I have been pretty candid on here about how the transition from one to two kids was really difficult for me (and honestly it was a difficult transition for our whole family). Obviously we LOVE our sweet Amos and we can’t imagine life without him! But, I would be lying if I said that there weren’t days where it was REALLY hard and I mourned the “loss” of my one-on-one relationship with Lilly. One of the things that I have found that has been so helpful is to take the time to really be intentional about one-on-one time with her. This goes for John, too… but especially me. Since I work from home and I stay at home with both kids, I really can tell that Lilly benefits from focused time with her mom.
Since a lot of our one-on-one time happens at home while Amos is napping or something, I have had to get creative about what play date ideas (because I do love to play in her playroom… but doing the same things over and over again can get a little repetitive).
I know I’m not the only mom that has been in this position before, so I thought it would be helpful to share with y’all five at home play date ideas that Lilly and I do regularly together for our “at home mommy daughter dates.”
5 Mommy & Daughter At-Home Play Date Ideas
1. Play board games
We. Love. Board. Games. Lilly is four, and we’ve been playing board games since she was two. Obviously we started with VERY BASIC board games, but she loves, loves, loves to play games. And honestly, this is so fun for me, too!
Our *FAVORITE* board game to play is Pretty, Pretty, Princess but we got lucky because my dad found an original 1990’s version of the game on eBay. It is no longer made, but you can find it on eBay or Amazon… or maybe even try a thrift store!
BUT, honestly, my other favorite games to play that are FUN and educational, are Orchard Toys games. We have FOUR of them and I want to get more! They are so fun and Lilly LOVES them. Shopping List is the first one we got her, and she loved it. It’s still a favorite. Another favorite is Crazy Chefs, but honestly, any of their games are winners in my book! I love that they are affordable, too.
I know, I know, this seems silly. But reading to your kids doesn’t always have to happen at bedtime. In the last couple of months, Lilly and I actually started reading chapter books and it has been so much fun. We started reading the American Girl doll series (yes, THAT American Girl doll series from when we were kids!) and it has been something I’ve really looked forward to each day. Even at four years old, Lilly loves reading chapter books and we talk about what we read and ask questions and it sparks conversation. Yes, it’s at a four year old level, but it’s really connected us even more and I love it.
Depending on how old your kiddo is, pick books at or just above what you *think* they can handle and just see! You never know until you try!
Lilly is really into art. She loves anything and everything that has to do with coloring, painting, drawing, creating, etc. So some days we will just get out little watercolor paints or even paint cheap blank canvases I get at Michael’s. This is such a fun way to pass the time, connect, and create artwork!
4. Write “letters” to friends and family
Lilly LOVES checking the mail, getting mail, sending mail. She’s all about mail right now. So, one day, she colored a picture and “wrote” a letter to her grandparents and we put it in an envelope, wrote the address, put a stamp on it, and she put it in the mailbox. This has turned into a really fun thing for us to do and we’ve started just sending letters and pictures and things to friends and family for fun. She loves coming up with something to send to someone and she’s gotten so creative with it!
5. Bake or cook something
Lilly is at an age where she really wants to help me in the kitchen. So, I’ve started teaching her how to do little things like cut or peel or mix. She always wants to help and it’s become something we can look forward to doing. She wants to know how to make applesauce, or muffins, or even help me make lasagna! While we do this stuff together, we also get to talk about kitchen safety, and WHY things are baked or broiled or sauteed, or whatever. She asks #allthequestions and it’s a fun time for us to connect.
Now, what about you?
What “at-home” dates do you do with your kiddos? What are your favorite play date ideas?
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