I had a free weekday with just my older daughter a few months ago.
I asked her what she wanted to do ... maybe a trip to the mall to spend a gift card? She said no to that and other ideas. What she really wanted to do was play a game with Mommy without her little sister butting in.
Sometimes I need reminders like that to remember that what our kids really want from us is quality time. So, to wrap up this short series on holiday gift ideas that won't clutter your house, I'm going to suggest that we all promise some quality time with our kids. (I also covered museum memberships and tickets to live performances).
My husband and I have done this the last couple of years for our older daughter since our younger daughter was born. The gifts, written on an index card and wrapped up in a box, promise a day just for mom and daughter or dad and daughter. It's another take on those coupons kids sometimes make for Mother's Day promising to help out with house work or make dinner.
Our gifts to our daughter have included a lunch and movie date with me or a trip to a Durham Bulls game with just her dad, but they can be as simple as promises of mommy or daddy and child time.
Now, we do spend a lot of time already with both our daughters. We read to each of them for at least 30 minutes a day. We have nearly all of our breakfasts and dinners together. We have limited computer and television time when we are all together. (That includes us parents too).
But these date plans with our daughter are special, highly anticipated activities. They're ones that I'll remember well after all the other presents under the tree this Christmas are forgotten.
So here are some ideas for date days with your own kids throughout the year.
- A trip to a local museum
- A trip to Pullen Park. You could wrap up the ride tickets.
- A visit to a local indoor swimming pool.
- Tickets to a college-level sporting event. Many of the non-revenue sports, such as volleyball or field hockey, have no admission fee.
- A mom and daughter manicure.
- A trip to a Durham Bulls, Carolina Mudcats or Carolina Hurricanes game
- Meal out at a favorite restaurant
- A parent-child chess tournament (or part of a day playing whatever other game your child loves).
- A hike or bike ride along a new trail. Wrap up a map of the trail.
- A tour of local playgrounds.
- Trips to find the best of ... cupcakes, hot dogs, ice cream, strawberries, etc., in the region.
For other holiday events, gifts ideas, activities, crafts and more, go to Go Ask Mom's Holiday Page.