It can be tempting to go to your "old faithful" toys and games when it comes time to entertain your toddler daughter. If you're honest with yourself, though, you probably don't want to spend another night watching The Little Mermaid, coloring, or painting her nails (which she will then inevitably mess up because she refuses to sit still to let them dry no matter how many times you tell her).
Moms and daughters share a unique bond and now is the time to get your little one interested in the things you love, too, so that your bond will get stronger with shared interests. Instead of another movie night, why not try something a little different.
10 Take A Dance Class
There are no shortage of fun dance classes you can get your little one involved in. There are even a lot of options for "Mommy and Me" type classes. If you're not into the idea of spending a full hour dancing alongside a 3-year-old, consider signing her up for a class that has parent participation for the last 15 minutes or so.
That way you're still learning the steps together and you can go home and practice them together. This is something that will definitely strengthen your bond and get her pumped up for dance parties at home.
9 Cook The Family Dinner
Chances are good your little one loves a play kitchen. She probably also loves to "serve" you and the family her play food. Instead of indulging in another pretend meal (not that fake plastic chicken isn't delicious), have her help you make dinner for the family and let her serve everyone.
Keep the recipe simple (grilled cheese, pizza, something kid-friendly) so that she can actually participate in the prep and cooking. You may find that you are raising a chef in the making - or at least someone you can pass off dinner duties to sometime in the future.
8 Have A Tea Party
A tea party is a classic mother-daughter activity for a reason, it's elegant and adorable. Little girls love to feel all classy with their tea time and its a great opportunity to have some snacks with the "tea" like apples, cookies, or another fun treat. You can go the classic tea party route and do it at home with stuffed animals as guests, or you can check out your community to see if there are any restaurants that offer "high tea" events for little kids (complete with dressing up and macaroons).
No matter what route you go, your little lady will love the extra time and attention she gets from her mama.
7 Pick Out Flowers At The Farmers Market To Make A Bouquet
Show us a little girl who doesn't love to stop and smell the roses, and we'll be amazed! Any mom who tries to have a fresh bouquet of flowers on her dining room table (or anywhere in the house for that matter) knows how much little girls love to play with and sniff fresh flowers. If your little girl can't seem to keep her hands off pretty floral displays, take her to the local farmers market and let her make her own bouquet!
You can typically get the flowers at a much lower cost than at big stores, plus your daughter can pick which ones she likes. Then, let her put them all together in a vase at home and put them on display in her room. She will love the final result and it's a great way to later transition her into gardening!
6 Put On A Fashion Show
Does your little one love to try on your shoes, help you pick out your clothes, or just generally love to play dress up? This is a great opportunity to play "fashionista" and load up on ridiculous accessories, find the highest heels, and get dolled up for an at-home fashion show.
You can let her take the lead in all aspects of the show like picking the music, putting together some creative lighting (maybe some twinkle lights?), and even which outfits you and her will wear. If she's really into it, you can even put the show on for your partner so that she has a proper audience.
5 Donate Old Toys To Kids In Need
If you've noticed your daughter's toy collection getting a little too big, with many of the toys collecting dust because they're never played with, you can use this as an opportunity to teach her about giving to people in need.
Make a game out of it and have her pick 10 toys she no longer wants to play with and then have her physically carry those toys into a donation center. You can chat with the people working at the center so they can teach your daughter where those toys are going. Then, follow it up with a lunch date to chat about how much she's helped another kid with her donation.
4 Have A Spa Day
Spa days are classic mommy-daughter dates for a reason - they're fun! Every little girl loves to put on a face mask, lay cucumbers on her eyes, paint her nails, and generally just spend the day relaxing with her mama. Instead of focusing on the beauty aspect of a spa day, teach your daughter about self-care and relaxation.
Tell her about how when you have a hard day you like to take a bubble bath and read a book, or how the eucalyptus in your face mask helps you feel calm. Getting her into self-care early will help her manage stress and anxiety as it approaches her later in life and give her a healthy way to cope after a rough day.
3 Attend A Women's Sporting Event
Sporting events are always fun for the family, but oftentimes they're centered around local men's teams. If you're having a mommy-daughter day, consider taking your daughter to a women's sporting event! You can show her that girls can play every sport that boys play and that those games are just as fun.
You may find that she's interested in activities she's never talked about before simply because she is seeing it as an option for the first time. Even if it doesn't get her eager to play a new sport, it's still a fun thing to do with your daughter that could turn into a regular date for the two of you.
2 Take A Class At A Craft Store
If your little girl loves to craft, but you're not exactly a Pinterest mom (it's okay, few of us are!), check out your local craft stores to see if they're offering any classes that you and your little one could attend.
Oftentimes they have a variety of kid-friendly classes ranging from a simple painting craft, to introductory drawing, or even cake/cupcake decorating (bonus, you get to eat the dessert, too!). It's a fun way to get the creative juices flowing without having to do setup and cleanup at your own home.
1 Have A Picnic
If nothing else, grab a blanket and your daughter's favorite foods and head out for a picnic. You can set up your meal just about anywhere so use it as an opportunity to check out new places within your community. Take her to the park, or to a picnic table or bench downtown.
You can even do this in your own backyard if it's a busy day but you want to squeeze in a little one-on-one time. Nothing is more fun than getting to eat somewhere other than the dining room table, so there's no need to stress about where you do it, your daughter will just love the change in routine and time with you.