The Sunny Six is a bi-monthly feature of six of my favorite items. These items are essential to my well being as a wife, mother, grad student, human, nerd, and whatever else I feel like being that day. If you fall into any of those categories, or none of those categories, I hope you find some of the items featured helpful to you. This features six cheap, age-appropriate, dates that you can go on with your kids.
As a mom to two, almost three, boys – my husband and I both agreed that we need to divide our time up so each kid gets some one on one quality time. QT with your kids is just as important as time with your significant other. Not only do you build your child's self esteem, but it also allows for a special connection between you and your kids, and as a parent it makes you more aware of your child, their feelings, and their personality.
I date my kids. Yes, even the 18 month old. Even though he can’t do the “date-y” stuff that the older one does, I make sure to teach him. So! First things first, this is a date and you need to:
Dress appropriately for the date and the weather.
Share stories but don’t just talk about yourself, ask your kid some questions and have your kid ask you questions.
Understand that both women AND men are capable of paying for dates – my rule is if your son asks you out on a date your son should pay. If mommy asks you out on a date, mommy should offer to pay, but in the end if you are boy you should offer to pay regardless. It sets your intentions… BUUUT that’s a whole different blog post! PS – my 5-year-old son “paying” = me giving him my credit card and him giving it to the cashier. Yes, he has money, but my husband and I are making him save it.
Put the phone away (unless to take pictures) , when you’re on a date you want to get to get to know the person more, not be on social media or working from your phone!
If you’re taking your son out on a date, make (help) him open the door for you. If you’re taking your daughter out on a date, open the door for her.
Tell the parent at home what time you plan on being home.
Ice cream date. Not only is this the perfect first date, but it’s the perfect always date for any season! Can you ever go wrong getting ice cream? Probably not, unless you’re lactose intolerant then perhaps non-dairy fro-yo is a better option. You can talk in-between bites, take the ice cream to go, or sit and talk while you eat. I love having ice cream dates with my kids because you can practice the art of SHARING. YUM!
Going on a walk. Walking around a park, a neighborhood, or in a botanical garden in the spring or winter is dreamy! While in the spring time there is more colors to see and more flowers to see, in the winter, it’ll be beautiful if there is snow on the ground! Either way, there will be plenty to talk about while on a walk – flowers, colors, animals – or if its winter you can talk about snow, the holidays, and lights! Bring bread if there is a lake, that way you can feed the ducks!
walks in the park with your little one is <3
Book Store Date. Okay, so some people may think this is “running an errand” but you can easily turn it into a date! You can talk about books, your favorite characters, or what you learned from the books. You can help your kid pick out a book or ask them for their opinion on what book to choose for yourself. Walk the aisles with your kid, look at the little odds and ends and gifts, and grab a cup of coffee/hot chocolate and share a pastry before you have to go home.
Baby Caleb on one of his first book store dates with Mom.
Isaac helping decide what book Mom should read. Unfortunately he IS judging a book by its cover, but we'll talk about that on a different date ;)
Cook together. This date you can do at home. Banish the other parent and the other kids to a different room while you prepare a meal. Ask your kid to be a little helper. Teach them proper technique for stirring, measuring, peeling, cutting, and prepping vegetables. Talk to them about their favorite foods and what foods they are interested in making the future. This date probably won’t work for a toddler, but a kid preschool age and older would be perfect for this!
Watch a movie. This is a typical timeless date! Watch a movie that your kid wants to see. You’ll have fun laughing together and have inside jokes about the movie. Share some popcorn and enjoy! This date is appropriate for preschoolers and older, a toddler probably won’t be able to sit still for a long time! Watching a movie at home is different than watching a movie in a theater! After the movie you can talk about your favorite parts, share stories from parts of the movie that happened to you in real life, talk about the characters, etc!
Watch the sunset. A beautiful setting makes everything better! Throw together a picnic or just grab a blanket. Sit on the beach, on the roof of a building, or on a hill and talk about the best part of your day. While you watch the sunset, you can talk about the next day, what you want to accomplish, and or/talk about the future – where you want to go on vacation, what your kid wants to be when they grow up, etc.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember! Always say thank you to your “date”. Tell them how great of a time you had. No one is obligated to kiss, hug, or hold hands. Instill this early – make sure you talk about EXACTLY what happened on your date with whatever parent is home, leave out no details! Juuuuuuust kidding! No I’m not. Okay, just a little. Heh! #overprotectiveparent #youcandatewhenyouremarried
What are some of your favorite dates either to do with your kids or your significant other?