It’s the child’s opinion of best that wins!
8. Breakfast Out.
I still try to get one-on-one time with my kids even after they’re in college. On weekends home, breakfasts are the best time to sneak in time together, especially on the big days. I’ll forever cherish the early breakfast date I had with my oldest on his wedding day at his suggestion and I hope it’s a family tradition we continue.
Your turn: What’s your favorite date idea for moms and kids?