I’m glad you’re not thinking you should wait until your child is older before going on a parent child date! Indeed, the earlier you begin going on dates with your child, the more successful and enjoyable they’ll be. My husband took our oldest daughter on a date for the first time when she was 6 months old!
Girl… don’t you know he got SO much attention whenever he took that precious baby girl out just the two of them! Then, I began taking my turn as well. Now, more than 10 years and 4 kids later, I have a reservoir of creative and affordable parent-child date ideas and tips!
21 Ways To Make Your Parent Child Date Go Great With Your Toddler!
My kids each have a collection of beautiful memories from dates with their daddy and me. Taking your tiny person on a date is simple, non-stressful, and oh-so-important. Since you are with your little bean all day, let daddy have the first dibs on dates.
Then, fill in with date time of your own. If you find it hard to create time for two dates, let daddy have priority, but keep working on finding a time of your own to get out of the house alone with your little one.
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11 Tips For A Successful Parent-Child Date With Your Toddler
#1. KEEP IT SHORT!!
When planning dates with a baby, don’t think for a second quantity beats quality! Your toddler can not hang! Her capacity for date time away from home is limited.
#2. Find free things to do.
This is pretty self-explanatory, right?
#3 Plan well.
Now listen, I don’t mean, pack a bag full of toys, 3 changes of clothes, a whole meal, etc… No, I mean, map it out. A day and a time that is in between naps, in between meals and early enough that bedtime won’t be quickly approaching.
#4. Choose a day when the dating parent is available right after morning nap.
If your child is already only napping once, go after he wakes up in the morning, instead of waiting until after nap. You want the freshest, happiest baby you can get!
#5. Write the dates on a calendar and schedule other life around them.
You’ve decided this is a priority, (as it should be) so you have to take steps to make sure it happens! That means, planning other events around your dates.
#6. Don’t over plan. (Yes, yes, I know #2… but)
Don’t let the pursuit of perfect planning be the reason a date doesn’t happen! Plan what you can and then just. do. it.
#7. Don’t take too much with you.
Orchestrating the time of your date just right prevents having to pack up half the house to take on your date, (which makes the whole experience daunting.)
If your little guy isn’t hungry, then you don’t need a bunch of snacks. Not fussy, then you don’t need a bunch of toys. You get the picture.
#8. Stay close to home.
Looking for dates that keep you close to home mean you can get home quickly if things go south! While keeping the date short and simple should prevent most problems, staying close to home is best at this age.
#9. Do take a SMALL snack “just in case!”
Take a banana or raisins for her just in case she needs a little bit of distraction to make it through the whole date.
#10. Take her comfort item.
#11. Dress comfy!
Your tot will have greater fun and enjoy the entire experience more if her date is dressed for play. Jeans. Jogging pants. T-shirts. Sneakers. Whatever you need to wear to be comfortable and play. Your date is the only one you are hoping to impress!
These 11 tips are sure to make your parent-child toddler date a smash hit! But just WHAT should you do on your date? Yes! I’m so glad you asked because I’ve got plenty of those as well! Like, I said… lots of child dating experience over here!
10 Parent-Child Date Ideas For You and Your Toddler.
this list is available to download in the resource library
#1. 30 Minute park trip.
This is by far, the easiest. simplest. funnest (I know that’s not a word.) least stressful date to take your toddler on. Find a park that is NOT super busy, so you can focus on the quality time and bonding with your little.
#2. Go on a Mall Walk.
Visit your local mall and walk around with your little man for 30 minutes. Point to things. Talk about them. Say Hi to people. Keep it simple and be intentionally connected.
#3. Visit a nearby farm.
Many farms or horse stables don’t mind visitors. Typically you can walk right in and ask if it would be OK to walk around and look at the animals. This is my favorite options to recommend to my city-dweller Mommy friends:)
#4. Visit a nearby creek.
#5. Go on a SHORT nature walk on a nearby walking trail.
Pretty much every town has some sort of walking trail. Spend 15 – 30 minutes (whatever your angel can handle) alternating walking with and carrying her. Stop, point, talk, listen, enjoy nature.
#6. Throw pennies in a fountain.
Nearby shopping venues will have a fountain. 50 Cents will entertain your little princess and make her laugh with joy!
#7. Visit a pet store.
Kittens and puppies are cute! ‘Nuf said!
#8. Visit a nursing home.
When my husband’s grandmother was still alive and living in a nursing home, we would take the kids to visit. This was such a blessing to the kids and the tenants. It’s more simple than you think, as well.
All you need to do is walk the halls and say hello to the people you pass by. So simple.
#9. Go on an easy-peezy picnic!
#10. Go to story time.
I’ll be frank, this almost didn’t make the list. I am not a huge fan of story time! Gasp… What? I know! But hear me out… Storytime at the public library or bookstore is full of other kids. Which means loads of distractions.
Parent-child dates with your toddler are about your and your tot. IF you have a snuggly toddler who will sit in your lap and listen WITH you, story time is a good option. If not… pick something else.
Toddler Dates Don’t Get Much Easier.
It honestly doesn’t get much easier than this. I am all about the most practical steps you can take to make the biggest impact on your child. Going on a date is one of those steps! Make it a priority and do. it.
Pick 3 dates from the list above, put them on your calendar for the next 3 months, then re-read over what to do to keep it simple and successful.
I’m so glad you aren’t going to wait to start parent-child dates with your little one. As she gets older, your relationship will change. Begin laying down the foundation for secure bonds now with intentional quality time right now. CLICK HERE TO READ ANOTHER POST LIKE THIS