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10 Ideas for Daddy-Daughter Dates with a Toddler

By:Janssen Bradshaw

I’ve mentioned before that my husband takes our two-year-old on a little Saturday morning date nearly every week.

If you’re looking to start up such a tradition, but are struggling to come up with ideas and activities, here are ten of the ones we’ve found to be most popular with our two-year-old:

  1. A trip to the pet store or humane society. Ella is in love with animals and an hour to run around and look at every single animal for as long as she wants is pretty much her idea of heaven. If it were up to her, I think she’d choose this activity every single week.


  2. The library. Let your child pick a few books off the shelf and read them to her. Let her use the self-check out machine to take a few of the best ones home.


  3. Breakfast or lunch out. An inexpensive breakfast (and bonus if it has a playplace) makes Ella’s day and since we don’t eat out much, especially at fast-food places, this is a real treat for her.


  4. The park. Hard to beat this standard child-friendly activity. And going with dad makes it feel pretty different than going with (very pregnant) mom.



  5. Feeding the ducks. We have several parks nearby that have ponds with ducks. Taking a couple of slices of bread and throwing them bit by bit into the water is always a hit.


  6. A trip to the toy store. Ella’s at an age where she isn’t too obsessed with buying toys yet. She just enjoys looking at them or playing with them at the store, and then is fine to leave. I’ll cross my fingers that this lasts forever. Even if not, it’s a good chance to learn about not getting everything you see.


  7. Swimming. It’s getting too cool for this (even in Texas), but during the summer, a morning swim means the community pools aren’t too busy yet, the sun isn’t beating down, and it’s a great chance for some one-on-one time.


  8. A bike ride. Ella has a little push-bike we bought for $1 at a garage sale and she loves to push it around. Letting her just go with it is a favorite activity.


  9. Art projects. At this age, most toddlers aren’t very skillful, but most of them love creating something. Hit up your craft store and buy a couple of pieces of colored paper, a pom-pom or two, and some glue sticks.


  10. Garage sales. My husband loves garage sales and Ella likes walking around looking at the various items, petting the dogs that are invariably out with the owners, and chatting with anyone who will talk to her. My husband usually lets her pick out one inexpensive toy to bring home.


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